Contents tagged with HHSC

  • TAFP to HHSC: Address insufficient payment for COVID-19 testing

    Tags: COVID-19 testing, HHSC, 87th Texas Legislature

    By Jonathan Nelson

    TAFP joined five other physician associations last week in calling on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to ensure adequate reimbursement for COVID-19 testing. The organizations sent a letter to HHSC Executive Commissioner Cecile Young on Feb. 16, bringing attention to a problem Texas physicians face: payments by some Medicaid managed care organizations for COVID-19 tests often do not even cover the cost of the tests.

    A recent New York Times article quoted a Texas pediatrician who said he offered rapid coronavirus tests that cost $37 each, but the Medicaid MCOs covering his patients paid only $15 to $19. The article stated that because of the low payments, some doctors are deciding to stop testing, which hinders the nation’s effort to control the pandemic.

  • HHSC seeks physicians for new state advisory committees

    Tags: advisory committee, medicaid, HHSC, DSHS

    Last year the Legislature made its regular adjustments to the list of advisory committees that report to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of State Health Services. These committees play important roles in bringing fresh perspectives to the agencies and family doctors who have served on them in the past have had the chance to influence state programs to benefit patients.

    The full list of advisory committees with available seats can be found on the HHSC website, but two committees are of particular interest to the Academy. The new Value-Based Payment and Quality Improvement Committee is a combination of the previous Medicaid/CHIP Quality-Based Payment Advisory Committee and the Texas Institute for Healthcare Quality. Its purpose is to provide a forum to promote public-private, multi-stakeholder collaboration in support of quality improvement and value-based payment initiatives for Medicaid and other health services.

    The Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Advisory Committee will advise HHSC on the operation of Medicaid managed care, including program design and benefits, concerns about the system from consumers and providers, efficiency and quality of services, contract requirements, network adequacy, trends in claims processing, and other issues. The agency is looking for primary care physicians and has a specific directive to include rural providers.