Insurance Companies Undermine School Clinicians

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Parents are facing a crisis when it comes to private insurance coverage for speech-language therapy services. Insurance companies are finding creative ways to limit coverage or deny speech-language therapy services forcing families to pay out of pocket or go to the public schools. As a result, school clinicians take more children on their caseloads, causing lower quality treatment and they have children on their caseloads for years.

Parents are facing a crisis when it comes to private insurance coverage for speech-language therapy services. Insurance companies are finding creative ways to limit coverage or deny speech-language therapy services forcing families to pay out of pocket or go to the public schools. As a result, school clinicians take more children on their caseloads, causing lower quality treatment and they have children on their caseloads for years.

“My own personal experience was a call from medical review personnel stating they knew a child could receive the same services in the schools at no cost at the age of three. Families are frustrated and angry that insurance companies would offer beneficiaries inadequate and unreasonable coverage for such a critical area of development in a child’s growth. ” stated Marvie Ellis, M.S., CCC-SLP, owner of a pediatric speech-language and occupational therapy practice in Texas and author of two children’s illustrated autism books, Keisha’s Doors & Tacos Anyone?

What can parents do? Parents receiving private therapy services under insurance should be aware of the negative healthcare changes for speech-language coverage. The beneficiary should discuss the need for better speech-language therapy coverage with their human resource department and advocate for better coverage. This strategy works best if several employees collectively attempt the discussion with their HR department.

Parents need to be well informed about the potential high caseload crisis in their school. They should be informed about the possible therapy outcomes for their child’s specific treatment plan. Parents should inquire about the clinician’s caseload at their child’s individual education plan (IEP) meeting and how it will affect direct treatment time. Parents should advocate for better insurance coverage and reduced caseloads for schools clinicians. Taking these steps will result in improved quality of care for children both in school and private settings.

Keisha’s Doors: An Autism Story Book One- ISBN 1-933319-00-3 hardcover price $16.95

Tacos Anyone? An Autism Story Book Two- ISBN 1-933319-02-X hardcover price $16.95

Kill Date:    August 31, 2005

Contact:     Sandy Lawrence, Perceptive Marketing

Phone:         281-807-1300; cell 281-989-8892

Publisher:    Speech Kids Texas Press - http://www.speechkidstexaspress.com

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Sandy Lawrence
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