AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has been notified by the federal government that up to $3.87 billion in funds will be available for Texas each year for the next three years to help reimburse health care providers for charity care they deliver to patients.
Previous amounts were closer to $3.1 billion each year. The additional funding begins Oct. 1 and will benefit hospitals, public ambulance providers, public dental providers and some physician clinics.
“We are pleased the federal government is reinvesting taxpayer dollars into our health care system. We are doing everything we can to keep Texas health care moving forward,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, executive commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services. “We have been negotiating on behalf of the people of Texas, and this funding makes Texas stronger.”
This increase in funding is the result of negotiations between HHSC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on an appropriate methodology. The $3.87 billion per year represents the maximum uncompensated care funding available in this program for Texas. The methodologies and dollar amounts are set by CMS and could be modified in the future.
“I applaud the work of Governor Abbott and Commissioner Phillips to secure these additional critical funds for Texas health care providers,” said Sen. Lois Kolkhorst. “Texas is a large and dynamic state that needs a strong and reliable partnership with the federal government to meet the needs of our growing state. I thank the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for this investment and I look forward to working with CMS moving forward on key priorities for improving health care in Texas.”
Uncompensated care payments help offset a portion of the costs incurred by health care providers for the care they provide to low-income Texas patients who can’t afford services. Services may include hospital stays, physician fees, clinic visits and outpatient drug costs.
“Texas hospitals applaud HHSC for its work to secure funding to help hospitals cover the costs of caring for uninsured Texans,” said Ted Shaw, president and CEO of the Texas Hospital Association. “This funding is critical to ensure the stability of Texas’ fragile health care safety net and hospitals’ ability to provide the highest quality care for all Texans.”
With news of the pool size increase, Texas health officials expect to see a continued ability to care for low-income patients in Texas hospitals. Of the approximately 600 hospitals in Texas, about 360 currently receive uncompensated care payments.