Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Urgent-Call Your State Representative and Urge Them to Oppose Page 121 of the Rider Packet Regarding Acute Therapy Services!

We just got word out of Austin that there has been a rider (amendment) proposed to the Texas House budget bill that could result in SIGNIFICANT cuts to funding for Medicaid therapy in the State of Texas!!  We need your help to oppose this amendment!  Below is a link to find your representative’s contact info along with some sample language that you can use in your call.  Please email me back and let me know that you called.  Feel free to give my contact number if they need any further information.
Please call your State Representatives now and tell them to oppose this amendment! It is extremely urgent as the vote is Tuesday (today!) 
Estimated savings to Medicaid in the Senate version, which could decimate home care therapy, was put at $200 million. Call your House Representatives immediately to oppose this rider and keep it out of the House budget! 
Here is a link to find your representative:
Sample Message for Caregivers of Children Who Could Be Impacted:
My name is __________, and I live in your district.  My child receives the following therapy services: ______________________________.  Without these services or limited access my child would suffer in the following ways: ______________________________________________________.
Sample Message for Providers:

Hello, my name is _______________ and I'm calling to ask Representative _______________ to oppose a proposed amendment to the House budget. This amendment would have a devastating impact on therapy services for children with special needs.

This is Rep. Greg Bonnen's Rider related to Acute Therapy Services, on page 121 of the rider packet.

This Rider would amount to a 44% cut to therapy services. The estimated savings of $200 million to the Medicaid program is completely unrealistic and unsustainable for acute care therapy services.

These drastic reductions in therapy reimbursement will limit access to medically-necessary therapy services for children with disabilities.

These reductions are not consistent with the HHSC Consolidated Budget that shows therapy providers are being appropriately reimbursed under the current rate structure.

The study upon which this amendment is based is extremely flawed. It was not shared with the public prior to budget decisions and therefore no public input was received.

HHSC continues to look at rate cuts to contain growth in spending, rather than appropriate policy changes to ensure appropriate utilization.
Dr. Greg Bonnen, the representative who introduced this rider covers state district 24 which is right here in the Houston area.  His district covers portions of League City, Friendswood, Dickinson and Galveston.  If you are in these areas we urge you to contact his office and oppose this rider as the representatives are often more responsive to the constituents from their own districts. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pediatric Physical Therapy Benefits Young Patients

Pediatricians are often prompted to recommend physical therapy for young children with certain genetic disabilities or conditions like cerebral palsy to help address their difficulty with movement or performing everyday routine activities.
Physical therapy is a treatment generally given to patients with any medical condition that impedes movement. An injured person, for example, commonly undergoes therapy to facilitate recovery. The treatment may also help improve overall fitness and physical health.
Pediatric physical therapy, in particular, is geared toward enabling children to perform daily activities with the least amount of difficulty as possible. Different therapeutic exercises are used to help them strengthen and regain their bodily functions. In very young children, physical therapy enables one to achieve developmental skills, such as crawling and walking, as well as to improve coordination and balance.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Benefits of Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Through pediatric occupational therapy, a child may recover from injury, illness, or disability and consequently live a happier life. 

What is occupational therapy? 

This treatment approach is for people who have physical, cognitive, or sensory disabilities. A typical program focuses on enabling the individual to reach their highest level of independence, build valuable skills, and gain confidence.

Children may have no “occupations” per se, but this does not mean occupational therapy is not suitable for them. Kids, after all, also have jobs to do, and those are to learn and to play. A therapist can use daily activities, play, and school performance to determine a child’s appropriate developmental level.

What are the advantages of occupational therapy? 

  • Interventions are designed to help a child better respond to sensory information.
  • Play facilitation aids children in communication and interaction.
  • The therapy involves activities that are meaningful to a child’s life.
  • Therapy may reduce limitations on a child’s participation in family and community activities.
  • Through therapy, the individual’s need for assistive technology can be determined.
If your child has a cognitive or motor difficulty, it’s a good idea to talk to therapists who offer pediatric occupational therapy in Stafford. This could well be the solution you seek.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Children with Autism Can Benefit From Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a method that could help children with autism develop useful skills that can help them later in life. The goal of this therapy is to promote independence and social interaction with other children. According to an article from Autism Speaks, a study found that an occupational therapy method called “sensory integration” effectively improves daily functions in children with autism.

Occupational therapists use sensory integration to help children process sensory information like sounds, tastes, movement, and smells much more efficiently. Children with autism might find these simultaneous channels of information overwhelming, which is why expert assistance in this aspect would be quite helpful in social situations. Through the continuous application of the therapy, children with autism may better deal with:

      1.       Social interaction and play skills
      2.      Loud noises and short attention spans
      3.      Motor skills and coordination
      4.      Transitioning to new activities

Not all children with autism will need occupational therapy, but it is a type of treatment that may help them in the long run. Parents who are interested in including occupational therapy in their children’s routine should carefully weigh their kid’s specific needs before making a decision. The best course is to consult with a doctor or an occupational therapist to determine suitability of the treatment.

Monday, March 2, 2015

How to Choose a Pediatric Home Care Service

Constant care and attention are vital to children’s early development, particularly those with specific needs. While parents may educate themselves about recommended care practices, they still stand to benefit a great deal from the services and added assistance that a reliable pediatric home care agency has to offer. 

Home Care

This type of service allows children to receive care in their own home instead of going to a facility somewhere else. In this setup, the therapist or nurse can provide the necessary therapy or treatment in familiar and comfortable surroundings.