San Juan, Puerto Rico – August 4, 2016 – Inaction by the U.S. Congress and the lack of Medicaid parity has left Puerto Rico in a financial limbo unable to meet its obligations. Maria Levis, CEO of Impactivo Consulting, recently published an article on HealthAffairs.org that goes into great detail about this conundrum. She pulls no punches, and elaborates with facts and figures in such a way that everybody can see that when it comes to Medicaid funding, Puerto Rico has been treated like second class citizens.
The purpose of this article is to explain how the Puerto Rican crisis affects U.S. citizens, to detail the impact of unfair Medicaid and health-related funding on P.R. government finances, and to provide recommendations for moving beyond the current impasse.
The Blog Post is broken down into relevant sections, which include:
• The Impact Of The Crisis On Our Most Vulnerable Citizens: On May 1, 2016, Governor Garcia-Padilla declared a moratorium on a $422 million debt payment. This is only the most recent in a string of events which have completely cut off the Island from any form of outside financing. This section explains how the P.R. government has taken extraordinary liquidity measures which include: delaying income tax refunds for citizens, significantly increasing taxes, and increasing outstanding days payable to third party government suppliers. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans have left the island in search of relief, and this includes Nurses and Physicians. The most recent Census data showed that 2,488 health professionals and technicians left the Island in 2014 compared to 864 in 2013.
• The Second Great Migration: The current fiscal and economic crisis has been in the making for the past decade, prompting droves of Puerto Ricans to leave the island. Puerto Rico has experienced the largest wave of migration in its history. More than 80,000 people migrated from Puerto Rico in 2014, a 10,000 migrant increase since 2013. Of deep concern is the question: How prepared are Puerto Rican migrants to live in the US with 43 percent of 2014 migrants indicating that they either spoke no English or did not speak it well.
• The Impact Of Territorial Funding Caps: Multiple federal health and human services programs have established statutory funding caps or limits on maximum spending allowable for the U.S. territories. The Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) stipulates the percent of Medicaid spending which will be covered by the federal government. U.S. territories generally do not actually receive their fair share because of federal Medicaid funding caps. If Puerto Rico had Medicaid parity, the State FMAP formula applied to the Island would yield a 93 percent FMAP, and the Puerto Rican government’s primary fiscal balance would have been completely eliminated and instead Puerto Rico would have produced a surplus of $1.36 billion over the same time period.
• Moving Forward: Ms. Levis closes with the observation that addressing the current crisis in Puerto Rico will involve correcting the fundamental weaknesses that preceded the crisis, increasing the transparency of local finances, improving governance, and working to reverse the deterioration of living conditions on the Island.
Facing the highest national rates of unemployment, poverty, diabetes, hypertension, pediatric asthma, and a health system that fails those with the greatest need, many Puerto Ricans are less concerned with Zika than with the economic and health challenges they face on a daily basis. The United States government has the opportunity to facilitate Puerto Rico’s recovery by enabling parity for Medicaid, Medicare, and other health and social programs for the poor without posing an additional cost to the American tax payers. How many more families need to be broken before Congress acts to ensure that all vulnerable U.S. citizens are treated equally?
To read the Blog Post in its entirety, visit: Federal Policies And Health Disparities In Puerto Rico
About Impactivo Consulting:
Impactivo Consulting is an impact-driven consulting firm that works with leaders to make health and wellness accessible to children, patients and communities. They specialize in connecting population health, quality and financial value to help health organizations make sense of the current health care market and design initiatives that improve health outcomes and financial returns. They currently work with health organizations in Puerto Rico, New York and DC.
For complete information, please visit: http://www.impactivo.com
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Company Name: Impactivo Consulting
Contact Person: Media Relations
Address:PMB 140 1357 Ashford Avenue
City: San Juan
State: Puerto Rico
Country: Puerto Rico