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Advocacy Issue Worth Repeating: Speech-Language Services: Not "Optional"

Steven C. White (2011, April 5). The ASHA Leader.
ASHA Responds to Error in Letter from Health and Human Services
ASHA is helping state associations respond to an erroneous characterization by Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of health and human services, who informed all 50 state governors that “speech therapy” is “optional” under Medicaid.
In a Feb. 3 letter, Sebelius stated that “While some benefits, such as hospital and physician services, are required to be provided by state Medicaid programs, many services, such as prescription drugs, dental services, and speech therapy, are optional.”
Under Medicaid, however, speech-language and hearing services (and speech-generating devices and hearing aids) for children up to age 21 are required under the federally mandated Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program.
An attachment to the Sebelius letter, “Medicaid Cost-Savings Opportunities,” includes a Medicaid benefits table. The EPSDT program is clearly part of the mandatory services, but the letter lists “speech, hearing and language disorder services” under the optional services category.
See the full Article HERE

PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.


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