The 85th Texas Legislature convened in January to address the state’s top issues. Among them: state funding for Texas trauma hospitals.
Six pieces of legislation have been introduced this session to repeal the program that is the state’s primary source of trauma funding. Several other bills have been filed to amend the program and potentially reduce the amount of available funding. Whether directly or indirectly, all of this legislation jeopardizes essential resources that allow hospitals to save Texans’ lives.
To be clear, the lawmakers’ concerns lie not with the funding’s purpose—to offset some of the unreimbursed costs our trauma hospitals take on for providing life-saving trauma care to more than 130,000 Texans annually—but with the program itself.
But, this is a distinction without a difference when it comes to the future of trauma hospital funding.
Lawmakers will consider the repeal bills in three separate committees—homeland security and public safety, transportation and criminal jurisprudence—none of which are designed to address health care or health-related issues.
Starting in the interim and throughout session, it is THA’s goal to help lawmakers truly understand the life-saving care that trauma hospitals provide and the critical need for state funding, and a recent editorial in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal does just that.
Mike Ragain, MD, chief medical offer at University Medical Center Health System, Lubbock, explains an important point that trauma does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, and trauma hospitals need resources to continue providing life-sustaining treatments.
THA, with UMC Lubbock and others, will continue to work with Texas lawmakers to preserve trauma funding and identify solutions to the program that generates this revenue.
Click here to join THA’s trauma funding support campaign and get updates on how you can take action to preserve our trauma hospital funding.