Texas Senate approves health care payment reforms for doctors and hospitals

April 19, 2011


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Texas Senate unanimously approved two major bills that would reform how doctors and hospitals are paid or operate.

Republican state Senator Jane Nelson said Senate Bill 7 would encourage greater efficiency in Medicaid services by reducing payments for preventable readmissions and complications. Medicaid patients would also be required to make copayments for unnecessary emergency room visits.

Senate Bill 8 would apply to non-Medicaid insurance programs and create a performance-based payment system. The proposed law would also allow doctors and hospitals to create health care organizations that pay more for good outcomes. The bill would also require private health providers to publicly report preventable complications among their patients.

The state would also study preventable health problems in long-term care facilities.

The bills now go to the House for consideration.


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