Pediatrician and PCMH Kids co-founder Dr. Elizabeth Lange weighs in on Medicaid Pediatric Healthcare Recovery Program impact

  • 17 Nov 2023
Dr. Elizabeth Lange

We connected with Dr. Elizabeth Lange, a pediatrician at Coastal Medical - Waterman Pediatrics and PCMH Kids co-founder on the impact of the Medicaid Pediatric Healthcare Recovery Program on the primary care industry.

How have the Pediatric Relief dollars helped support the work and impact of your practice?
Thanks to the Pediatric Relief dollars, pediatric offices had the funds to afford staff time to review the practice’s vaccine data, to contact patients with vaccines due and to protect time in the office schedule to accommodate the office visits necessary to administer these vaccines. In this program, each medical office also had a practice facilitator who helped each office access and use the vaccine data to improve their pediatric patient vaccination rates.

What unique hurdles have you experienced and worked to address through this program?
In a busy pediatric practice, especially with catch-up inherent with deferred care during the pandemic, time and staffing are a premium. The practice facilitators played a key role helping practices to access their vaccine data, to help build workflows for contacting patients and to make appointments for well child and vaccine visits. This program also highlighted the importance of accurate data. The KIDSNET database and the RIDOH staff were invaluable partners in this work. But it quickly became clear that having each patient linked in KIDSNET to the proper pediatric medical home was the key foundation to improving vaccination rates. Read more.

Why is investment in primary care important to practices in RI?
Primary care is the cornerstone for lifelong health. With regular appointments in a medical home, patients have access to a physical exam and preventative screenings for mental health, diabetes, obesity, and vaccinations, to name a few. Healthier citizens are productive citizens with lower healthcare costs. Historically primary care medical services are financially under-resourced which, in turn, is one large reason why RI is currently experiencing a crisis in access to primary healthcare. The improvement in pediatric vaccine rates in this program prove the investments in primary care yield good health dividends.