Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 12, 2011
Contact: Dave Nelson (512) 463-0112

SENATOR NELSON APPLAUDS FEDERAL WAIVER APPROVAL

AUSTIN — Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today praised the federal government's decision to grant a waiver that will allow key cost-saving provisions of SB 7, her omnibus health care efficiency bill, to be implemented.

"I am pleased that the federal government has listened to our call for flexibility in the way we deliver services under Medicaid, whose costs continue to soar at an unsustainable rate. Without this waiver, our budget challenges would become much more difficult," Senator Nelson, who chairs the Senate Health and Services Committee, said. "Texas faces health and human service challenges that — because of our size, diversity and proximity to the border — are unique from other states. This waiver allows us to implement key provisions in SB 7 that are intended to make the best possible use of our dollars as we address our needs."

In the 1st called session of the 82nd Legislature, lawmakers approved SB 7, which Senator Nelson filed to contain costs and improve efficiency throughout health and human services. Many of the statutory changes needed to balance the budget were contained in this omnibus bill, including the expansion of Medicaid managed care; the use of financial incentives to reward healthy outcomes for patients; and provisions to limit costs associated with preventable complications and re-admissions.

For additional information on the federal waiver request, visit the Health & Human Services Commission online at:
http://www.hhs.state.tx.us/news/release/121211_Medicaid-Improvements.shtml

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.

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