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Changes to TennCare affecting Hamilton County students

The Hamilton County School Board hears concerns over changes to Tenncare that are affecting Hamilton County students. (Image: WTVC)

In its meeting on Thursday night, the Hamilton County School Board discusses bus contracts, concussion protocol, suicide prevention, and funding for school music programs.

However, as the meeting came to a close, a group of healthcare representatives in Hamilton County stood and asked for the final few minutes of time.

The three women came from Stellar Therapy Services, a Chattanooga based company that staffs therapists in Hamilton County schools and provides Medicaid reimbursement services.

According to the owner of Stellar Therapy Services, Melissa Christopher, Hamilton County leads the state in its reimbursement practices.

Christopher said that the county has collected $3.6 million in reimbursements since 2010.

However, new changes to TennCare are complicating the reimbursement and staffing process for Tennessee schools.

Christopher says that TennCare agencies are now blocking the approval of therapists employed by schools in Hamilton County in favor of community providers.

This means that the school is no longer able to reimburse the cost of care for children already enrolled in medicaid.

Christopher says another major problem with this change is that community care providers can only administer services after school hours which results in fewer families taking part in the process.

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