Friday, June 5, 2009

National Health Law Program wants to know if your child's services have been cut since July 2008

In late March of 2009, the National Health Law Program published their analysis of certain aspects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with relation to medicaid. They make the following statement:
If your state is considering implementing a Medicaid policy that is more restrictive than its July 1, 2008 rules, please contact us. In particular, we understand that members of Congress are monitoring the extent to which states are proposing service cutbacks. Please contact us if service cutbacks are being proposed or implemented. We are also interested in hearing from advocates in states that may obtain enhanced FMAP but use it for non-Medicaid purposes, i.e. on highways or other infrastructure projects.
In other words, if any of your child's services received through medicaid (and I would ask if that shouldn't include EPSDT services provided by your school) have been reduced since July of 2008, then your state isn't eligible for that nice chunk of federal money coming it's way. It's what NHelp refers to as the "maintenance of effort requirement" of ARRA. Individual states will lose their new federal funding if the federal government discovers they've cut disability services (and particularly waiver services) after July of 2008. The states obviously don't want that to happen, but as my roster of the "hall of shame" has grown to 15 states, it appears not a lot of attention is being paid to this requirement. Please, please let NHelp know if there have service cuts in your state (or county) since July 2008 that haven't been reinstated. It's so important for our kids and their futures. NHelp's contact information is:
NOTE: Please be advised that NHeLP cannot provide legal advice to individuals. We are not a direct service agency. The following websites may assist you in locating legal resources in your community:

Los Angeles Office (Main Office)

2639 South La Cienega Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90034-2675 ph: (310) 204-6010 fx: (310) 204-0891

Washington, DC Office

1444 I Street NW, Suite 1105 Washington, DC 20005 ph: (202) 289-7661 fx: (202) 289-7724

North Carolina Office

211 North Columbia Street, 2nd Floor Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3503 ph: (919) 968-6308 fx: (919) 968-8855

Health Consumer Alliance

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.