TX – House Approves Bill to Reverse Medicaid Cuts to Children’s Therapy Services
August 2017 ~
The Texas House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass House Bill 25 (HB25), a bill that includes complete restoration of Medicaid funding to pay for vital services for children with disabilities. Funding rates were cut in 2015 by $350 million based on data that was later found to be flawed.
The cut reduced the rate at which speech, physical and occupational therapists are reimbursed by Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor and disabled, when they treat children with disabilities. It was approved by the 2015 Legislature after a study found Texas’ Medicaid program pays therapists more generously than programs in other states.
“This was simply not a valid or complete study,” Representative Sarah Davis said. “We made the wrong decision in the 84th legislative session, and now we have the opportunity to correct that.”
The Texas House, on August 3, tentatively passed House Bill 25 unanimously in a vote of 138-0. On August 4, the House in a vote of 141-0 gave the bill final approval, but included an amendment to change where some funding comes from (the Disaster Relief Fund versus the Rainy Day Fund).
“By restoring the [Medicaid reimbursement] rates today, we’re doing the right thing for Texas children while remaining fiscally conservative,” Davis said.
Final approval of HB25 would restore $160 million in Medicaid reimbursement rates for speech, physical, and occupational therapists. HB25 now goes to the Senate.
Source(s): Texas Tribune; HMA Roundup; My Statesman; Houston Press; Texas ISD;