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Senate Passes SB 7, Medicaid Efficiency Bill
AUSTIN — The Senate today unanimously passed SB 7, legislation authored by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, which expands Medicaid managed care and streamlines programs to achieve cost savings needed to balance the health and human services budget. The bill now goes to the House.
"Our Medicaid costs are unsustainable and this legislation is critically needed to make our health and human services operate more efficiently on behalf of those who depend on state services and those whose tax dollars support the services," Senator Nelson said.
SB 7 includes portions of three bills filed by Senator Nelson during the regular session -- SB 23, relating to efficiencies, cost-savings, and fraud prevention in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); SB 7, achieving savings in Medicaid and CHIP by re-focusing our health care dollars on better patient outcomes; and SB 8, allowing health care providers to form collaboratives to better coordinate care, free from burdensome federal regulations.
Provisions in the bill are necessary to achieve the savings assumed in the state budget -- such as the expansion of Medicaid managed care; utilization reviews to prevent fraud and waste; the establishment of co-pays for non-emergency visits to emergency rooms; and authorization to reduce payments for treatment associated with preventable medical errors. It includes measures to improve patient outcomes -- such as the public reporting of preventable hospital re-admissions and complications. It also allows providers to join together to improve quality and efficiency without the fear of violating antitrust and fee-splitting laws.
"Allowing providers to take a team approach to patient care will help reduce errors and duplicative tests and treatments, resulting in healthier patients," Senator Nelson said.
ATTACHMENT: Summary of SB 7 (82-1)
Senator Nelson represents Senate District 12, which includes portions of Denton and Tarrant counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.