UPDATE: 3/22 –
Thursday was the deadline for El Paso Children’s Hospital and Medicaid’s “Superior Health Plan” to negotiate a contract.
According to an EPCH spokesperson, negotiations are being finalized and the hospital is “optimistic” about the deal that is being worked out.
Children on Medicaid’s “Superior Health Plan” may no longer be able to get specialized treatment at El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) if the two entities cannot reach a deal.
More than 130,000 children in El Paso County are covered by some form of Medicaid, according to EPCH’s President and CEO, Cindy Stout.
Stout says the negotiations with these Medicaid organizations are important so that the costs for care are reimbursed at a fair rate.
“It would mean that children may not necessarily have access to the level 4 neonatal intensive care unit or to a children’s oncology group for our cancer patients, which allows them to have a wider access to clinical trials. They would not have access to a pediatric intensive care unit with the most trained pediatric intensivists,” said Stout.
If there is no agreement, patients receiving specialized treatment from the pediatric intensive care unit or the oncology center will continue to be covered until they are discharged even if the deadline has passed. For other specialty care, patients may be considered out of network.
“We want to make sure we reach a good agreement with Superior Health Plan. I believe that as a mother and a healthcare professional here in El Paso County, that our children deserve to have the level of care that is only provided at this facility, so we hope to continue in good faith these negotiations with them,” said Stout.
The last time this Medicaid contract was negotiated was in 2012. The deadline for a new contract is March 21.
For more information, patients can call (915) 242-8377 Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm or visit www.elpasochildrens.org