After months of TMA-organized rallies, lobbying, and meetings, the Legislative Budget Board directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to reverse part of the cut in payments for patients covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.
The tipping point was a meeting State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen) organized at the Capitol last week with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus. The group included TMA Board of Trustees Vice Chair Carlos Cardenas, MD, of Edinburg, and La Joya family physician Javier Saenz, MD. Although Gov. Rick Perry did not attend the meeting, his support helped move the change over the finish line.
Hundreds of patients and their doctors joined forces Tuesday in McAllen, Texas, urging state legislators to rescind budget cuts that are harming access to care for thousands of dual-eligible patients — those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.
Texas’ new payment policy on services doctors provide to these patients has created a medical emergency across the state. The problem has been particularly acute in the Rio Grande Valley, where severe poverty makes many Medicare patients eligible for Medicaid as well.