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Monday, March 5, 2012

DUAL-ELIGIBLE RULE WREAKING HAVOC IN PHYSICIANS' OFFICES

A combination of poorly informed government decisions and bureaucratic bungling is creating a medical emergency for thousands of Medicare-Medicaid eligible Texans and the physicians who care for them. One family physician in the Rio Grande Valley told TMA he has exhausted his life’s savings trying to make payroll because he has received no payments since the first of the year for seeing dual-eligible patients, who make up more than one-third of his practice. We also have heard from other physicians in the Valley, from an ophthalmologist in rural West Texas, and an orthopedist in Houston. TMA wants state leaders to take emergency action to protect our patients. As part of a cost-saving move the Texas Legislature ordered, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission adopted a new policy of not paying coinsurance and deductible payments for Medicare Part B services for patients eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. TMA is asking Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Seuhs and state and federal lawmakers to reexamine the new rule and the serious Medicare and Medicaid computer errors that compounded the situation.

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