Keep Therapy In Texas!

Keep Therapy In Texas!

Medically fragile children are at risk of losing therapy services! In response to the 84th Legislative Session budget bill passed in June, the Health and Human Service Commission (HHSC) is proposing to reduce reimbursement rates to Medicaid therapy services by $101 millionand additional $25 millionin policy changes starting 9/1/2015! Call your state legislators and keep therapy in Texas! Speech Therapy Visits to be reduced by 27%

  • Physical and Occupational Therapy Evaluations and Re-Evaluations between 17-53%.
  • HHSC has based this decision on what they say is the “median Texas commercial rate”.  This median commercial rate has not been published and the method by which the commission determined this rate has also not been released to the public.
  • The reduction being applied is currently up to 25% of the entire program’s funding. No other service provider group has received such a drastic cut in the past decade.
  • The Commission has done no analysis of what such a devastating cut would do to the provider network, quality of care and availability of therapy for children with disabilities and elderly adults, as is required by Section 1902 of the Social Security Act.

Please follow the steps below. You are able to click on the links and you will be guided to a page to assist in each step. 1) Call the Capitol or District office of your legislator and ask to speak to the person who handles health care issues.  You can  find your legislator by visiting the website Who Represents Me and typing in your home address. Click the Link, find your legislator! 2) Introduce yourself, tell them you are a constituent and talk about your service area – including how many people work at Angels of Care and how many patients you serve. Angels of Care Therapy Department: 100-120 Therapists and Office Staff

  • Angels of Care Provides Services to an estimated 350 patients. Each patient receives 1-3 disciplines (PT, OT, ST).

3) Call your legislators and invite them to attend the upcoming public rate hearing on July 20th at HHSC. You may use these talking points to discuss therapy rates. $101 millionthrough rate cuts and additional $25 millionin policy changes

  • Speech Therapy Visits to be reduced by 27%
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy Evaluations and Re-Evaluations between 17-53%.

4) How can the legislator help you?  Ask your legislator to weigh-in with the Health and Human Services Commission with a letter or by calling the HHSC Executive Commissioner.  Here is a sample letter that your legislators can use to write to Commissioner Traylor. If a reduction is necessary, request a more reasonable, phased-in reduction after working with stakeholders.

  • Demand that HHSC consider access to care as required in the budget rider in making reductions.

5) Finally, follow-up the phone call with a thank you email to the person you spoke to and/or to your legislator.  In your written correspondence, thank them for their attention to this issue and urge them to attend the public hearing.  Here is a sample letter that you can email to your legislator. 6) If your patients and families would like to do outreach to legislators, here are some sample consumer talking points that they can use. Please share with friends, family, nurses, therapists, and everyone else. If we do not help and support these kids, who will? Providers may not be able to continue services with these dramatic cuts. Thank you so much for doing your part! Share the #keeptherapyintexas and/or the attachment in your social media sites to spread the word! #keeptherapyintexas