P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2011
AUSTIN — The Senate and House today passed SB 7, legislation authored by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, which expands Medicaid managed care and streamlines programs to achieve cost savings needed to balance the health and human services budget. The bill now goes to the governor.
"These reforms are critically needed to focus our health care dollars on the outcomes we want for our patients and to contain the unsustainable growth in our health and human services budget," Senator Nelson said.
SB 7 includes portions of three bills filed by Senator Nelson during the regular session -- SB 23, relating to efficiencies, cost-savings and fraud prevention in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); SB 7, achieving savings in Medicaid and CHIP by re-focusing our health care dollars on better patient outcomes; and SB 8, allowing health care providers to form collaboratives to better coordinate care, free from burdensome federal regulations.
Senate Bill 7 achieves at least $467 million in savings assumed in the state budget. The bill:
- places prescription drug benefits into Medicaid managed care with existing patient protections;
- implements an electronic visit verification system to deter fraud in community care programs;
- repeals the prohibition against managed care in South Texas;
- implements co-payments for non-emergency visits to hospital emergency rooms;
- aligns Medicaid and CHIP reimbursement with patient outcomes rather than quantity of services;
- creates the health care collaborative certificate to provide safe harbor from antitrust laws for providers who join together to provide care that promotes quality, patient engagement and coordination of services;
- implements public reporting of hospital rates of preventable re-admissions and complications;
- authorizes Texas to enter into a health care compact with other states to design programs that meet the state's unique needs; and
- contains limitations against public tax dollars being used for abortions.
"Allowing providers to take a team approach to patient care will help reduce errors and duplicative tests and treatments, resulting in healthier patients," Senator Nelson said.