The Time to Act Is Now!
With profound Medicaid and other healthcare cuts in both the House and Senate proposed state budget, the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) is reaching out to its supporters to keep you informed of how these cuts will affect children’s healthcare and encourage you to act now!
How Will Cuts to Medicaid Hurt Texas Children?
More specifically, the proposed cuts to Medicaid funding will harm the ability of children’s hospitals to provide clinical care, to train and recruit the specialized pediatric clinicians that children need, and to advance the quality of pediatric care through research and innovations in service delivery.
There are major Medicaid cuts to children’s hospitals in the proposed bill:
The bill cuts hospital reimbursement by 10 percent. Reducing Medicaid payments to well below the cost of providing care will undermine the ability of children’s hospitals to see any child who needs specialized pediatric care.
The bill proposes to cut reimbursement to physicians, dentists and other providers by 10 percent. There are too few pediatricians, pediatric subspecialists and dentists to serve the fast-growing child population in Texas. More physicians and dentists are not taking children covered by Medicaid or are reducing the number of Medicaid patients they will see because of low payment rates. Fewer doctors and dentists willing to see these children means children will wait longer to get care. These delays in diagnosis and treatment will shift more care for children to the emergency room and to an inpatient hospital setting.
There are other cutbacks that will affect children’s hospitals and the children we serve, such as reimbursement cuts in the Children with Special Health Care Needs program at the Department of State Health Services and CHIP.
The bill eliminates funding for the children’s hospital Upper Payment Limit (UPL) program which helps to fund hospital losses due to below-cost Medicaid outpatient reimbursement and unreimbursed Medicaid costs for physician residency training programs.
On behalf of children’s hospitals in Texas, CHAT has asked the Texas Legislature to:
Preserve funding for inpatient care at children’s hospitals to maintain the ability of children’s hospitals to care for all children, irrespective of how sick or injured or what insurance coverage a child has.
Restore funding for primary care and pediatric subspecialty services for children, including funding for outpatient children’s hospital services and reimbursement rates for doctors and dentists to protect access to care.
Medicaid in the News
Continue the children’s hospital UPL program to help support the training in Texas of pediatricians that Texas needs and the comprehensive scope of services that children's hospitals offer.
The following news stories provide a more in-depth look at how cuts to Medicaid would affect children in Texas.
“Cutting Medicaid harder than issuing soundbites, senators learn,” Dallas Morning News, February 15, 2011.
“If the state slashes Medicaid payments to doctors, they may stop serving the neediest patients. Where will they go?,” Houston Chronicle, February 8, 2011.
“Poll: Texans don’t want to cut social services, public education,” San Antonio Express-News, January 9, 2011.
How Can You Help?
Contact your legislator about the importance of preserving funding for children’s hospitals.
To write a personal letter, find the contact information for your legislator here.
Easily send an electronic message to your legislator here.
Become a CHATvocate!
There is strength in numbers! Please click on the link below and become involved. We will continue to keep you informed about these important issues throughout the legislative session. You can also help spread the word about the coalition among your co-workers, colleagues, and other business and personal contacts. Educate them about children’s healthcare issues and encourage them to get involved. You CAN make a difference!
Click here to become an advocate for Texas children’s hospitals.
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