Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More info about CRS

Here is some more info about CRS from a press release by St. Joseph's Children's Health Center.

Update on Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS)

What is the Children's Rehabilitative Services (CRS) program?

· The CRS program is administered by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), and funds multidisciplinary medical services for Arizona children with special healthcare needs.

Who is Served by the CRS program?

· There are many special healthcare diagnoses that make a child eligible for the CRS program. Examples of eligible conditions include epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, congenital heart anomalies, muscular dystrophy, scoliosis, cerebral palsy, and cleft lip or palate. Children with such conditions are eligible for CRS from birth to their 21st birthday. Adults with cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia are also eligible for the program, if they meet certain financial criteria.

· Almost 21,000 Arizona children are currently enrolled in CRS.

How Does the State Pay for the Services Provided to These Children?

· The Arizona Legislature and ADHS, in collaboration with the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) have historically funded CRS through a unique blend of Title 19, Title 21 and Title 5 federal dollars, and designated Proposition 204 and state General Fund dollars.

How are the New Budget Cuts Impacting Families?

· The budget cuts that were recently enacted by the state legislature will withdraw CRS coverage to about 800 patients, who fall within a “state-only” category of financial support. The savings to the state budget is between $700,000 and $800,000 through the end of this fiscal year. The coverage to these patients is supposed to stop on March 20th.

· Patients are still medically eligible for the CRS Program, but they will now have to pay all their medical expenses. The costs are calculated at the existing AHCCCS rates.

· The average cost increase per family will be about $200-$300 per month per patient, but some families will now be required to spend thousands of dollars a month on prescriptions and medical care.

What are Providers Doing to Help These Families?

· APIPA is allowing some critical services to be covered through June 2009, including medications authorized prior to March 20 and post-operative care. Other special circumstances can be submitted for review by APIPA-CRS' medical director.

· After June 30, families will either have to find commercial insurance to cover the children or will have to spend down their financial resources until they become eligible for traditional AHCCCS coverage.

Who are the CRS providers? Where are CRS services provided?

· ADHS currently subcontracts its CRS service to APIPA in a statewide contract, with service delivery responsibilities located in four sites: Flagstaff Regional Medical Center in Flagstaff, Yuma Regional Medical Center in Yuma, and Children's Clinics for Rehabilitative Services in Tucson, and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. Other participating hospitals include Tucson Medical Center and University Medical Center in Tucson, and Banner Desert Children's Hospital and Phoenix Children's Hospital in Maricopa County.

· In addition, each of the CRS sub-contractors offers CRS outreach clinics in communities throughout their respective catchment areas. As examples, the Phoenix-area CRS program conducts outreach clinics in cities such as Prescott, Globe, Show Low, and Springerville; and the Southern (Tucson) CRS program conducts outreach clinics in Douglas, Nogales, Safford, and Sierra Vista.

The Children's Rehabilitative Services program organizes and provides uniquely necessary services for the most vulnerable of Arizona's children. Through its subcontractors, the CRS program provides coordinated medical, surgical and hospital care to a population of children that have very complex illnesses, typically requiring extensive specialty care for their entire lifetime.

Please help continue Arizona’s support for this extremely

vulnerable population of children.

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