Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Proposed Budget Cuts of Up To 70% Threatens Pediatric Therapy Services Provided

     This is to notify you of proposed healthcare budget cuts to the reimbursement rates of the pediatric therapy services that are provided through Medicaid’s CCP Program. While we were successful in receiving no budget cuts at the state level a couple of months ago, Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has now proposed their budget which negatively affects these services and the therapists that provide them. HHSC has proposed to cut the reimbursement rates for these services by an average of 35-45% with some rates being cut as much as 70%. This much of a decrease in funds will cause the shutdown of many Pediatric Therapy agencies. These agencies would not be able to survive by continuing to pay the therapists what they deserve if the State’s reimbursement to the agencies does do not cover their rates. Your help is requested in voicing your opposition to these cuts in order for these much needed services to continue.

     We will be attending a rate hearing in Austin on November 21st, to voice our concerns with this proposed budget cut to the HHSC. This is a public hearing and there will be other Pediatric Therapy Agencies from around the State as well as the Board of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. We urge you to let HHSC know how you feel and how this would affect not only the children, but also the ripple effect that this would cause on therapists. You can do this by:

  1. going to Austin and letting them know you do not agree with them.
  2. writing a letter, giving a history about your child, and include details how therapy services has helped your child and without these services, how your child’s life would be effected. Give the letter to us by November 18th, and we will bring it to Austin for you. Or fax to us at 713-779-0204.
  3. Contacting HHSC by email, esther.brown@hhsc.state.tx.us,
  4. writing a letter and faxing it directly to HHSC, ATTN: Rate Analysis to 1-512-491-1998, or mail it to:
               US Mail
               Attention: Rate Analysis
               HHSC Rate Analysis, Mail Code H-400
               PO Box 85200
               Austin, Texas 78708-5200

We are hoping to be able to testify against these proposals and advocate for the medically fragile children of Texas for whom therapy services are a necessity, not a privilege. Even though there are many Pediatric Therapy Agencies in Texas, this is the time that we are all united and need to stand for “one cause”…the patients and their families. MedCare has continued to fight against these proposals, contacting local representatives and continuously staying informed of proposed changes and voicing concerns when we disagree with them. You have a voice and can make a difference. Please act quickly, whether it is via email, writing a letter, or by signing the attached petition because the proposed budget cuts are supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2012. The individuals that are proposing this budget cut do not fully realize the “trickle down effect” that will occur if the proposed 35% - 45%, and some up to 70%, cut goes into effect. It is up to all of us, parents, therapists, the public, and Pediatric Agencies—all advocates for medically fragile children—to make them realize how their decisions affect these special kids and EVERYONE who cares for them. We need to protect and care for our children by doing “Whatever it Takes”.


             Paige Kinkade, CEO/Owner
             MedCare Pediatric Group, LP