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Monday, October 7, 2013

MEDICAID: FIX IT FIRST

I had a great visit with TMA Board of Trustees member Doug Curran, MD — a powerful advocate for a strong Texas Medicaid system. Despite the progress we made in the legislative session — better due process protections for physicians suspected of fraud, slashing away at some of the most vexing red tape — we still have a long, long way to go before Texas Medicaid is ready to take on any more patients. And that’s the policy the TMA House of Delegates adopted in May: Texas must fix Medicaid’s problems before we expand it. Overall payment rates remain dismal, payments for patients eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid is particularly problematic, and — as the cover story of this month’s Texas Medicine documents — we have many problems with Medicaid HMOs. All of these troubles are driving physicians out of Texas Medicaid. Thanks to the leadership of physicians like Dr. Curran, TMA continues to work very closely with key legislators and Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek, MD, to improve the system for you and your patients.

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