INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch sent a clear message to the FSSA about a proposed decrease in the average ABA therapy reimbursement rate last week.

In a letter to FSSA Secretary Dr. Daniel Rusyniak dated Aug. 18, Lt. Gov. Crouch said she is concerned if the proposed rate goes into effect, therapists and the kids they serve could face devastating consequences.

Crouch chairs a task force that works to improve the lives of nearly 100,000 Hoosiers who have Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or Autism. She said several providers have contacted her concerned the FSSA’s proposal is too steep a cut, and that she’d like to see legislators, providers, and impacted families all at the bargaining table.

“Let’s take the time to get this right,” Crouch said. “Let’s be sure that we take the time to be able to have those discussions; to be able to hear from the people that are affected by, you know, these services.”

Part of her letter to the FSSA secretary read in part: “…I am requesting you delay any further action to finalize the proposed rates until a thoughtful consensus can be reached…”

“I’m glad that she sent a letter,” State Rep. Craig Haggard said.

Haggard said his son received ABA therapy before Medicaid started covering it, and that if the FSSA’s proposed rate is approved, most families won’t be able to afford it.

“I would hate for families to be put in the position of having to choose, do I need to put food on the table or take care of our kids as far as this type of therapy,” Haggard said.

State Rep. Haggard said a standardized rate is needed, but that the proposed decrease from an average of $91 to $56 per hour is extreme.

“When you see not only this but other things where the Medicaid reimbursement’s so low that they just make a business decision well we just can’t do this anymore, and so I think that would happen,” State Rep. Haggard said.

Lt. Gov. Crouch agreed.

“We want to be sure that as we move forward in adjusting rates and getting those costs under control, we aren’t in turn putting providers out of business,” she said.

The FSSA said it is currently reviewing the letter. Gov. Holcomb will ultimately approve any proposal. We reached out to his office for comment and have yet to hear back.