Lansing-area therapists out thousands of dollars after MSU shutdown of $10 million assistance fund
Last week, Michigan State University announced that it will not reopen the fund it had previously set up to pay for counseling and other services sought by survivors of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse. MSU officials froze the $10 million fund in July, citing concerns over fraud.
Tamera Lagalo is CEO of The Support Group, a small business that offers billing services for mental health professionals in the Lansing area. She says therapists have gone unpaid for thousands of dollars worth of services they've already provided to Nassar survivors, and it's not clear how or if they will be reimbursed.
“When [MSU] froze the fund, they made no inclination that it would disappear or that those claims would go unpaid. I feel like they’ve handled it just like a PR stunt, personally. I mean, it was all to look good in the news and in the paper. ‘Here, let us help you, and now we’ve given you money, so go pay for your healthcare on your own,'" Lagalo said.
She says charges for the four therapists she works with total at least $30,000, all of which is yet to be reimbursed. The abrubt closure of the fund has left both therapists and survivors feeling betrayed by the university, according to Lagalo.
Stateside reached out to Michigan State University for a comment, but did not hear back before the segment aired.
Listen to Stateside’s full conversation with Lagalo to find out why the clinicians she works with have decided to continue treating survivors, despite the lack of reimbursement.
UPDATE: This post was updated at 12:44pm on Dec. 11, 2018 to reflect that Stateside reached out to MSU communications staff before the show yesterday and did not hear back by the time the segment aired.