Press Release – August 30, 2016
Texas Children May Lose Their Doctors
(DALLAS, TX) – This fall, thousands of Texas’ most medically fragile children will no longer be allowed to see their current doctors and therapists who have been caring for their delicate lives and medical needs. In order to stay out of the hospital and really just stay alive, these children need immediate access to highly specialized doctors in their fields. Beginning November 1, these children will no longer have that option.
A group of local North Texas moms whose children will be affected 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. This past Saturday, Representatives Tinderholt and Zedler met some medically fragile children and committed to helping them. Upcoming meetings include Senator Burton and Nelson.
Special needs children in the state’s Medically Dependent Children’s Program (MDCP) will be forced to transition to restrictive private regional managed care insurance plans which act similar to an HMO. These children currently have health plans similar to a PPO which allow them to see the doctors and specialists they need for their conditions.
As a result of a mandatory change in policy, many children will lose access to the doctors who are essential to treating their complex conditions.
Beth Brooks, a Fort Worth resident, whose daughter Eden Brooks has an ultra rare neurodegenerative disease, Late Infantile Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, says, “My daughter is 7 ½ years old. That ½ is very important because she continues to beat the odds and surprise everyone with her resilience. Eden wouldn’t be here today without the great care team that the MDCP program has afforded us. 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.”
With Eden’s medical condition being so rare, Brooks is concerned that the limited doctors she will be forced to choose from under this new state program will not provide the same level of care that she currently receives or even be familiar with her rare condition and needs.
Families should be able to make their own decisions in the best interests of their child’s well-being, especially when it comes to their medical needs.
“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 child’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.