Cincinnati Children's President James M. Anderson Appointed to Medicaid Commission

Monday, July 11, 2005

James M. Anderson, president and CEO of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has been appointed to a national advisory commission that will help identify reforms necessary to stabilize and strengthen the Medicaid system.

"I'm honored to be able to bring the children's hospital perspective to the national dialogue," says Anderson. "Medicaid is the single most important public program affecting children's health today. It's imperative that Medicaid reform does not impair the ability of children's hospitals to provide the best possible care for all children."

Anderson's appointment is believed to be the first time a leader of a children's hospital has been called on at the federal level to work on the future of the federal Medicaid program. He is the only leader of a children's hospital appointed to this particular commission.

Medicaid is a program that helps pay for medically necessary medical services for needy and low-income children and adults. Medicaid uses state and federal government money. More than half of Medicaid recipients are children, but children account for only 22 percent of Medicaid spending, which includes children with disabilities. One of every four children and one out of every three babies born in the United States is a Medicaid recipient.

The U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services established the Medicaid Commission "to advise the Secretary on ways to modernize the Medicaid program so that it can provide high-quality health care to its beneficiaries in a financially stable way."

The commission must submit two reports to Secretary Mike Leavitt. The first, due Sept. 1, will outline recommendations for Medicaid to achieve $10 billion in savings during the next five years and for beginning meaningful, long-term enhancements that can better serve beneficiaries. For this report, the commission will also consider potential performance goals for Medicaid. The second report, due Dec. 31, 2006, will provide recommendations to help ensure the long-term sustainability of Medicaid.

"The Medicaid Commission needs to understand that Medicaid affects the ability of children's hospitals to serve all children, not just children on Medicaid," says Lawrence A. McAndrews, president and CEO of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI). "That's because Medicaid provides the financial underpinning for children's hospitals."

Cincinnati Children's is a 423-bed institution devoted to bringing the world the joy of healthier kids. Cincinnati Children's is dedicated to transforming the way health care is delivered by providing care that is timely, efficient, effective, family-centered, equitable and safe. It ranks third nationally among all pediatric centers in research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Cincinnati Children's vision is to be the leader in improving child health.

Contact Information

Jim Feuer, jim.jeuer@cchmc.org, 513-636-4656