FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 08/26/2015
Rep. Donna Howard Urges Caution Regarding HHSC and Medicaid Rate Cuts
Austin Legislator Reiterates Call for the Joint-Chairs of the LBB to Take Action
AUSTIN - Following the Texas Health & Human Services Commission's announcement that they would hold off on implementing reductions to Medicaid rates for acute therapy services, Rep. Donna Howard released the following statement:
“Like many, I enthusiastically read today's news that HHSC has withdrawn its plan for cuts to acute therapy rates, and aims to start from scratch on a new proposal. Unfortunately, it is now my understanding that the Agency merely intends to move forward with the $50 million in rate reductions that were originally discussed.
"From the beginning, HHSC has indicated that they are following the guidelines of Rider 50 in the Appropriations bill, and must achieve the total savings set out by that directive. The planned return to $50 million in reductions appears to be an effort to comply with the language of the rider.
"This development serves to further emphasize what I and 59 of my House and Senate Colleagues suggested in an August 14 letter, that the Speaker and the Lt. Governor should step in and take action to give HHSC flexibility on the matter.
"It is quite clear that the cuts could have a catastrophic impact, with an estimated 60,000 severely disabled pediatric patients in danger of losing access to medically necessary services.
"I would again urge that our leaders in the House and Senate, in their capacity as Joint-Chairs of the Legislative Budget Board, take steps to lessen the scope and the severity of these rate reductions."
CONTACT: Scott M. Daigle