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Officials from Indiana meet with parents to discuss issues with the attendant care program



Indianapolis, Indiana – On Monday, parents of children with complicated medical needs noted that it was better late than never that they had a meeting with senior officials from Governor Eric Holcomb’s office.

A nearly $1 billion Medicaid funding shortfall prompted the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) to remove parents from the list of caregivers eligible for reimbursement under the program. This move has sparked months of protests from families using the attendant care program.

July 1st will mark the start of the transformation. At that moment, in order to continue being their children’s primary caregivers and get reimbursement, parents of children with severe disabilities will need to transition to the organized family caregiving program. Compared to the attendant care program, the structured family caregiving program reimburses at a substantially lower rate.

Jennifer Dewitt led a group of about six mothers of children with complicated medical needs in a meeting with FSSA Secretary Dr. Dan Rusyniak and Governor Eric Holcomb on Monday. The moms presented Holcomb and Rusyniak testimony regarding the effects of the program changes, as well as the findings of a survey conducted among over 200 impacted families, during the one-hour meeting. They also presented a list of demands to the officials, which included letting families know what would make them eligible for the structured family caregiving program, postponing program changes for ninety days, and allowing applications for related services like home modifications to be reimbursed to move forward.

After the fact, Dewitt stated that she thought her team provided Holcomb and Rusyniak with a wealth of material. She stated that it is now their responsibility to return the data to FSSA and choose what to do next.

“We really appreciate the fact that they finally took time to meet with us, although we wish that we would have had this opportunity sooner,” she said.

According to Dewitt, Holcomb informed them that they would hear back from his administration before the end of the week regarding their requests. Officials from the FSSA stated that they are considering the mothers’ petitions and would reply.

“I listened carefully and appreciated the moms bringing their concerns forward. They obviously only want the best for their children. Dr. Rusyniak was with me during the meeting, and we’ll consider the issues they raised as well as changes we can make to better communicate with impacted families,” a Republican, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said.


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