By Allie Morris
Published 10:45 am, Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Photo: Eric Gay, STF / AP
AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers are demanding answers from private medical insurers and state leaders over reported deficiencies in the Medicaid managed care program, which provides health care to the most vulnerable residents.
At a Wednesday hearing chaired by Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, Medicaid recipients, company heads and state leaders are slated to speak.
The hearing comes after an investigation by the Dallas Morning News revealed that the government paid private companies billions of dollars to manage care, but the contractors denied essential services to foster children and adults with disabilities.
One of the women profiled in the series, Linda Badawo, is scheduled to testify after she said one of the managed-care organizations denied home nursing services to a young foster boy living in her home. The boy, who she eventually adopted, pulled out a tube in his throat to help him breath, causing him to suffocate and end up in a vegetative state, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The investigation also found that when state inspectors recommended fines for the providers, the fees were routinely slashed by top leaders at the Health and Human Services Commission. The agency’s former leader, Charles Smith, told the Morning News the fees weren’t meant to be punitive, but a way to enforce contracts.
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