Texas legislature upholds $350M in Medicaid cuts to therapy providers

Texas lawmakers will not reverse $350 million in Medicaid cuts despite urges from Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, and House Democrats, according to Austin American-Statesman.

 Here are five things to know.

1. State House lawmakers voted 115-21 on Friday to move forward with the Medicaid reimbursement cuts to therapy providers under a Senate budget plan. It still requires Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's signature.

2. The cuts, which were implemented last December, reduced reimbursement for services provided to about 60,000 special needs children in Texas.

3. Texas Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD, a Republican from Georgetown, called for the cuts after a College Station-based Texas A&M study showed some therapists were overcharging the state. Texas A&M later said the study was flawed, but the state's Republican-controlled Legislature approved the reimbursement reductions in 2015, according to Texas Public Radio.

4. At least three home therapy provider groups have discontinued some or all of their services for Medicaid patients since the reimbursement reductions were approved, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

5. Texas lawmakers plan to restore 25 percent of the cuts that were implemented in 2015 in the next state budget, which affects reimbursement for 2018 and 2019, according to the report.  

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