Wednesday, June 26, 2013

HHSC Proposes MORE Rate Cuts to Medicaid Reimbursement for Therapies in Home Health and Outpatient Facilities

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has proposed MORE cuts to Medicaid reimbursement for Physical, Occupation, and Speech Therapy services in both home health and outpatient facilities. HHCS just cut the reimbursement rates in 2012 and now they want to cut reimbursement again! The proposed rate cuts are to go into effect September 1st, 2013.

There will be a public hearing to receive comments regarding the proposed Medicaid rates on July 10th, 2013 at 8:30 am in the Winters Public Hearing Room at 701 W. 51st St. Austin, TX 78751, with entrance through security at the front of the building facing 51st St. HHSC will consider concerns expressed prior to final rate approval.

As the CEO of one of the largest pediatric therapy organizations in Texas, I urge you to follow this story and I implore you to HELP! These proposed cuts will impact organizations and employers abilities to provide basic benefits to their e...mployees. Furthermore, there is no specific methodology used by the Texas Department of Health & Human Services to enforce such drastic reimbursement reductions. Home Health and Outpatient Rehab Centers took deep cuts in 2012 after a hard fought battle to maintain rates for Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy services for medically and/or developmentally delayed and fragile children. We urge all our friends and supporters to contact your local and state representatives to oppose these additional cuts! Please act today! All it takes is a few minutes of your time to call, email or fax your local representative and tell them TO STOP FURTHER REIMBURSEMENT CUTS to Home Health and Outpatient Rehab Facilities.

If you know even one child who has had a sports injury, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, cleft lip/palate, spinal cord injury, birth defect, motor vehicle accident or any other type of acute trauma or head injury that has needed physical, occupational or speech therapy you should care about this issue. Please don't ignore this call to action.

MedCare operates on very slim margins and due to government funding we are not even able to borrow working capital to run our business because banks will not lend against government reimbursement. Organizations like MedCare WILL BE FORCED to pass cuts on to our employees who work hard every day in this industry. These employees have student loans and families they must maintain. They work in this industry because they care about children and they want to help.

MedCare has been in business for over 22 years and today more than ever we need your support to STOP cuts that will negatively impact the children in the end. Health insurance costs for our employees will rise 13% beginning 9/1/13. Corporate merit increase for the cost of living for 2013 rose an additional 2% on average. Supplies and equipment costs to service and maintain our business rose across the board. Yet, we continue to be pounded with unmerited reimbursement rates.

In 2013, after an 8% reduction in our rates, we were promised a collaborative effort on any future rate reviews. Yet, here again, we find ourselves begging to keep our doors open alongside thousands of Texas families who are desperate for services. We, like our peer colleagues in the industry continue the struggle to treat the hundreds of children on wait lists because the demand is simply greater than the supply. Why would any intelligent individual choose a career in pediatric therapy when their very livelihood is threatened year after year? Because we truly care. Did you know plumbers with trade school training earn more per hour than a doctorate level Physical Therapist? The folks in Austin in charge of reimbursement continue to add insult to injury by yet again reducing the rates to provide this essential service. Please don't let Texas children suffer longer wait lists and continued government blocking of access to care through inadequate reimbursements leaving them doomed to a failed system. They need your voice!

Please keep updated on this critical issue on our FB page, MedCare Pediatrics. Like and share to stop the insanity!
Paige Kinkade, CEO
MedCare Pediatrics