Texas to Receive Increase in Federal Funds for Uncompensated Care
October 2019 ~
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced, on October 1, that the state will be given $11.6 billion over the next three years to help reimburse health care providers for indigent services and “charity care they deliver to patients”.
Over the next three years, the state will receive $3.87 billion in federal funds annually to help reimburse health care providers for uncompensated care. This is an increase from the $3.1 billion received in previous years.
The funding increase is the result of negotiations between HHSC and CMS on revisions to current reimbursement methodology, according to the announcement. The $3.87 billion per year represents the maximum uncompensated care funding available in the program for Texas. The HHSC notes that the methodologies and dollar amounts are set by CMS and could potentially be modified in the future.
“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 Phillips, executive commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services (HHS). “We have been negotiating on behalf of the people of Texas, and this funding makes Texas stronger.”
According to the HHSC, 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.”
The additional funds became available to the state on October 1 and are intended to benefit hospitals, public ambulance providers, public dental providers, and select physician clinics.
For more information on Texas HHS programs, visit the HHS website.