SHM Sends Letter in Support of Restored Funding for CHIP
November 27, 2017
SHM's Policy Efforts
SHM supports legislation that affects hospital medicine and general healthcare, advocating for hospitalists and the patients they serve.
Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Minority Leader Pelosi:
The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), representing the nation’s nearly 57,000 hospitalists, including those who practice in children’s hospitals, is writing to urge Congress to prioritize the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP is a lifeline for millions of children nationwide, and has been a critical driver of lowering the uninsured rate among children since 1997.
Pediatric hospitalists are specialists who provide inpatient medical care for hospitalized children, including many children who receive coverage through CHIP. They coordinate care for their patients within the hospital, and work to improve transitions of care throughout and after their hospital stay. Pediatric hospitalists see firsthand the value of CHIP in enabling children, regardless of their family’s financial situation, to have access to healthcare coverage both while hospitalized and in the outpatient setting to help prevent future admissions.
On September 30, 2017, CHIP funding authorization expired, setting off a rolling crisis through the states as carry-over funding runs out. It is imperative Congress act now to reverse this trend and to reauthorize the program, preferably for a five-year extension. The program has a proven track record of success and a nearly twenty-year history of bipartisan support.
CHIP is a vital source of stability for the health of our children, and the program’s uncertain future is an unacceptable step backwards. SHM urges Congress to act now to restore funding for CHIP and ensure millions of children nationwide have access to health care. We stand ready to help move this important priority forward.
Ron Greeno, MD, FCCP, MHM
President, Society of Hospital Medicine