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Health equity

Supporting sickle cell disease Medicaid demonstration bill

APA joins coalition letter to Congress to support legislation that would authorize the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop a Medicaid demonstration project to improve access to care, including mental health care, for individuals living with sickle cell disease.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, October 19). Supporting sickle cell disease Medicaid demonstration bill. http://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/sickle-cell-medicaid-demonstration

grandmother, mother, and daughter sitting in a medical office waiting room

APA recently signed a coalition letter to sickle cell disease (SCD) congressional champions to encourage them to introduce the SCD Medicaid demonstration bill. The bill would authorize the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop a Medicaid demonstration project to improve access to state-of-the-art, high-quality outpatient comprehensive care that includes mental health care for individuals living with SCD, with a focus on young adults.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited, lifelong disorder affecting nearly 100,000 Americans. The COVID-19 crisis exacerbated the already fragile system of care for many patients with SCD. Data on the impact of COVID-19 in the United States shows a disproportionate impact on the African American population, due to barriers to primary and preventive care and underlying comorbid conditions placing individuals at higher risk for contracting COVID-19.

APA is a member of the Sickle Cell Disease Coalition (SCDC). APA works with the coalition to shift disease management of SCD from acute care of complications to a chronic care model that focuses on crises prevention, mental health treatment, and intervention and relief for common complications. The focus is on a coordinated health care delivery system that ensures access to quality medical and mental health care regardless of age, location, and socioeconomic status.

The Medicaid demonstration project is designed to improve access to comprehensive, high-quality outpatient care, including recommended clinical, mental health, ancillary, and support services for individuals living with SCD who are enrolled in Medicaid, with an emphasis on targeting young adults and pregnant women with SCD.

For more information, contact Erin Swedish.