From the office of Senator Bob Deuell

March 5, 2010
Contact: Thomas Flanders
(512) 463-0102

HHS Commissioner Reports Cost Savings from Deuell Bill

Executive Commissioner Thomas Suehs reports state savings of over $68 million from creation of billing coordination system

AUSTIN, Texas — In a letter to state Sen. Bob Deuell (R - Greenville), Executive Commissioner Thomas Seuhs of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission attributes $68.7 million in cost avoidance and recovery to the implementation of Deuell's billing coordination system (BCS). The BCS was added by Deuell as an amendment to Senate Bill 10 during the Regular Session of the 80th Legislature in 2007.

"The cost avoidance and cost recoveries would not have been possible without the enabling legislation found in S.B 10," Suehs wrote. "This is a win for the state and health care provider."

Deuell's BCS legislation makes it easier for the HHSC to identify commercial insurance and forward them claims that would have previously been paid for by the state.

"The state avoids the cost for the claim because other insurance is available and the provider is reimbursed probably at a higher rate, by the health insurer," reported Suehs.

Since implementing the BCS in 2008, the Medicaid program has cost avoided $51,496,126. Due to the immediate success of the program, the HHSC expanded it to include Medicaid Vendor Drug Program claims, which has saved the state an additional $11,425,597.

"Texas will face another budget shortfall when the legislature meets in January and it's important that we find ways to cut waste," said Deuell. "Tax payers in Texas have to know that their money is only being spent on essential state services."