Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, applauded testimony from representatives of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), Legislative Budget Board (LBB), Texas Cancer Institute, Texas Medical Association (TMA), Texas Association on Homecare (TAHC) and Texas Healthcare Association (THCA).
HHSC prepared charts that illustrate the 2003 $10 billion shortfall’s impact on Medicaid rates by listing the change for each biennium between 2002-03 and 2008-09. In spite of progress, today’s rates average only 73 percent of Medicare rates. Witnesses offered evidence indicating that the Medicaid payment increases have improved Medicaid participation by physicians.
“The Medicaid rate disparity among doctors who treat children and doctors who treat adults is troubling,” Senator Zaffirini said. “Pediatric providers do not provide young persons with referrals to adult providers because of their unavailability caused by rate disparity. We must ensure that there are enough physicians who accept Medicaid to meet the needs of Texans who require Medicaid-funded services.”