Press Release – October 4, 2016
Committee Recommends Delay of STAR Kids for Medically Fragile Children
(DALLAS, TX) – By an overwhelming majority, the STAR Kids Advisory Committee recommended a 12 month delay in implementing the STAR Kids program for medically fragile children.
The STAR Kids Advisory Committee has been meeting for over two years to work out the details of implementing a managed care model for Texas children as mandated by Senate Bill 7 in the 83rd legislature that passed in 2013. STAR Kids will transition 180,000 children on Medicaid from their current insurance which is similar to a PPO to Managed Care Organizations which are similar to a HMO. 5,600 children on the Medically Dependent Childrens Program (MDCP) that receive Medicaid services due to their severe medical needs are currently included in the upcoming STAR Kids managed care model.
STAR Kids is set to roll out in less than 30 days on November 1, 2016, so time is of the essence. The Committee’s recommendation of a delay for this medically fragile population to the Health and Human Services Commission validates what concerned parents, providers, and legislators have been saying all along.
Beth Brooks, a Fort Worth resident, whose daughter Eden Brooks has an ultra rare neurodegenerative disease, Late Infantile Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, says, “My daughter, Eden, is 7 ½ years old. That ½ is very important because she continues to beat the odds and surprise everyone with her resilience. I am extremely concerned with the change to Managed Care Organizations because I have been in a situation like this before where I have had to fight for everything, right down to Eden’s formula that keeps her alive.”
Protect Texas Fragile Kids, a nonprofit organization of parents with medically fragile children, has been meeting extensively with state representatives and senators locally and in Austin to plead with legislators to fix this problem which has unintended negative consequences. The 12-for and 4-against vote on a 12 month delay for medically fragile children is the leverage needed to enact the actual delay. The Health and Human Services Commission and legislators are urged to listen to their Advisory Committee and take action to implement the delay immediately.
“Changing to managed care may cause a delay in services for my daughter that could kill her,” explains Brooks. This is just one family of thousands in the state of Texas whose children’s medical care is set to change in the fall, unless something is done now to protect these vulnerable children.
For more information, visit: www.protectTXfragilekids.org, “Protect TX Fragile Kids” on Facebook, or @fragilechildTX on Twitter.
Please contact Natalie Gregory at 817-819-6666 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. There are several local families, doctors, and state representatives willing to go on camera to better explain this important issue.