• Border Health Caucus

    • 8th Annual Border Health Conference: Huge Success

      The 8th Annual Border Health Conference was held August 23, 2013 in Laredo, Texas. This was the first time the Texas Medical Association’s Border Health Caucus held the conference on the border. U.S. House Representative Henry Cuellar served as the congressional chair for the event. Participants included the Mexican health ministry, local government, insurance plans, and physicians from across the state. The purpose of the conference was to address issues in several areas including: Public Health Collaboration between U.S. and Mexico, Graduate Medical Education, the Sustainable Growth Rate, and the Affordable Care Act. Attendees also toured a local Colonia and health clinic so they could see firsthand the challenges facing border patients.
  • Key Issues

    • State Now Paying Dual-Eligibles' Medicare Deductible
      The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) restored the Medicare Part B deductible payment on Jan. 25 for patients eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, also known as "dual eligibles." - See more The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) restored the Medicare Part B deductible payment on Jan. 25 for patients eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, also known as "dual eligibles."
    • State Delays Medicaid Fee Increase
      The Texas Health and Human Services Commission postponed the Medicaid primary care physician payment increase authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The law requires states to increase Medicaid payments to Medicare parity for primary care services provided by pediatricians, family physicians, and general internists from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2014. The federal government will pay the higher costs.
    • HHSC Adopts Disputed Medicaid Fraud Rules
      Despite the Texas Medical Association's objections, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) adopted new "program integrity rules" that TMA believes give the agency's Office of Inspector General (OIG) too much power and presume that physicians are crooks. The rules took effect Oct. 14.
    • Stop Medical Emergency for Medicare/Medicaid Patients
      Dozens of physicians from across Texas took time away from their medical practices to ask state leaders to reinstate cuts that harm access to care for thousands of Texas’ dual-eligible patients. Dual-eligible patients are old enough to qualify for Medicare and able to qualify for Medicaid assistance because of their income.
    • Medicaid HMO Expansion: South Texas Frequently Asked Question - Updated: January 2012
      Q: Why is the Texas Medicaid program replacing the Primary Care Case Management Model (PCCM) with HMOs?
    • Dual-Eligible Dilemma
      La Joya family physician Javier Saenz, MD, is going broke. As of early April, Medicaid had not paid the four-physician practice he manages in the Rio Grande Valley for treating patients who are both poor and elderly. membersonlyred(2) 
    • TMA Comments: Medicaid 1115 Waiver Restructuring Texas' Upper Payment Limit (UPL)
      The waiver will, among other things, create a new Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) funding pool from which hospital districts and counties providing Texas' state share of Medicaid waiver matching dollars will be eligible to obtain funding to implement projects to improve health care outcomes of the Medicaid and uninsured populations within their communities. HHSC will develop a list of DSRIP projects designed to improve access and quality for eligible populations.
  • Advocacy and Communications

    • Border Health Caucus Activities and Key Accomplishments
      Border Health Caucus members know firsthand their visits each year to Capitol Hill make a difference. “A strong handshake
      and an eyeball-to-eyeball visit are worth more than 100 emails,” said Linda Villarreal, MD, an Edinburg internist and TMA
      trustee.
    • Border Health Caucus Legislation Agenda Fact Sheet
      Physicians from the Border Health Caucus visited members of Texas' Congressional Delegation in June. Learn about the Border Health Caucus' legislative priorities.
    • NEWS CONFERENCE: Border Health Caucus
      BHC Ask State Leaders to Reverse Dual Eligible Cut (Feb. 5, 2013)
      Dozens of physicians from across Texas took time away from their medical practices to ask state leaders to reinstate cuts that harm access to care for thousands of Texas’ dual-eligible patients. Dual-eligible patients are old enough to qualify for Medicare and able to qualify for Medicaid assistance because of their income.
    • Drop in Physician Acceptance of Medicaid, Medicare Patients
      Texas Medical Association (TMA) physician leaders have long predicted government regulatory burdens, red tape, payment hassles, and low pay would erode the physician foundation of both Medicaid and Medicare.
    • Physicians Testify at State Capitol
      Read what BHC physicians are telling state lawmakers at the state Capitol.
    • BHC Ask Senate Finance Committee to Restore Dual Eligible Cuts
      Just a few days ago, the state did restore payment of the deductible payment, a tremendous relief to those practices financially struggling since enactment of the cut. Many of you on the committee fought hard to restore the deductible and I sincerely thank you for your help. However, the continued coinsurance reduction means every time I see a dual eligible patient there is a 20-percent payment cut, an unsustainable and devastating financial blow.
  • Border Health News

    • Highlights From the 8th Annual Border Health Conference
      Physician leaders from Texas and Mexico — along with local, state, and federal legislators and government officials gathered in Laredo, Texas, Aug. 22 and 23 to discuss health care needs and challenges along the U.S.-Mexico border. The 8th Annual Border Health Conference was sponsored by Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Border Health Caucus (BHC). BHC’s mission is to ensure access to care for patients along the border.
  • Resources

    • Healthy Border 2010 Midterm Review - U.S. Boarder Area
      The mission of the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission (BHC) is to provide international leadership to optimize health and quality of life along the U.S.-Mexico border.
    • E-Border Health
      Early Prevention of Diabetes & Improved Access to Health Care: The Feasibility of Addressing Healthy Border 2010 Objectives with Community Coalitions in Colonias in South Texas