Whether from car crashes, falls, assaults or accidents, traumatic injuries can take many forms and happen anywhere. When traumatic injuries occur, quick and professional response can mean the difference between life and death. Texas trauma hospitals have advocated for a dedicated state funding to ensure every Texan has access to lifesaving trauma care. During the 2019 legislative session, Texas hospitals helped pass legislation supported by by a coalition of organizations representing law enforcement, hospitals, health care professionals, people with disabilities, counties, the judiciary and others that provides a new, sustainable source of trauma hospital funding for designated trauma hospitals.
Texas Trauma Hospitals Are Integral to an Effective Trauma Care System
More than 280 trauma hospitals in Texas provide lifesaving trauma care to anyone who seeks it, regardless of their ability to pay. As a result, Texas trauma hospitals bear more than $320 million in uncompensated trauma care costs each year. While state and federal funding offset just over half of these costs, unreimbursed trauma care exacerbates significant costs to maintain the staff, services and equipment required for trauma designation. Trauma hospitals are integral to Texas communities—both as safety nets and as a part of their emergency preparedness and response function. Protecting dedicated state funding for Texas trauma hospitals is critical to ensure every Texan can access lifesaving trauma care.
Securing the State’s Trauma Fund (Account 5111) Protects Patient Care
In addition to unreimbursed trauma care, Texas hospitals’ Medicaid payments cover only some of the costs of providing care to Medicaid clients. Since 2015, the Texas Legislature has appropriated funds from the state trauma fund (Account 5111) to support increased Medicaid reimbursement for trauma and safety net hospitals. State dollars from Account 5111 make it possible for Texas trauma hospitals to receive $176.4 million in state and federal funding to offset about half of their unreimbursed trauma care costs and for safety net hospitals to receive $150.8 million in state and federal funds. Maintaining state funding for Account 5111 is critical to protecting patient care.
Texas Hospitals Support Trauma Funding Legislation
Texas hospitals long have supported efforts to repeal and replace the maligned Driver Responsibility Program—the current primary source of revenue for Account 5111. This session, Texas hospitals support House Bill 2048/Senate Bill 918, by Rep. John Zerwas (R-Richmond)/Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), which would eliminate the DRP while maintaining critical funding for Texas’ designated trauma hospitals. Download the whitepaper to learn how this legislation replaces DRP revenue and preserves trauma hospital funding and state general revenue.