will you take action?

The following video comes from the website of the National Association of Childrens Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) and I beg of you to spend the two minutes required to watch it.



What are the risks if medicaid is cut?

As you saw on the video, one in three children in this country depend upon Medicaid for their health care. We all save money by helping children to stay healthy. Children use up only a fraction of the total costs of Medicaid and are not the reason that our country's health care expenditures are out of control. When children do not get access to primary care and preventive services, they can get very sick, landing in our emergency rooms, and Pediatric ICUs. Then they require high cost care, and should they survive, are likely to have ongoing issues that cost even more to care for.

What are the risks if funding for Graduate Medical Education in Children's Hospitals is cut?

Those hospitals which train the majority of the country's pediatricians and pediatric specialists, will either have to cut back significantly on how many residents and fellows are trained, or potentially stop training them altogether. Or they will have to make significant cuts in other programs to continue to afford to train them. The great majority of pediatricians accept patients who have medicaid as their primary insurer, at least to some extent. Also, many children's hospitals training programs provide the safety net care that many of the poor on medicaid rely upon. To be clear, Carilion's Graduate Medical Education programs will not be directly affected, because the legislation ONLY affects Graduate Medical Education in what are known as "free standing" children's hospitals. In Virginia, the only institution directly affected is Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters (CHKD). Nonetheless, it would be devastating to see them, Children's National in DC, Boston Children's, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, etc lose the money they need to ensure our nation's future with regard to children's health care providers.  Subspecialists like pediatric neurologists (brain and nervous system), cardiologists(heart), gastroenterologists(GI tract) and pulmonologists (lungs) are almost always educated in those free standing children's hospitals. These subspecialists are already in short supply. Many of our s families have to wait months to see the few that we have here in Roanoke. Imagine what the wait would be like if we stop training new ones.

That's a pretty scary future.

The combined effects of potential cuts in Medicaid combined with the potential devastating cuts to Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) could really set our country back in terms of the health of our population.

If children are indeed our future, shouldn't we act like that is the case?

How do you take action?

Click this link to go to the NACHRI legislative action web page. There you can enter your zip code and be able to send a letter to the appropriate legislators in your district. Or you can use any other means you know to contact your Senators and Congressperson.

Let me know how you feel about this post. I suspect that not all of you will agree with me. Let's discuss. For others who DO agree, can you suggest other approaches to the problem?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts as always.

Recent Comments

WOW....Such a profound video and an equally compelling message that you share here...thank you...let's keep the message out there....
Thank you!

Thanks, Claudia, I really appreciate the support. And so do the children. Most people never need the services of a specialized children's hospital. I hope they never do. But when they do, it may be too late, if these cuts are allowed to happen.

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About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

Close to home links

Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital
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The AAP website for parents
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