TMA Applauds 15-month Medicaid Waiver Extension

One Hurdle Crossed: Long-Term Fix Uncertain 

May 2, 2016    

Statement of John Holcomb, MD, Chair of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Select Committee on Medicaid, CHIP & Uninsured, on today's Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement confirming a 15-month extension of the Medicaid 1115 Waiver for the state of Texas. CMS and the state of Texas will continue negotiations for a longer term extension during the 15-month period. 

"Today's announcement of the 15-month extension of the 1115 Waiver is an encouraging sign of the cooperation between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to find innovative ways to deliver health care. We applaud the agreement to take Texas' Medicaid transformation and maintain current funding to serve Medicaid patients through December, 2017. TMA absolutely supports renewal of the waiver beyond its initial five years.

"The extension is critical to Texas' health care safety net. It will allow the state of Texas to maintain uncompensated care pools for safety net hospitals and providers and fund innovative projects to improve availability and quality of services to Medicaid and uninsured Texans. The extension of the federal dollars, combined with local money, totals $6.2 billion for 12 months and a prorated amount of $1.55 billion for the remaining 3 months of the extension. In total, the continuation of the five-year funding will provide $7.75 billion dollars for uncompensated care and the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program. The waiver extension also allows Texas to continue the managed care model. 

"However, physicians are concerned about the long-term stability of the health care safety net without a long-term agreement in place to sustain it. This is just one step: We strongly encourage the Texas Legislature to devise a strategy to develop long-term direction that focuses on appropriate payments and use of health care resources on the front end rather than the back of the health care system. Hopefully, today's extension will lay the groundwork for future expansion of access to care for Texans."

"Today's announcement of the 15-month extension of the 1115 Waiver is an encouraging sign of the cooperation between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to find innovative ways to deliver health care. We applaud the agreement to take Texas' Medicaid transformation and maintain current funding to serve Medicaid patients through December, 2017. TMA absolutely supports renewal of the waiver beyond its initial five years.

"The extension is critical to Texas' health care safety net. It will allow the state of Texas to maintain uncompensated care pools for safety net hospitals and providers and fund innovative projects to improve availability and quality of services to Medicaid and uninsured Texans. The extension of the federal dollars, combined with local money, totals $6.2 billion for 12 months and a prorated amount of $1.55 billion for the remaining 3 months of the extension. In total, the continuation of the five-year funding will provide $7.75 billion dollars for uncompensated care and the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program. The waiver extension also allows Texas to continue the managed care model. 

"However, physicians are concerned about the long-term stability of the health care safety net without a long-term agreement in place to sustain it. This is just one step: We strongly encourage the Texas Legislature to devise a strategy to develop long-term direction that focuses on appropriate payments and use of health care resources on the front end rather than the back of the health care system. Hopefully, today's extension will lay the groundwork for future expansion of access to care for Texans."

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 49,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

--30--  

Contact: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org
Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336; email: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org
Click here to follow TMA on Twitter. Or visit TMA on Facebook.

Check out MeAndMyDoctor.com for interesting and timely news on health care issues and policy.

Last Updated On

June 19, 2018

Related Content

Hospitals | Medicaid