Texas Hospital Association Outlines Public Policy Priorities for a Healthier Texas
(AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 7, 2019) When the 86th Texas Legislature opens tomorrow, Texas hospitals will bring an agenda focused on strengthening the state’s health care infrastructure to meet the health care needs of all Texas residents and communities.
Among the priorities, Texas hospitals will advocate for:
- Continued support for Medicaid reimbursement rates that more closely approximate the actual costs of providing care.
- Continued state funding for Texas’ life-saving trauma hospitals.
- State funding for behavioral health care commensurate with the growing need for services.
“While Texas has one of the nation’s strongest economies, no other state has more residents without health insurance or has experienced more hospital closures in rural communities,” said Ted Shaw, THA president/CEO. “Sustaining Texas’ strong economy depends on the health and well-being of all its residents. Texas hospitals’ policy priorities are a blueprint for the 86th Texas Legislature to improve our health care infrastructure and ensure our continued economic success.”
Texas hospitals legally are required to provide care for anyone who seeks it in their emergency departments, regardless of their ability to pay. With more than 4.8 million uninsured Texans, this mandate comes with a significant cost. At the same time, Medicaid underpays Texas hospitals. As a result, uncompensated care at Texas hospitals exceeds $7 billion a year, which impedes investment in expansion of services and training of the health care workforce to meet the needs of a rapidly growing and aging population.
Texas hospitals’ public policy priorities for 2019-2020 are available from www.tha.org/2019legislativesession.