Children's Hospital CEO Speaks Up on Behalf of Washington's Children
Seattle, Wash. – Treuman Katz, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, called upon Washington state’s lawmakers to protect our state’s 150,000 children on Medicaid at the opening session of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) annual meeting Sept. 30 – Oct. 2.
Seattle, Wash. – Treuman Katz, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, called upon Washington state’s lawmakers to protect our state’s 150,000 children on Medicaid at the opening session of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) annual meeting Sept. 30 through Oct. 2.
“This is the most severe proposed state budget reduction that I have seen in my 24 years at Children’s,” said Katz, who was addressing some 500 children’s hospital leaders and national medical experts attending the meeting.
Washington state has led the nation in providing health care for children by electing to pay for various Medicaid options that expanded coverage. This resulted in increased access and improved health outcomes at the lowest of costs. According to Washington data, emergency room visits and hospitalization rates have decreased over the past decade due to good preventive care.
However, as the state government works to address its budget shortfalls, it is proposing to cut Medicaid coverage for low-income children. “Children are not driving health care costs,” said Katz. “Less than 25 percent of the Medicaid budget is spent on children, yet children comprise over 60 percent of Medicaid enrollees. The state’s proposal is short sighted because by cutting coverage we will be faced with greater costs and, more importantly, worsening health care for our children.”
The State is attempting to access unspent federal State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds to cover adults on the Basic Health Plan, at the same time they propose cutting children from coverage. “This makes no sense. Forty percent of the children served at Children’s rely on health coverage through Medicaid and SCHIP and each day we see more and more families out of work and without health insurance for their children,” said Katz. “In this economic downturn, it is more important now
than ever that Washington obtain the necessary federal authority to use SCHIP funds as they were intended: to meet the needs of our children.”
Members of Washington state’s congressional delegation are working to obtain SCHIP funds to protect children on Medicaid.
Discussions are currently taking place in the U.S. Senate regarding SCHIP funding. “We encourage all citizens to write their U.S. Senators and urge them to address the SCHIP issue for children this year,” said Katz.
About Seattle Children’s
Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.
Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.
Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.
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