Harrisburg, PA - The Shapiro Administration today announced it has completely eliminated a backlog of Medicaid provider enrollment and revalidation applications, paving the way for more health care providers to become part of the Medicaid program, and giving Medicaid recipients more options for care. This announcement follows news in late April that the Department of Human Services (DHS) had already reduced the provider backlog by 75 percent within Governor Shapiro’s first 100 days in office.
As of January 2023, there was a backlog of more than 35,000 provider applications and revalidation applications that were more than 30 days old. Within the first 100 days of the Administration, the number of waiting applicants was reduced by 75 percent to under 8,500 applications, and that backlog has now been entirely eliminated.
“Pennsylvania is fortunate to have so many caring, high-quality health care providers and professionals who want to be part of the Medicaid program and care for some of our most vulnerable friends, neighbors, and loved ones,” said DHS Acting Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh. “I want to thank them and DHS staff who worked so diligently on this issue. They have helped to ensure that Medicaid recipients in the Commonwealth can continue to get the care they need and deserve.”
By federal law, organizations are not able to offer care to patients under the Medicaid program unless they are enrolled providers. In addition, DHS must revalidate Medicaid service providers every five years. Any backlogs in processing applications means that providers who want to offer services to Medicaid recipients cannot do so until their applications are approved.
The Medicaid program in Pennsylvania serves more than 3.7 million people, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Recognizing the scope of the backlog and its impact on Pennsylvanians, the Shapiro Administration and DHS staff and leadership acted quickly to address it, removing roadblocks to processing applications quickly and cutting red tape.
“Because DHS mobilized quickly and provided additional resources to this effort, Pennsylvania’s Community Health Centers (also known as federally qualified health centers) have been able to ensure that they are there for the more than one million Pennsylvanians who count on them for access to quality, affordable medical, behavioral, dental, vision care, and other healthcare services. Access to health care services is paramount to having healthy communities,” said Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers President and CEO Cheri Rinehart.
The Shapiro Administration is committed to transforming Pennsylvania government to more effectively and efficiently serve Pennsylvanians, and DHS’ efforts to reduce and eliminate wait times and backlogs for Medicaid service providers are in addition to Governor Shapiro’s Executive Order to improve the Commonwealth’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes.
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