What Stimulus Means to Texas Health Care

State health officials have released preliminary information on major health and human services allocations for Texas in the $789 billion economic stimulus bill President Obama signed. The largest portion is $5.45 billion for Medicaid through the first quarter of 2011. 

Federal and state governments share Medicaid costs. The additional dollars will be used to temporarily increase the federal government's portion, increasing Texas' federal match rate from about 60 percent to 66.2 percent.

TMA is urging state officials to use a portion of the increased Medicaid funds to pay for 12 months continuous coverage for children's Medicaid, increase physician payment rates, and improve the eligibility system. 

In all, the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) estimates, Texas will receive $16.8 billion for health care, education, transportation, labor, criminal justice, housing, and infrastructure and homeland security projects.

In addition to the higher federal Medicaid matching rate, here are the current projections from the LBB and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services system on what Texas stands to receive for health and human services in the stimulus package:

  • $70.8 million in increased payments to hospitals serving a disproportionately large number of Medicaid and low-income patients. These hospitals will receive an estimated $23.4 million in additional federal funding in the 2009 fiscal year and $47.4 million in 2010. The current federal allotment for Texas hospitals is $936.7 million per year.
  • $12.8 million for immunization programs. The Texas allocation for evidence- and community-based prevention and wellness programs is not yet known.
  • $52.7 million to extend Texas Temporary Assistance to Needy Families supplemental grants. They were to expire at the end of the 2009 fiscal year.
  • $48.7 million for foster care and adoption assistance.
  • $38.1 million for vocational rehabilitation grants.
  • $32.5 million for special education grants for infants and families.
  • $25.7 million to increase benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food stamp program.
  • $7.9 million for the Senior Nutrition Program.

Other provisions of the stimulus bill prohibit Medicaid eligibility standards, methodologies, or procedures from being more restrictive than those in effect as of July 1, 2008.

Additionally, the bill provides about $19 billion for Medicare and Medicaid health information technology incentives over five years.

Related Links 

 


Action, March 2, 2009

 


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