Planned Pentagon Spending Cuts Could Sharply Reduce Autism Medical Care
Many military families are concerned they could lose help for their autistic children if a plan is implemented that would reduce military health care costs and cut provider payments for autism services.
The Hill: Pentagon To Cut Autism Health Care Payments In Half
Military families are concerned they could lose medical help for their autistic children because of planned spending cuts at the Pentagon. As part of an effort to reduce its healthcare costs, the Pentagon is planning to slash payments in half to providers who work with autistic children under TRICARE, the military’s healthcare plan. The latest TRICARE manual, released in September, cuts their pay from $125 a hour to between $50 and $68 an hour. Many healthcare providers are balking at the pay cuts, saying they won’t be able to provide the services without the additional money. If they go through, providers say the services will disappear (Devaney, 10/8).
In other news, the Department of Veterans Affairs advances whistle-blower protections -
CQ Healthbeat: VA Announces Whistle-Blower Protection Certification
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday it had achieved certification in an Office of Special Counsel's whistle-blower protection program designed to ensure that employees who choose to disclose mismanagement or wrongdoing are informed of their rights and legal recourse under federal laws. The VA said in a statement that the certification "is just one of several steps the VA has taken to enhance accountability within the organization and ensure its employees have a safe channel for disclosing whistleblower information." ... Throughout the VA health care access controversy, there have been allegations of retaliation against employees who blew the whistle on instances of wrongdoing within the department (O’Brien, 10/8).