Medicaid Reimbursements in Washoe County Schools - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Medicaid Reimbursements in Washoe County Schools

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Lawmakers are still debating a bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act, and while it's far from final, it could include cuts to Medicaid.

Every year the Washoe County School District receives nearly $4 million in Medicaid reimbursements for eligible students.

Carol Reitz is the co-founder of Reno's JUSTin Hope Foundation. Her mission is to provide support to families affected by disorders similar to her son who has autism.

While she doesn't qualify directly for Medicaid, she says that her son's conditions qualify her for a secondary insurance. But she says there are many other families in Washoe County who have a child with a disability who's eligible for Medicaid.

"I know there are numerous families that receive those services in the school setting and not outside so they really depend on that specialized instruction for their child," says Reitz.

Some of the services the school district can be reimbursed for through the Medicaid funds are physical therapists, audiology and nurses. Kristen McNeill, deputy superintendent with the Washoe County School District, says these programs are extremely important for their kids.

"We have to provide these services for our children with special needs, we receive IDEA funding but in addition to that, we seek our Medicaid reimbursement because of those additional services," says McNeill.

The proposed healthcare bill in the House would put a cap on Nevada’s Medicaid funds, potentially impacting students. However, since the bill still needs to go through the Senate, McNeill says there's time for the school district to push for these funds to stay in schools.

“We're aggressively pursuing an expansion of our Medicaid so that we can continue to serve our students at a very high level," says McNeill.

McNeill anticipates the number of children eligible for Medicaid will increase as the district's population continues to rise.

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