Texas Tribune: Medicaid Payment Cuts in Texas Worry Therapy Providers

Therapists are an integral part of recovery for older adults recovering from a stroke, or other acute health crisis. Occupational, physical,  and speech therapists help people learn to talk, walk, hopefully, live independently. State Medicaid cuts will impact these services, as this story explores, and may end up costing the state more money in the long-run-SP

 

 

Some cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates will take effect on Jan. 1, putting Texas’ Medicaid spending on par with that of many other states. But as Jessica Mahoney of KUT News reports, providers of physical, occupational and speech therapy worry many could be left without services.

 

Listen to the full story here: Texas Tribune

Medicaid and State Budget Cuts: It’s Complicated

As states try to balance budgets and social needs, blame is increasingly easy to be passed around. However, it is important to remember the people that are impacted by these budget cuts and the real life consequences of these changes.

Check out this story from NPR that breaks down the differences between Medicaid and Medicare, and sheds light on the driving costs of Medicaid: Click here.

From NPR:

“Medicaid provides health care to people with low incomes, who also meet certain other categories. And while the federal government pays more than half of the bill, the share the states pay consumes 22 percent of the average state’s budget. That’s more than they pay for education, transportation or other large budget items.”

The story highlights one of the problems with our current situation with Medicaid:

  • While 75% of Medicaid enrollees are children and eligible adults, they make up only 1/3 of the cost of Medicaid
  • Meanwhile 25% of Medicaid enrollees are the elderly, but they make up 2/3 of Medicaid spending

Many plans to pare down the costs of Medicaid focus on reducing eligibility to younger people, you can see the impact would be limited because they make up the minority portion of spending. To make a real impact , states could implement plans to better coordinate care for older adults, offer more preventative or supportive services to keep people healthy and out of the hospital, or work harder to prevent Medicaid fraud.

 

What are your thoughts to improve the current Medicaid budget situation? Leave your thoughts below.