Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hawaii DOE is billing Medicaid for OT, PT and Speech services our kids are getting at school

Several months ago, I wrote that I had asked the Hawaii Department of Edcuation for an accounting of all funds applied for and/or received from Medicaid for my daughter's services.  I was told verbally, in no uncertain terms, that DOE had received nothing from Medicaid for Hannah's services.

I now have the documentation to show that DOE has been billing Hawaii Medquest for my daughter's occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy services since May 2009.  They have received reimbursements for services provided back to December of 2008.

December 2008 is coincidentally when I received a letter from Hawaii DOE stating that if I did NOT sign and return the letter to them, I was explicitly giving them permission to bill Medicaid on my daughter's behalf.

According to a report by former School Superintendant Pat Hamamoto to the state legislature in December 2009, the state had identified approximately 2500 special ed students receiving Medicaid for whom federally funded reimbursements could be sought.

That's only ten percent of all Hawaii kids receiving special education services.  It's also only about ten percent of all Hawaii children already signed up for Medicaid who have been referred for specialist medical treatments of some sort.

I've written a long article on the Children's Disability Rights Education Association "News and Alerts" page about the need to ensure our kids are signed up for Medicaid, and how we can go about doing so.

It's a gift we as parents can give our children that the law has never given us access to before. And if the schools do their job, they'll actually benefit by receiving federal reimbursements for 75% of the funds they are already spending on your child.

It's a win-win for everyone.

1 comment:

  1. This is nice & useful post !

    I would like to say thanks to blog admin for this post !


    Student of occupational therapy university


About Me

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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.