AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Children's hospitals in Texas are asking Texas legislators to increase funding for Medicaid in the 2013 session of the Texas Legislature. These hospitals, which are members of the Children's Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT), provide specialized care for the state's most ill children. CHAT recommends improving Medicaid reimbursement rates to better reflect the costs of providing specialized pediatric care.
Stable and fair Medicaid payments are essential to sustain the mission of the children's hospitals in Texas. These hospitals train pediatricians, pediatric subspecialists and other health care professionals, provide high-quality specialized pediatric care and conduct research to advance pediatric care.
"Children's hospitals are the pediatric safety net, serving children regardless of ability to pay and providing services that are not available elsewhere for children with the most complex conditions," Bryan Sperry, president of CHAT, said. "Because of our fast-growing child population, now more than seven million, children's hospitals in Texas have been challenged to build and develop the pediatric services that children need."
Medicaid provides health coverage to more than 2.7 million kids in Texas, making it the single largest children's health insurance program in the state. Children's hospitals rely heavily on Medicaid to pay for patient services. For the eight member hospitals of CHAT, which are all not-for-profit health corporations, almost 60 percent of the patient days are covered by Medicaid (2010). The average percentage of Medicaid patient days for all other acute care hospitals in Texas is 19 percent.
"Texas' healthcare and budget challenges are many, but we have confidence in the growth of the Texas economy in future years," Sperry said. "Our state's children deserve to grow up as healthy as possible, and we should ensure that they continue to have access to top-quality medical care now and in the future."
In 2010, CHAT member hospitals served children from 241 of Texas' 254 counties.
About the Children's Hospital Association of Texas
The mission of the Children's Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) is to support the development of an effective, comprehensive, high-quality and appropriately funded children's healthcare delivery system in Texas. Since 1989, CHAT has worked to advance its goals and public policy objectives in cooperation with other trade associations, advocacy groups, state agencies and the Texas Legislature. www.childhealthtx.org
Lindsay Ketchum, Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations
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SOURCE Children’s Hospital Association of Texas