Attention Parents and Providers! Medicaid Changes Related to the Affordable Care Act Coming

Although some waiver programs cover music therapy services, core Medicaid does not. So you may be asking yourself why a music therapy practice is posting a blog about Medicaid changes as related to the Affordable Care Act. Well, let me explain…

As a therapist I make it a point to be involved in the overall care of my patients and their families. In addition, I see the struggles that many our families deal with on a daily basis just trying to get basic medical care for their loved ones, not to mention the additional cost related to therapy and prescription coverage. Many of our patients and their families are dependent upon Medicaid funding as primary and/or secondary insurance to cover required medical treatments and tests.

Therefore, if our families are affected, we as a community are affected.

There are new Medicaid changes coming July 1, 2013 which will require that all physicians who order, prescribe, refer services for Medicaid recipients be enrolled as Medicaid providers. Many providers choose not to accept Medicaid because of funding and timely reimbursement issues. This will effectively cause many of our kids to lose their Medicaid coverage and/or be required to find a new primary care physician that accepts Medicaid! However, if a provider chooses NOT to accept Medicaid they can still enroll as an OPR (Ordering, Prescribing, and Referring) Medicaid provider by registering at the DCH website before April 1, 2013.

Even if you do have a pediatrician who is a Medicaid provider, consider this scenario:

  • You go to your child's specialist, who doesn't take Medicaid.  He orders a blood test, but it can't be done in his office or Medicaid won't pay for it.  
  • You have to take the order to your Pediatrician, who re-writes the order.  
  • However, most general pediatricians don't do blood work in their office, so you have to take the order to LabCorp or Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to get the test done.  

Three different medical offices, just so Medicaid will cover one blood test!  Multiply that by every therapy order, prescription, and diagnostic test your child needs, and you can see how this will become a significant issue for many of our clients. Additionally, those who refuse to find a new primary care physician that accepts Medicaid will have to pay for everything out-of-pocket.

Click here for a link to the Georgia Department of Community Health announcement.

Click here for a link the DCH DCH-i February/March 2013, Volume 2, Issue 3 newsletter further clarifying the new procedures.

Please take a few minutes to call and email your elected officials and let them know how this will affect their constituents.  You can find your elected officials by visiting Lastly, please ask your current providers to enroll as an OPR providers at the DCH website BEFORE April 1, 2013.

Here at The George Center, we pride ourselves on finding every way possible for our clients to pay for therapy. Contact us today and we'll see how we can help you find funding for music therapy services!


Image credit: Flickr user atlexplorer (Original image)

Jamie George


Jamie founded The George Center for Music Therapy, Inc. in 2010 in order to expand and increase access to quality music therapy programs in the metro Atlanta area. She is a licensed and nationally board-certified music therapist. Jamie holds additional certifications in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Music Therapy (NICU-MT).

Jamie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Music with a concentration in Music Therapy, from the University of Georgia. She completed her graduate research studying music therapy and its effects on children with sensory processing disorder. Jamie completed her internship working with exceptional children in the Fulton County Schools Music Therapy Department in metro Atlanta. Jamie specializes in autism and other neurologic conditions. In addition to teaching and treating, she actively consults with parents, therapists, allied health, and therapeutic and educational programs across the country.

Jamie serves on the Ethics Board for the American Music Therapy Association, and serves as Government Relations Co-Chair for the Southeastern Region of the AMTA. She serves as Reimbursement Chair for the Music Therapy Association of Georgia, having previously served as Treasurer for the organization from 2007 – 2012.  Jamie also serves on the Georgia state task forceand the Georgia Secretary of State appointed Music Therapy Advisory Committee.

Jamie is an accomplished vocalist, and comes to Atlanta after having performed for several years in New York City and Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.

Check out some of Jamie’s work over on the blog!