Press Release - TEXAS HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVES PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN RATE INCREASE
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Press Release - TEXAS HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVES PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN RATE INCREASE
S T A T E R E P R E S E N T A T I V E
O S C A R L O N G O R I A
D I S T R I C T 3 5
TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
P.O. BOX 2910 • AUSTIN, TEXAS 78768-2910
CAPITOL EXTENSION E1.510
PHONE: 512.463.0645 • FAX: 512.463.0559
MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Villarreal
VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.HOUSE.STATE.TX.US/MEMBERS/MEMBER-PAGE/?DISTRICT=35 , ON FACEBOOK AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/OSCARLEELONGORIA
ON TWITTER AT WWW.TWITTER.COM/OSCARLONGORIA35, AND ON YOUTUBE AT WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/OSCARLEELONGORIA
TEXAS HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVES PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN
RATE INCREASE TO $460 MILLION IN GENERAL REVENUE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 2015
AUSTIN, TX—This morning, the Texas House Appropriations Committee, of which State Representative
Oscar Longoria (D-La Joya) is a member, approved funding to the Medicaid-to-Medicare Parity
Payments in the base bill in the amount of $460 million in General Revenue. The appropriation was
approved upon the recommendation of the Sub-Committee on Article II - Health and Human Services
(HHSC) of which Representative Longoria also serves on.
The recent federal funding to increase primary care physician payments expired December 31, 2014.
Without the higher payments, many organizations feared that the physician Medicaid participation
would again enter free fall.
"Physicians support Medicaid and want to participate," said Dr. Martin Garza a practicing pediatrician
from Edinburg and member of the Texas Medical Association. "Yet, as owners of small businesses, facing
ever more costly and demanding federal and state regulatory burdens, many cannot afford to stay in a
program that pays less than half their costs."
According to the Texas Medical Association's biennial physician survey, in 2000 67 percent of Texas
physicians accepted all new Medicaid patients. Today, that number is 34 percent. The good news is that
increasing physician Medicaid payments actually reverses the decline in participation. From 2012 to
2014, physician participation in Medicaid rose 5 points, a jump attributable to the temporary two-year
primary care physician rate increase paid for with federal funds. Similarly, in 2008, physician
participation also increased after Texas lawmakers invested new monies to improve the physician
Representative Oscar Longoria issued the following statement:
“Having met with and discussed this issue with many doctors from my district, as well as doctors
from across Texas, I, along with my colleagues in the sub-committee, have come to understand
the inadequacy of Medicaid payments and the need to pay better to expand access to care.
We need to invest the necessary resources to improve appropriate and timely access to medical
services for Medicaid patients, not only by maintaining higher payments for primary care
physicians, but also by ensuring competitive physician payment rates for subspecialists and
Medicaid and CHIP together serve more than 4 million Texans, people we all know or encounter
every day, including hard working, low-income parents and their children as well as people with
disabilities and seniors. Without the programs, the vast majority of Medicaid and CHIP patients
would be uninsured, thereby depriving them of access to affordable preventive, primary and
Representative Oscar Longoria proudly represents House District 35, which encompasses both Hidalgo and
Cameron Counties and includes the cities/towns of: La Joya, Sullivan City, Peñitas, Alton, Edinburg, Monte Alto,
Edcouch, La Villa, Mercedes, Weslaco, Santa Rosa, Primera, Palm Valley, Combes, Harlingen, and La Feria.