Texas Medicaid to Cut Reimbursements for Non-Emergency ER Care

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Texas Medicaid cuts — particularly those surrounding payments for non-emergency care provided in the ER — scheduled to go into effect later this week could disproportionately hurt rural hospitals in the state, according to the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals as cited in a San Antonio Express-News report.

The cuts, which go into effect on Thursday, include a provision that would reimburse hospitals just 60 percent of the cost of care for non-emergency services provided to Medicaid patients in the emergency department setting. The move is intended to encourage the use of less costly sites of care, but rural hospital leaders argue their communities often lack other primary care options, especially outside traditional office hours.

In addition to the cuts to emergency services, payments to hospitals will be reduced 8 percent overall. However, rural hospitals' payments for outpatient services will only be affected since inpatient care at rural hospitals in the state is reimbursed based on cost, according to the report.

Related Articles on Texas Medicaid:

Texas Legislature Passes 8% Medicaid Cut for Hospitals
Texas Senate Approves Medicaid Reform Legislation, Allows ACO-Like Arrangements

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