CMS Call re: Medicaid and CHIP Data during COVID-19


The call announced just 45 minutes before the scheduled start time was less than 5 minutes in duration.  It also started 25 minutes late. 

CMS Administrator Seem Verma read from a script, offering highlights of the data compiled by CMS that was released earlier today.  This information included a  statistic regarding Outpatient Mental Health Care for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries.  According to CMS, from March – May 2020, there were 44% fewer outpatient visits for children and youth insured by Medicaid and CHIP.

Administrator Verma called for communities to come together to address ‘forgone care’  that threatens achievement of important developmental milestones and public health due to severe decreases in vaccination rates as well as mental health care primary care visits, and screenings.

There were no questions permitted from call participants.  Administrator Verma read her statement, called communities across the country to action, and ended the call.  

Editorial Note:  More than once Administrator Verma mentioned that CMS has made extraordinary efforts to combat the issues highlighted in the data however there was no offer of assistance, financial or otherwise, to states or localities to combat these findings. Ms. Verma intimated that the delay in re-opening schools has been/continues to be a major cause for the reduction in healthcare services being provided to Medicaid and CHIP children and youth.  If this sounds familiar to you, it should.  President Trump takes every opportunity to blame Governors, state education leaders (and parents although he doesn’t come out and say it) for the decisions they have made regarding whether a child should return to school and at what frequency.  This takes ‘blame the victim’ to a new level.

If the editorial note above offends you I do apologize.  Sometimes you just have to say it.