Washington, DC--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--July 22, 2004--“Today is a landmark day in health care for America’s undocumented working poor,” said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance). “We applaud the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quickly putting draft rules into place and announcing today a new program that will provide $1 billion in funds to reimburse emergency care for undocumented persons.”
The Medicare Modernization Act passed by Congress last year set aside $250 million a year for the next four years (a total of $1 billion) to help hospitals and certain other emergency care providers provide emergency services to individuals who are uninsured or cannot afford emergency care. Payments will be made directly to hospitals, physicians, and ambulance providers, as long as they did not receive payment from any other source such as the person treated or an insurance company.
“Emergency services are a critical part of public health for everyone in our communities, including undocumented immigrants,” said Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., administrator of CMS. “With $250 million a year in new funding, the new Medicare law gives us a greater ability than ever to provide that support.”
“All persons deserve access to quality health care, especially those whose labor is an important part of our society. Today’s announcement is a critical step to improving the health of the undocumented working poor and the nation,” Dr. Delgado concluded.
The Alliance also announced the availability to all persons of help in finding health services in their community through the Alliance’s 1-866-SU-FAMILIA (1-866-783-2645) National Hispanic Family Health Helpline. Callers get free reliable and confidential health information in Spanish and English. Bilingual health information specialists can also refer callers to a local health care provider in their community.
The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the nation’s oldest and largest network of Hispanic health professionals. The nation’s action forum for Hispanic health, Alliance members deliver services to over 12 million persons every year improving the health of the Americas. For more information, visit the Alliance’s website: http://www.hispanichealth.org
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