During the 84th Texas Legislative Session, there was a bill passed to cut $350 million from therapy services given through the Texas Medicaid program which serves medically fragile children with disabilities. However, the effect that such drastic cuts (28% rate reduction for many services) would have on therapy clinics and home health providers was not studied prior to passing the cuts. These Kids Need Your Help!
MedCare co-founder Paige Kinkade says, “The provider reimbursement cuts were made based off of bad data in a flawed report that was provided to the legislature by the Health and Human Services commission. But it’s our families that are suffering. When a child is in therapy, every month, every year counts. This is an access to care issue and hundreds of families in our community cannot access care. Here’s what we are seeing, right here in Fort Bend County:
Sandra Perez’s son Joaquin spent eight months on a waitlist before receiving occupational, speech and physical therapy services from MedCare. Sandra says, “Being on the waitlist, I felt like Joaquin was a second class citizen. Not a priority for anyone. Today, MedCare has brought the light back into his life. Joaquin can now walk. He won a 3rd grade pizza party for improvement in vocabulary. But I’m concerned about maintaining his therapies in the near future. If authorizations are delayed, he may have to go without.”
Tashera Steven’s 17 year old daughter Kianna was diagnosed with ADHD and short term memory issues in 3rd grade. Finally, in 9th grade, she started receiving speech therapy twice a week. It was something Tashera had to fight for. “It was very hard to get services, like pulling teeth.” Today, Kianna’s services have been cut to once a week, even though she is still recommended for twice a week.
Veronica Hernandez’s two sons, Henry and Jayden, both need occupational therapy. Both kids have been on a therapy waitlist for more than a year, with no explanation why. Veronica has contacted at least five therapy companies with the same result. “They put us on the waitlist, and then they call us to tell us unfortunately they can’t be seen yet.”
Adriana Ledesma’s daughter Leah is eight years old with global developmental delay. She merely wants basic age level skills for her daughter, but after six months, she remains on a waitlist for therapy.
“What we are asking,” continues Paige, “is for each of you to use your voice to reach out to local legislative offices. Clients affected include low income families, but also families that have children with complex medical needs—severe developmental delays, autism, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. Treatment is essential to them. Our legislature is very welcoming and seemingly interested. However, not as many families have come to them as we would like…so they don’t understand how significant this problem is in Texas. We need your help!”
MedCare Pediatric Group, LP
12371 S. Kirkwood Rd.
Stafford, Texas 77477