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Community Health Centers Reveal Specific Ramifications of The Medicaid Citizenship and Identification Documentation Requirements

ing consequences of these requirements," said Julio Bellber, president of the RCHN Community Health Foundation, which supports ongoing health center research and scholarship at GW SPHHS. "We've uncovered these stories and we're sharing them because we're dedicated to supporting health centers in their mission to provide exceptional care. If health centers and their patients are compromised because of the new rules, that hurts everyone."

The research, which includes interviews with community health leaders from Wichita, Kansas; Nogales, Arizona; Pittsburg, Kansas, and others, shows that health centers' ability to provide care for both their insured and uninsured patients is being adversely affected in the following ways:

-- Barriers to Access:

Rather than curtailing enrollment of ineligible individuals, the

reforms are affecting American citizens and documented immigrants. The

policy has erected particularly daunting barriers to healthcare access

for U.S.-born children and, ironically, for American Indians and Alaska

Natives, whose tribal documents may not always be officially recognized

by the federal government.

-- Financial Ramifications:

Because of significant delays in the Medicaid application and

enrollment process, health centers suffer adverse financial

consequences while they continue to serve patients awaiting coverage


The interviews may be viewed at

In 2006, health centers -- the largest source of comprehensive primary care for low income patients -- served more than 15 million patients, including 5.3 million Medicaid beneficiaries and one quarter of the nation's children living at or below the poverty level. Medicaid accounts for 37 percent of all health center operating revenues. Results from this initial natio

SOURCE RCHN Community Health Foundation; George Washington U.Medical
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