Texas Hospital Association to host meetings on policy priorities

The Texas Hospital Association is planning a series of Legislative Preview Townhall meetings ahead of the 2019 legislative session. The meetings will review THA’s policy priorities for the 86th Legislative Session.

THA recently shared seven main points it will advocate for during the session to support a strong health care infrastructure:

  1. A state budget that protects funding for health care programs and services to meet the physical and behavioral health care needs of a growing population.
  2. A fair and equitable system of financing hospital payments.
  3. An increase in the number of Texans with affordable, comprehensive private health insurance.
  4. Funding for behavioral health care that is commensurate with the need for services and policies that foster, rather than inhibit, access to emergency psychiatric care.
  5. Simplification and alignment of state and federal quality and patient safety reform initiatives.
  6. Preservation of the state’s model medical liability and prompt payment laws.
  7. Empowerment of health care consumers through access to information that supports better health care decision making.

THA mentions two issues that Texas’s health care system faces are the high uninsured rate and the high rate of hospital closures in rural communities.

In order to continue to support hospitals, THA mentions advocating for the following:

“Continue state funding of health and human services programs and services, including adequate Medicaid funding that supports hospital payments that are closer to the actual costs of providing health care services.

Maintain a dedicated funding source for the state’s network of trauma hospitals to compensate for some of their unreimbursed costs of providing life-saving trauma care.

Continue the current property tax structure and oppose limiting local jurisdictions’ ability to generate revenue for essential services.

Support the current law (Prompt Pay Act) to ensure that physicians and hospitals receive timely and accurate payments for health care provided and ensure the law’s applicability to all payor sources.”

In order to increase the number of Texans with private insurance, THA will advocate for supporting enrollment in the federal health insurance marketplace and the development of a private market solution outside of the exchange for low-wage working Texans.

THA will host six regional meetings to discuss these priorities:

Aug. 29: Hospitals of Providence, El Paso
Sept. 5: McAllen Heart Hospital
Sept. 20: Guadalupe Regional Medical Center, Seguin
Oct. 10: Hendrick Medical Center, Abilene
Oct. 23: Northwest Texas Healthcare System, Amarillo
Oct. 30: Mount Pleasant Civic Center (Hosted by Titus Regional Medical Center)