Saturday, September 22, 2007

Letter to CMS

In my last post, I talked about an email communication we had received from my son's school district regarding possible upcoming rules changes that would affect all school district's ongoing ability to provide transportation services for their special needs students.
I received some good comments on that post, including one from Another Voice that recommended some verbiage to include in any comments to the CMS. Another commenter, Club 166, also recommends submitting comments to your legislators on this topic. It occurs to me one small impact I can have to is to make it a little easier for people to comment to the CMS and their legislators by drafting a sample letter.

If you are a U.S. citizen, please consider commenting to the CMS. If you would like to use this letter, just copy-paste it to a Word document, edit it as you see fit, and follow this link to submit it.

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Re: CMS-2287-P

The purpose of this comment is to express concern for the proposed rule changes (CMS-2287-P) that, if adopted, would eliminate schools’ reimbursements for certain services provided to Medicaid-eligible students, with the most immediate effect being the elimination of transportation services to students with IEP's.
As the parent of a child with special needs, I would like to comment that elimination of transportation to and from school would create a hardship for not only my own family, but many thousands of other families as well.
In reading a copy of the proposed regulations, it is clear that one prime motivating factor in making this proposal is to address the problem of excessive expenses to the CMS. The discussion of the regulations clearly implicates school districts' "... improper billing ... for administrative costs and transportation services."
It is unconscionable that the response to alleged fraudulent reporting/claims by the school districts is to eliminate the service altogether. Numerous alternative solutions exist, the most obvious of which is to install safeguards and auditing procedures that would eliminate the possibility of such fraudulent activity taking place in the future, thereby solving the problem while keeping the services intact.
Elimination of these services amounts to an injustice against disabled students throughout the United States of America.

Sincerely,





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UPDATE 9-24
Another Voice has left a comment to this post with several additional officials and their corresponding email addresses to which this letter, or something similar to it, can be submitted. Please do take the time to submit your comments.

3 comments:

bullet said...

Well set out. I hope it has enough impact.

Club 166 said...

Nice letter, Steve.

For those who also wish to contact their legislators, they can start by going here and going to the "My Elected Officials" box in the upper left corner of the site and entering their zip code.

Joe

Another Voice said...

Steve,

Nice letter.

Here are some names that may be helpful:

Mike Leavitt
Secretary of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Ave., S.W. Room 615-F
Washington D.C. 20201

Dr. Wade F. Horn, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary of Administration for Children and Families
370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington D.C. 20447

E-Mail: whorn@acf.dhhs.gov

Herb Kuhn
Deputy Administrator of CMS
7500 Security Blvd. Room 313HHH
Baltimore MD 21244

E-Mail: herb.kuhn@cms.hhs.gov

Dennis G. Smith
Director, Center for Medicaid and State Operations
7500 Security Blvd., Room C5-21-17
Baltimore MD 21244

E-Mail: Dennis.Smith@cms.hhs.gov

Most likely the letters and E-Mails will be handled by staff members, but if they get enough of them the issue will be surfaced. It also helps to mention that contact is being made with the congressional delegations from your state of residence.

I don’t understand why the rest of the internet is not jumping up and down. Based on the letter you received from the school district this change would impact a lot of parents all across the country.