Workign together a number of assocaitions provided the governor with “concrete suggestions” including alternative cuts that gave Washington’s governor the information she needed to restore therapy to the Medicaid budget.
On December 17, Washington Gov Christine Gregoire restored funding for adult physical therapy services as part of her supplemental budget recommendations to the FY2011 state budget. Gregoire withdrew threatened cuts that would have eliminated physical, occupational, and speech therapies. The restored funding prevents elimination of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy that would have negatively impacted more than 20,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in the state.
Similar to other states, Washington has a severe budget shortfall and its Medicaid program is facing significant cuts. The Washington Chapter worked with several other organizations, including the Washington Occupational Therapy Association, the Washington Speech and Hearing Association, the Washington State Academy of Audiology, and the Home Care Association of Washington, in a state advocacy campaign. The coalition of provider organizations was able to provide information to the governor on the cost-effectiveness of adult rehabilitative services in addition to ideas on alternatives to the cuts. In her December 7 letter to the Washington Chapter, Gregoire thanked the chapter for its “concrete suggestions.”