Legislative Update:
Children's Hospitals in Texas

Welcome to the first edition of the 2017 Children’s Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) e-newsletter in advance of the opening day of the 85th Texas Legislature on January 10, 2017. CHAT provides the following information to offer context regarding decisions the Texas Legislature will be making about children’s health care. We welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with you in person. Our contact information can be found at the end of this newsletter.
CHAT’s mission is to advance children’s health and well-being by advocating for policies and funding that promote children’s access to high-quality, comprehensive health care. Our member hospitals are:

  • Children’s Health (Dallas)
  • Children’s Hospital of San Antonio (San Antonio)
  • Cook Children’s Medical Center (Fort Worth)
  • Covenant Children’s Hospital (Lubbock)
  • Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas (Austin)
  • Driscoll Children’s Hospital (Corpus Christi)
  • El Paso Children's Hospital (El Paso)
  • Texas Children’s Hospital (Houston)

CHAT's Legislative Priorities:

  • Increase Medicaid outpatient reimbursement rates
  • Improve the medical care provided to children in foster care
  • Sustain funding for the safety net add-on to inpatient hospital rates
  • Improve birth outcomes and keep new Texas moms healthy
  • Eliminate child sex trafficking
  • Support appropriate use of and reimbursement for telemedicine as an efficient method of providing health care to children

Impact of Funding Decisions
on Texas Children

Texas is experiencing explosive population growth. According to the 2015 U.S. Census, more than seven million children live in our state. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of children in the U.S. increased by two million; Texas children accounted for more than half of this increase.
Our hospitals are the safety net for all Texas children and have specialized expertise in caring for children. In fact, many of the patients in children’s hospitals are transfers from other medical facilities that could not provide the unique care that children require.
Children’s hospitals provide care to our state’s most ill children—care that they cannot receive elsewhere for congenital heart conditions, diseases of the brain, transplants, cancer, sickle cell anemia and other serious conditions.

For the last 15 years, Texas has had the highest rate of uninsured children in the nation. About ten percent of Texas children are uninsured compared to the national average of five percent. More than three million children in Texas are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), making these programs indispensable to Texas families.
To the children’s hospitals of Texas, these are not just statistics. These numbers represent Texas’ most vulnerable and needy children that we see in our outpatient clinics, physician’s offices and hospitals each and every day.

The Importance of Medicaid
to Texas Children

Medicaid serves children with disabilities, children in foster care and children in lower-income families. These kids tend to have more health care problems. In fact, sixty percent of the children admitted to children’s hospitals are enrolled in Medicaid.
If Medicaid funding does not keep up with the costs necessary to serve a growing child population, children’s hospitals will face major difficulties in providing the range of comprehensive services that many Texas families will need.

Did You Know?

  • One out of every 10 children in the United States lives in Texas.
  • In 2014, CHAT member hospitals served children from all but 9 of Texas’ 254 counties, and the population from those nine make up less than one-tenth of one percent of the overall population.
  • About half of the children in Texas are enrolled in CHIP or Medicaid.
  • More than 2 million outpatient visits occurred at CHAT hospitals in 2014.
  • CHAT hospitals (out of 284 total hospitals in Texas) accounted for 28 percent of neonatal and pediatric days of care in 2014.
  • 70 percent of pediatricians and 78 percent of pediatric subspecialists in the state received training in CHAT hospitals.
  • In 2016, CHAT members created a quality collaborative to address asthma, a frequent childhood disease. The project lowered the cost of care and time spent in the hospital. It also kept kids out of the hospital by reducing readmissions. 
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Copyright © *2017 Children's Hospital Association of Texas. All rights reserved.

Contact us:
Stacy Wilson, president

Our mailing address is:
Children's Hospital Association of Texas
823 Congress Ave. #1500
Austin, Texas 78701
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Children's Hospital Association of Texas · 823 Congress Ave. #1500 · Austin, Texas 78701 · USA

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