5 Things Texas: Future of TX Medicaid, 2021-23 budget, Chris Murray

We are gearing up for our 2021 Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference coming up on Feb. 4th. Because our agenda is full of the most important conversations taking place in Texas health care, it should be no surprise that some of those conversations are things we’re featuring in this month’s newsletter.

So, we’d love to have you with us and some of Texas’s most important health care voices at this year’s event! You can get registered before pricing goes up in eight days time…





With help from Senior Reporter Emily Boerger

1. Legislators shaping health policy

Some of the most important legislators in health policy will join us at the 2021 Texas State of Reform Virtual Health Policy Conference on February 4th. On our “Policy Leadership: Democrats” panel we’ll hear from Sen. Beverly Powell, who last session was a member of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and Rep. Julie Johnson, who served on the House Insurance Committee.

We’re also looking forward to hearing from Rep. Garnet Coleman, last session’s House County Affairs Committee Chair, who will join our Morning Keynote panel for a discussion on the future of Texas health care. And joining us on the “Policy Leadership: Republicans” panel will be Sen. Kelly Hancock, who served as Chair of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee, Rep. James Frank, Chair of the House Human Services Committee, and Rep. Stephanie Klick, who was a member of the House Select Committee on Statewide Health Care Costs.


2. Reviewing the 2021-23 budget

The most important item to watch every legislative session is the biennial budget, and how it ultimately takes shape. At our “Reviewing the 2021-2023 Budget” panel on the 4th, this panel of experts will discuss the parameters, the challenges, and the process ahead of putting together this session’s fiscal plan.

Joining the conversation will by Ky Ash, Principal at Husch Blackwell Strategies, John Hryhorchuk, Vice President of Policy at Texas 2036, and Eva DeLuna Castro, Program Director, Invest in Texas Team at Every Texan.

3. Racism as a public health issue

From the boardroom to the exam room, from the finance department to the community health worker, race and racism are present in health care in meaningful ways that aren’t always fully understood. Our panel, “Racism as a Public Health Issue,” will discuss the data that underpins racism’s impact on health and how the health care sector can better deal with this ongoing issue.

We’ll hear from Rep. Christina Morales, who also served on the Select Committee on Statewide Health Care Costs, Elena Marks, President & CEO at the Episcopal Health Foundation, and Nadia Siddiqui, Chief Health Equity Officer at the Texas Health Institute.


4. Keynote: The top COVID modeler in the US

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is one of the country’s leading outlets for COVID projections and epidemiological research. At the State of Reform conference next month, Dr. Chris Murray, Director of IHME, will join us as our Afternoon Keynote to discuss what his model tells us about the future of COVID-19.

In this presentation, we will review the data and trends related to the disease and look ahead to what vaccines and additional policy measures might hold for us in 2021. Be sure to bring your questions to what will be an insightful and forward-looking conversation!

5. The future of Texas Medicaid

With pressure building between the push for Medicaid expansion and the ending of DSRIP funding, the future of Medicaid in the state is a point of active conversation. From procurement to accountability, from the scope of practice to plan-provider relations, this panel will explore some of the reforms proposed in the program.

Shao-Chee Sim, Vice President for Applied Research at Episcopal Health Foundation, and Frank McStay, Senior Policy Advisor at Baylor Scott and White Health, will join a multi-perspective panel on the topic. Stephen Palmer, Principal at Health Management Associates, and Stephanie Muth, Principal at Stephanie Muth Consulting, will also join the conversation.