Texas seeks short-term Med­i­caid waiver

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Vir­gil Dick­son

Warn­ing that providers could lose bil­lions of dol­lars in re­im­burse­ment, Texas is seek­ing an emer­gency 15month waiver from the CMS that would ex­tend fi­nanc­ing for pro­grams de­signed to cover the un­paid bills of Med­i­caid-el­i­gi­ble pa­tients who haven’t signed up for the pro­gram.

Texas is one of 19 states that haven’t ex­panded Med­i­caid un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act, and it has the largest pool of unin­sured peo­ple in the country.

While they haven’t said no yet, fed­eral of­fi­cials ap­pear to be balk­ing at last Novem­ber’s re­quest by Texas Med­i­caid of­fi­cials to ex­tend its 1115 waiver, which was ini­tially granted in 2011, for an ad­di­tional five years.

The waiver, which ex­pires in Septem­ber, pro­vides $4 bil­lion a year for the Texas Health­care Trans­for­ma­tion and Qual­ity Im­prove­ment Pro­gram, which cov­ers providers’ un­com­pen­sated care bills, and its De­liv­ery Sys­tem Re­form In­cen­tive Pay­ment, which en­cour­ages providers to adopt in­no­va­tive pro­grams that raise the qual­ity and cost-ef­fec­tive­ness of care.

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