Texas hospitals maintain state funding for trauma care

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation June 14 that ensures  funding for the state's designated trauma hospitals while removing the Driver Responsibility Program, which previously provided revenue for hospitals, the Texas Hospital Association announced

The Driver Responsibility Program allowed the state to assess surcharges to drivers based on certain traffic offenses, outside of other fees.  

The program was the main revenue source for the state's trauma fund. But now the legislation — by state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, and state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston — replaces the previous revenue stream for hospitals and emergency medical services.

Revenue from new and increased traffic violation fines, effective Sept. 1, will go toward the state's trauma fund, projected to provide level funding for Texas trauma hospitals.

 In 2016, state and federal funding together provided about $176 million of Texas trauma hospitals' more than $320 million in unreimbursed trauma care costs, according to the Texas Hospital Association.

"THA applauds Gov. Abbott for signing into law legislation that ensures Texas trauma hospitals' ability to continue providing life-saving trauma care to the hundreds of thousands of Texans who depend on it," said Ted Shaw, THA president and CEO, in a news release. "Passage of HB 2048 is a major achievement that Texas hospitals have worked toward for over six years."

 

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