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Legal Aid Lawyer Has Helped 89 Kids Win State Payments for Orthodontic Work

Posted Nov 29, 2011 6:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A former nurse who now works as a legal aid lawyer in eastern Missouri has developed a legal expertise in crooked teeth and bad bites.

Jo Anne Morrow of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri has helped 89 children obtain Medicaid reimbursement for orthodontic work since she began pursuing the cases in 2006, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

“It's a track record that many see as noble,” the story reports. “Yet others argue that the attorney—who turns no clients away—is using legal tactics to cut in line in front of children with even more severe orthodontic needs.”

The state uses a point system to determine which children on Medicaid qualify for braces. Qualifying scores differ by state. Morrow and the lawyers who work with her base their cases on federal laws that require Medicaid coverage for children whose orthodontic problems cause pain, or put them at risk of infection and tooth loss.

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