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Lawmakers Focus on Flaws in Texas Medicaid Program After Dallas Morning News Investigation

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
06/27/18  12:40 PM PST
Texas Medicaid Program

Lawmakers Focus on Flaws in Texas Medicaid Program After Dallas Morning News Investigation – By Sydney Greene for the Texas Tribune

State lawmakers spent hours Wednesday pressing state officials, along with private companies that manage health care for Medicaid recipients, about a recent investigation by The Dallas Morning News that revealed how Texas is failing to provide care to some of its most medically vulnerable citizens. 

The House Human Services Committee met to discuss the state’s managed care program, in which Texas hires companies to coordinate care for Texans on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program. The newspaper report found that Medicaid managed care companies withhold patient care and medical equipment under a system that pays them a flat fee for every Texan in the program.

Part of the investigation focused on twins D’ashon and D’asia Morris, who were born with severe birth defects and were placed in foster care after they tested positive for drugs at birth. While D’ashon Morris was a foster child under Superior HealthPlan — a managed care program for foster children — he was denied 24-hour nursing care that would prevent suffocation, according to The Dallas Morning News’ report.

The report said providing that care would have cost Superior Health as much as $500 a day. One day, when D’ashon was in temporary foster care while his foster mother, Linda Badawo, was traveling outside the country, he started choking. After nurses and medics performed CPR for 40 minutes, D’ashon was taken to the hospital, where doctors concluded that he had gone too long without oxygen to his brain — he would be brain dead for the rest of his life.

“Superior is 100 percent responsible,” Badawo, who has since adopted D’ashon, told lawmakers Wednesday, her voice shaking. “I strongly believe that they don’t have any passion for what they do.”

It wasn’t until after the accident that Superior gave D’ashon 24-hour care, the Morning News reported.

Read the Full Article on the Texas Tribune.