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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch visits a classroom at Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana during a guided tour of the facility on Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 12:12 pm

Lt. Gov. recommends raising Medicaid reimbursement rates

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

The state should raise Medicaid reimbursement rates to help agencies that provide care and services to people with disabilities, Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said today during a Fort Wayne visit. 

Crouch leads a task force that issued recommendations in October for increased access to services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She said the rates are essential to ensuring providers can offer services and pay employees competitive wages. 

The rates, which vary depending on the needs of the person receiving services, are set by the state. Lawmakers last raised the rates in 2015, but they are due for another hike, Crouch and Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana President and CEO Donna Elbrecht said. 

"The amount of reimbursement is a huge issue," Crouch said. "We are looking to raise them again because we want the people who work in this field to get a competitive wage." 

She made the comments before a tour this morning of the Easterseals facility on Coldwater Road. The nonprofit runs programs such as employment services and adult day care for about 1,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Elbrecht said services include help with basic life skills residential programs. Easterseals assists many who need help, she said, but an increase in reimbursement rates could help it do more.