Proposed Texas Medicaid Cuts Threaten Rural Hospitals

Proposed cuts to the Texas Medicaid program could greatly threaten the financial sustainability of rural hospitals in the state, many of which treat a large number of Medicaid patients, according to a Houston Chronicle report.
State lawmakers have proposed a 10 percent cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates to help close a projected $15 billion budget shortfall for the state, according to the report. The Medicaid cuts could result in losses of federal funding for the program, further aggravating hospitals that treat Medicaid patients.

One example of a hospital that would be significantly impacted by the cuts is Childress (Texas) Regional Medical Center. Childress is the only hospital in a 100 mile radius that delivers babies, and 70 percent of its births are from Medicaid patients. Already, the hospital loses about $1,000 on each Medicaid birth, according to the report.

"Anything that reduces payments to rural hospitals because of their narrow margins could jeopardize their ability to stay open," said Don McBeath of the Texas Organization for Rural and Community Hospitals.

Read the Houston Chronicle report on Texas Medicaid.

Read more coverage on Texas Medicaid:

- Texas Eyes Medicaid Overhaul to Allow ACO-Like Arrangements

-
States Will Struggle to Find Primary Care for Booming Medicaid Population

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