Budget cuts hinder children with disabilities

February 15, 2017

Disabled children and their families shouldn’t have to jump through hoops for any type of state-funded care. These kids need the state’s help, and we should be able to provide for them. But lawmakers tightened the budget and, with it, reduced access to life-altering services. A $350 million Medicaid budget cut went into effect last December. The cut sliced off funding for pediatric therapy, potentially affecting as many as 60,000 children and their families. Medicaid therapy cuts meant many children Read More ...

Severely disabled kids called at risk as Texas enacts Medicaid cost savings plan  Texas Legislature Dallas News

Severely disabled kids’ lives at risk, parents say, as Texas enacts Medicaid cost-savings plan

February 13, 2017

AUSTIN — Amy Pratt drove her severely disabled son, Quinten, four-plus hours to Children’s Medical Center Dallas only to learn the insurance company that Texas hired to care for him had suddenly denied payment for an important procedure, one that could potentially save the 9-year-old’s life. In El Paso, 11-year-old Rudy Smith lost most of the therapy services that helped him cope with cerebral palsy and a severe form of epilepsy, which plagues him with 50 to 100 seizures a Read More ...

Bexar County therapy providers project financial losses under Medicaid cuts

February 4, 2017

After Texas moved forward with cuts in Medicaid reimbursements to therapists who work with disabled children, providers in Bexar County are projecting losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The reimbursements under the state Medicaid program cover physical, occupational and speech therapy for poor children with disabilities. The state Legislature previously approved $350 million in cuts, though now some legislators, including House Speaker Joe Straus, are working on a plan to reverse them. Kim Jefferies, chief executive officer of Read More ...

House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Debate over Medicaid therapy cuts to be warm-up budget battle

January 31, 2017

As Texas House and Senate leaders gird for a high-stakes fight over the state budget, a preliminary round of that showdown is taking shape over whether to partially undo cuts to a Medicaid program that reimburses therapists who serve low-income people with disabilities. House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, is hoping to lessen the burden of the cuts the Legislature adopted in 2015 through the coming supplemental budget, which plugs holes in the current budget, for 2016 and 2017, and Read More ...

Texas moves forward with cuts of therapy services for disabled children

January 27, 2017

More than a year after lawmakers originally ordered it, Texas announced Monday it will enact significant cuts to the money that it pays therapists who treat vulnerable children with disabilities in two weeks. Medicaid reimbursement rates are used to pay for pediatric therapy services provided to disabled babies and toddlers. Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the state’s Health and Human Services Commission, said that Texas will apply cuts on Medicaid rates on Dec. 15 in attempt to achieve savings directed by Read More ...

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