Health News Roundup

Pediatricians prepare for the end of the public health emergency, and more in this week’s roundup

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Why pediatricians are worried about the end of the federal COVID emergency
Sebastian Martinez Valdivia, NPR, Oct. 26
Before the pandemic, Medicaid recipients regularly had to prove that they still had qualified for the benefit. This process is called redetermination, and can involve a lot of paperwork and time. Redeterminations were paused under the federal public health emergency declaration at the onset of the pandemic. When the declaration ends, which could happen in January of 2023, the redetermination process will resume. Pediatricians are worried that children in particular will be wrongly dropped from coverage and are working to educate their patients about coverage rules.

States brace for Medicaid spending surge
Maya Goldman, Axios, Oct. 26
States could start the new year grappling with a surge in Medicaid spending to accompany supply chain pressures, workforce shortages, and the effects of inflation. The federal government increased its contribution to Medicaid during the pandemic in exchange for state pledges to keep enrollees in the program through the crisis. But that additional money could run out as soon as March, if the Biden administration lets the public health emergency expire in January, as many expect.

Federal law expands access to mental health care for young people
Ginny Monk, The Connecticut Mirror, Oct. 24
In the midst of a national youth mental health crisis, Connecticut’s doctors will have more opportunities to connect kids and young adults to mental health professionals with new federal funding. The funding will help pediatricians and health providers at schools and emergency departments connect with mental health specialists, as well as train primary care doctors in mental health care.

CT providers helping curb homelessness concerned as lack of funding threatens 211’s housing hotline
Camila Vallejo, Connecticut Public Radio, Oct. 21
Starting in November, United Way’s 211 housing hotline may only be available during weekday business hours. Up until now, the state-funded service has been available 24/7 and has been touted for helping reduce chronic homelessness in Connecticut. The potential change is raising concerns among housing advocates as the days get colder.

78% of CT residents worried about health care affordability
Jessica Bravo, The Connecticut Mirror, Oct. 21
Most Connecticut residents have faced at least one health care financial burden over the last year, according to a new survey. The survey defines a financial burden as being uninsured due to high medical costs, delaying or going without health care due to the cost, or struggling to pay medical bills. The findings also showed that 78% of respondents have some level of worry about affording health care now or in the future.