TMA Fights Medicaid Anesthesia Proposal

The Texas Society of Anesthesiologists (TSA) and TMA sent a formal letter and testified in person against a Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) plan to eliminate the "Physician-Led Anesthesia Care Team Model Billing" for Texas Medicaid. The change would cut payments to anesthesiologists who supervise certified registered nurse anesthetists and anesthesia assistants. 

According to the letter, the model involves a physician anesthesiologist medially directing nurse anesthetists and/or anesthesiologist assistants. "Extremely undervalued Medicaid rates have already led to significant access issues for Medicaid patients. This proposed change will further aggravate deficiencies in access to quality anesthesia care for Medicaid patients and will discourage the maintenance of high quality physician-led Anesthesia Care Team Model. TSA believes this will lead to increased anesthesia costs due to greater utilization of emergency services," the letter states.

TMA's letter, and testimony from TSA President Deborah Plagenhoef, MD, and Austin anesthesiologist Jeff Jekot, MD, emphasized the two organizations' concerns that the proposal will increase Medicaid anesthesia costs and hinder access to care. TMA and TSA leaders will meet with HHSC officials again before the agency makes a final decision on the question.

Action, Nov. 15, 2016

Last Updated On

November 14, 2016

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