SENATORS CONTINUE WORK ON MEDICAID REFORM
(AUSTIN) — The Senate Health and Human Services Committee continued its work Wednesday on the committee's interim charge of revamping the state's Medicaid system. Lawmakers focused on incentive strategies to improve the quality of health-care. These strategies, most often paying supplemental awards to top-performing health care providers, are already used by half of the nation, and are being evaluated through pilot programs in Texas.
Industry officials testified that paying for good performance and levying penalties for poor performance are generally effective in increasing the quality of health care. Pam Coleman from the state's Health and Human Services Commission testified that Texas levied $1.8 million in penalties to underperforming providers in fiscal year 2007. Advocates of pay-for-performance plans also touted increased accountability and transparency as well as a more qualitative model of provider evaluation.