State: Policy Priorities

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As both healers and employers, hospitals’ role in Texas communities cannot be understated. Putting others first is a hallmark of Texas hospitals’ work. They welcome new life into the world. They provide specialized, lifesaving care around the clock, day or night. During our darkest days, hospital staff perform public health miracles. Texas hospitals are major part of the health care infrastructure that ensures the health and safety of all Texas residents, which is essential to a strong economy.

To support a strong health care infrastructure and a healthy population, Texas hospitals advocate for a number of policy and funding goals.

State Budget

  • Support continued state funding of health and human services programs, including Medicaid reimbursement rates that reduce reliance on supplemental payments and protect access to care.
  • Support increased state funding to ensure timely and appropriate access to inpatient and outpatient, community-based services and supports for Texans with a behavioral health diagnosis.
  • Support continued state funding for physician, nurse, behavioral health professional and allied health professional education and training.
  • Maintain a dedicated funding source for the state’s trauma care network.

Financing

  • Support continuation of the current tax structure as necessary to adequately fund essential state services, including Medicaid and other health and human services programs.
  • Support statewide authorization and use of local or regional hospital provider participation funds to finance Medicaid hospital programs, defray uncompensated care costs and support access to care projects established under the Medicaid 1115 Waiver.

Health Care Coverage and Insurance

  • Support efforts to increase the number of Texans with comprehensive private health insurance, including:
    • Enrolling all uninsured Texans who are eligible for coverage into the private health insurance marketplace; and
    • Developing a private market coverage solution for low wage Texans whose incomes are too low to qualify for the health insurance marketplace.
  • Support measures that remove overly burdensome utilization review policies, ensure robust insurance networks and strengthen access to and payment of emergency room care.

Health Disparities

  • Support policies and legislation that address documented health disparities in morbidity and mortality, particularly among racial/ethnic minority groups and those of lower socioeconomic status.

Behavioral Health

  • Support a state Medicaid 1115 Waiver or other provisions that remove the federal prohibition on Medicaid services for patients receiving care in “institutions for mental disease”.

Liability

  • Oppose legislation to repeal or modify limitation on non-economic damages and medical damages.