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

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 16, 2013
Contact: Megan Hanson, (512) 463-0112

SENATOR NELSON FILES BILLS ADDRESSING MEDICAID COSTS AND QUALITY

AUSTIN — Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, filed two pieces of legislation today designed to reduce fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system and to improve the overall quality of care in Texas Medicaid, particularly long-term care.

SB 8 confronts Medicaid fraud, which is so rampant that the Office of Inspector General has identified more than $6 billion in fraud and waste between 2004 and 2011. SB 8:

"When you defraud the system, you are stealing from the taxpayers, children, the frail, the poor, the elderly and Texans with disabilities. It is crime against our most vulnerable citizens, and we have to change our approach to stopping it," Senator Nelson said.

SB 7 builds on previous efforts to improve outcomes in our Medicaid system with an emphasis on improving long term care services, which is one of the top cost drivers in the Medicaid program. During her remarks, Senator Nelson noted that Texas must redesign our Medicaid system to prepare for the growing need for long term care, given that Texas has the nation's largest senior population and a growing population of Texans with disabilities. SB 7:

"These are some of the most vulnerable people we serve. We need to make sure they get the best possible care -- and that we are delivering services in a way that ensures we can keep caring for them into the future," said Senator Nelson.

"SB 7 and SB 8 are two important Medicaid bills that give Health and Human Services the tools and direction needed to improve health care for children, the disabled, elderly and frail, while combating the threat of crowd-out that Medicaid poses on the rest of the budget," Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst said. "I have partnered with Sen. Nelson over many sessions to achieve major reforms in Medicaid in Texas. We must continue to contain Medicaid costs and eliminate waste and fraud if we want to fund other priorities of government."

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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