Don’t Wonder Why Texas Health Care Reimbursement Rates Are Low

Ever wonder why Medicaid and Medicare rates are so low or why there was a Frew lawsuit? What about the future for reimbursement rates for Medicaid or Medicare health care providers in Texas?

No need to wonder. Here’s your answer.

In an interview with Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune on August 27th, State Rep. Donna Howard D-Austin in answer to a question if “southern states hate health care” expounds on Texas’ political philosophy about paying health care providers. Watch the short video.

She says,”But I will say that, as far as Texas goes, we have one of the lowest expenditures per capita of any state in the Union. And I don’t know how that compares to some of these other states that you are referring to. But we have made the decision in this state that we are going to be a low overall tax burden state, a low regulation state and low services state.

“And that’s the way it is.

“With a lack of access to providers, part of that has been because of our unwillingness to pay a higher reimbursement rate to providers. We have been paying one of the lowest reimbursement rates in the nation as well. And when people talk about access is a problem, we don’t have enough providers. Well, we’re the ones at the state legislature who have been making that happen by not reimbursing at a rate that’s higher, that attracts the providers to actually provide the services.”

The video has been excerpted from the full hour-long interview that includes U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, and Kyle Janek, executive commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services.

The full video is available here.