State, mental retardation boards agree on revamped payment rates

Huge rate increases for therapy to some disabled Ohioans would be rolled back under a compromise between the county agencies that provide the services and the state department that oversees Medicaid payments. County boards that serve people with disabilities such as autism and mental retardation had said the new rates were far above what's allowed elsewhere in the federal Medicaid insurance program. The rates changed because the state is switching to charging flat fees for every 15 minutes of therapy instead of having agencies simply bill for their direct expenses. Governor Taft's staff reached a deal last week that calls for the rates in place since spring to be scrapped. New rates more in line with the rest of Medicaid will go into effect July Second, and final rates will come 90 days later.