For immediate release
March 31, 2017
Contact: Bill Noble, (512) 296-4651
The following statement is from Rachel Hammon, executive director of the Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice:
“We thank House members for restoring budget funds to provide medically necessary therapy to children with disabilities. The budget funds restored in the House Supplemental Budget along with the repeal of the additional harmful policy changes, sends a clear message from the House that children with disabilities in Texas deserve access to appropriate healthcare.
“Many disabled children in Texas have already lost care or are experiencing long delays in receiving new or ongoing therapy services because of the draconian cuts implemented by the Health and Human Services Commisson under the direction of Rider 50 passed last legislative session.
“Ensuring children with disabilities have access to these cirital services saves taxpayer dollars by avoiding more expensive medical interventions and reducing these children’s needs for school-based special education services, translating into future cost-savings for schools and taxpayers.
Kids receive therapy in all areas and corners of Texas and many are being impacted by the cuts. The therapy these kids receive under the Medicaid Acute Care Therapy program help children with birth defects, genetic disorders, physical or cognitive disabilities and those born prematurely to function in daily life. For seniors and adults, the therapy may help in recovery from a broken hip or with progressive diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. A doctor prescribes the therapy in response to a patient’s medical need.
The move by the House comes as the crisis-in-therapy-care continues to escalate as one of the largest home health agencies in Texas announced this week it was forced to suspend therapy services to more than 500 children, citing the rate reductions that went into effect December 15, 2016, combined with the proposed policy changes being implemented by the Health and Human Services Commission this spring.”