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Statement from Mayor Bowser on Potential Disruptions of Health Care Services for Medicaid and Alliance Enrollees

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed reports that residents who are enrolled in Medicaid and the Alliance program may soon lose access to the vital health care services they need provided through the MedStar Health System.

“I am aware that many of the 250,000 District residents who receive their health care through the District’s managed care program now face a loss of access to the critical services offered by the MedStar Health System. When the Council, by a 7-6 margin, refused to support a reasonable exemption that would have allowed MedStar’s managed care organization to complete the procurement process, circumstances were created that now threaten the very access to treatment for managed care enrollees at all MedStar hospitals, clinics, their specialty care physicians, and its rehabilitation hospital.

“MedStar is a valuable partner in our city’s health care system. We have learned from past experiences that when access to one major acute care hospital is reduced, the impact will echo through the city’s entire health care system. As a result, all residents – not just the publicly insured – will face unacceptable waiting periods in crowded hospital emergency rooms, difficulty securing primary care visits, and lengthy 3- or 4-month delays for specialty care appointments.

“To ensure that this does not occur, in the coming days, I will announce my proposal to protect the health care of more than 250,000 residents who rely on the Medicaid and Alliance program to fund their health care needs. We will keep fighting for these residents to prevent a chaotic and abrupt disruption.”