Efforts by those championing for improved health care for rural Texans:
TEXAS ORGANIZATION OF RURAL AND COMMUNITY HOSPITALS
Current State Issues Include:
- Uninsured/Underinsured – Support broad-based efforts to involve legislators, providers, consumers and businesses in improving access to equitable, high-quality healthcare and expanding essential services to the vulnerable uninsured and underinsured populations of Texas.
- Physician Recruitment – Support broad-based efforts to involve legislators, providers, consumers and businesses in improving access to equitable, high-quality healthcare and expanding essential services to the vulnerable uninsured and underinsured populations of Texas.
- Medicaid/CHIP Funding – Advocate for the preservation of access to services by low-income Texans, and firmly oppose any further reductions in reimbursement to rural providers. Reinstatement of HHSC Appropriations Rider No. 18 is a high priority.
- Medicaid Managed Care – Work to shelter rural facilities from further discounts. Reinstatement of HHSC Appropriations Rider No. 19 is a high priority.
- CHIP Eligibility – Restore eligibility, access to services and changes in the asset test to increase the number of families receiving benefits.
- TORT Reform – Support the continuation of the liability reform measures that were passed in 2003 and efforts to limit exposure for rural hospitals and other healthcare providers.
- Workers Compensation – Support changes allowing rural public hospitals to opt out and further strengthen healthcare networks.
- ERS/TRS Network – Work to ensure that rural hospitals can become in-network providers for any state-contracted insurance product.
- Texas Health Care Information Council – Advocate for the continuation of the current rural exemption and the improvement in the reporting system.
- Physician Self-Referral – Limit the practice of physician self-referral and unnecessary duplication in rural areas.
- Texas State Office of Rural Health – Support and advocate for adequate resources for rural health programs.
- Workforce – Support proposals to increase the number of skilled healthcare providers/ professionals practicing in rural Texas.
- Hospital Authority Joint Ventures – Support legislation to allow hospital authorities to create joint venture initiatives.
- Hospital District Tax Increase – Support legislation to extend hospital district’s ability to initiate limited tax increases to support healthcare without seeking legislative approval.
- Facility Construction/Renovation – Seek to lift ‘hard bid’ restrictions to allow hospital districts access to other options.
For more information, please visit Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals’ website: http://www.torchnet.org/state_issue.php
TEXAS RURAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION:
- Expand capacity for nursing and allied health schools, faculty and programs – Despite efforts by the Legislature, a shortage is continuing in Texas and is projected to last for some time.
- Expand capacity to train mid-level practitioners and create more rural physician primary care residency slots and provide funding to support oral and mental health provider staffing for rural areas – Texas must increase the number of students in education and training programs that include rotations and residencies in rural settings.
For more information, please visit Texas Rural Health Association website: http://www.trha.org/news.htm