Medicaid Improvements Rank High on Texas M.D.s' 2019 Legislative Wish List

by Morgan Montalvo

WOAI News

Texas physicians are compiling their 2019 legislative wish list, WOAI News reports. 

The  items are few but important says Dr. Doug Curran, president of the  Texas Medical Association, and focus in large part on improvements to  how the state administers Medicaid. 

They include: better maternal health  care delivery; faster insurer credentialing of physicians; and  streamlining the administrative side of medicine, Curran says. 

In  October, TMA physicians sat down with managed care companies and  hospital groups to cobble together a Medicaid-focused agenda that could  be delivered to state lawmakers in advance of the upcoming 86th Legislative Session scheduled to begin in January. 

“Referrals,  prior approvals for certain medications, the lack of adequate networks,  all those things we’re working on and they’re agreeable to working with  us so we can resolve those things,” Curran says of the corporate  partners who attended last month’s first-ever Joint Summit on Texas  Medicaid.

Presently about 4 million Texans rely on Medicaid, Curran says.   

Curran  says with health care practitioners, managed care companies and  hospitals in agreement that Medicaid in Texas is in need of improvements  the onus is on lawmakers to address funding and statutory concerns and  make 2019 “a golden moment” for subsidized health care that benefits the  state’s impoverished, working poor and disabled. 

“We’ve messed with it for almost 10 years, now,” Curran says, “so it’s  time to kind of refine it. We want to keep the good things of the  Affordable Care Act and fix the broken things.” 

Curran says improving Medicaid in Texas will help reduce the state’s maternal mortality rates, one of the highest in the U.S.

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