Tribpedia: Medicaid

Tribpedia

MEDICAID
Medicaid is the safety net health insurance provider for children, the disabled and the very poor. It is jointly funded by the federal government and the state, which administers the program with oversight from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Both Medicaid and Medicare — the federally ...

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Austin State-Supported Living Center.
Austin State-Supported Living Center.

Texas Wants to Boost Payments to State Centers

In the wake of high-profile incidents of abuse, state health officials want to boost payments to Texas' institutions for the disabled by $25,000 per patient per year. But the proposed Medicaid rate change has drawn the ire of Texas’ disability community, which wants to see the facilities shuttered rather than propped up.

Deuell Asks AG: Can State Ban Abortion Affiliates?

State Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, wants Planned Parenthood's clinics out of the state’s Women’s Health Program, which provides family planning services — but not abortions — to impoverished Medicaid patients. He says a 2005 law should exclude them already. But for years, the state’s Health and Human Services Commission has allowed those clinics to participate, for fear that barring them might be unconstitutional. Deuell has asked Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to clear up the matter, hoping it will free up the agency to push Planned Parenthood out.

The best of our best from the week of July 12th.
The best of our best from the week of July 12th.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of July 12, 2010

Grissom's three-part series (here, here and here) on prosperity and peril along the U.S.-Mexico border, Hu on the Division of Workers' Compensation audit report, Stiles puts more than 3,000 personal disclosure forms filed by politicians, candidates and state officials online, M. Smith on attempts to curb the practice of barratry (better known as ambulance chasing), Ramsey interviews the chair of the Texas Libertarian Party, Hamilton on attempts to improve the success rates of community colleges, Galbraith on whether electric deregulation has helped or hurt Texans, Aguilar talks to a chronicler of the bloody narco-wars and Ramshaw on doctors who most often prescribe antipsychotic drugs to the state's neediest patients: The best of our best from July 12 to 16, 2010.

Some Medicaid Doctors Rely Heavily On Potent Drugs

A Houston psychiatrist who uses clinically controversial brain scans to diagnose everything from anxiety to marital discord. A Plano music therapist who believes his Peruvian pan flute tunes cure mental illness. And a Beaumont child psychologist reprimanded for continuing to prescribe to a proven drug abuser. These physicians have written more prescriptions for potent antipsychotic drugs to the state’s neediest patients than any other doctors in Texas.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of June 28, 2010

Grissom, Hamilton, and Philpott on the Texas Democratic Party's state convention, the two-step, the forecast, and the ticket; Galbraith on the political and environmental battle between state and federal environmental regulators, and on a new age of nukes in Texas; Burnson on signs of the times in San Antonio; Ramshaw on hackers breaking into the state's confidential cancer database; Aguilar's interview with Katherine Glass, the Libertarian Party's nominee for governor; Acosta on efforts to stop 'Murderabilia' items that sell because of the association with killers;  Ramshaw and the Houston Chronicle's Terri Langford on the criminal arrest records of workers in state-funded foster care centers; Hu on accusations that state Sunset examiners missed problems with workers compensation regulators because they didn't ask the right questions of the right people; Ramsey and Stiles on the rush to rake in campaign cash, and on political races that could be won or lost because of voter attraction to Libertarian candidates; and Aguilar's fresh take on South Texas' reputation for corruption. The best of our best from June 28 to July 3, 2010.

Pulling the Democrats' Dance Card

Texas Weekly

Two years after Democrats’ complicated presidential primary process — the “Texas Two-Step” — had voters across the state frustrated and outraged, party officials will continue to wrangle this weekend over the fairness of its election system.

Richard DeMaar in his Fairbanks, Alaska home.
Richard DeMaar in his Fairbanks, Alaska home.

Out of State Kids May Suffer in Texas Care Facilities

Alaska officials sent 16-year-old Richard DeMaar 4,000 miles away from his parents to a psychiatric facility in San Antonio because his home state wasn’t equipped to handle his severe depression. Within six weeks, he had tied a makeshift noose around his neck, strangling himself to death. He's one of roughly 900 out-of-state kids sent to residential treatment centers in Texas in the last five years, part of a national compact that allows states that don't have adequate psychiatric services to send kids to states that do. But the practice has come under fire from children’s health advocates, who say it takes kids away from their families and their communities — two things they need to make a full-fledged recovery.

An inmate sleeps in his cubicle in the geriatric unit of the Estelle Prison in Huntsville.
An inmate sleeps in his cubicle in the geriatric unit of the Estelle Prison in Huntsville.

Few Texas Inmates Get Released on Medical Parole

Texas’ “geriatric” inmates (55 and older) make up just 7.3 percent of Texas’ 160,000-offender prison population, but they account for nearly a third of the system’s hospital costs. Prison doctors routinely offer up the oldest and sickest of them for medical parole, a way to get those who are too incapacitated to be a public threat and have just months to live out of medical beds that Texas’ quickly aging prison population needs. They’ve recommended parole for 4,000 such inmates within the last decade. But the state parole board has only agreed in a quarter of these cases, leaving the others to die in prison — and on the state’s dime.

The Red Party

Texas Weekly

Don't look now, but the Texas GOP, the party of budgetary teetotalers, has been piling up debt like a college kid with his first credit card. According to Federal Election Commission reports, this isn't exactly a new development. The Republican Party of Texas has ended every year in the red since 2001. But lately that amount has ballooned from a low of about $70,000 in 2003 to last year's high of $624,000. Now — a month out from the state party convention where 14,000 delegates will elect the chairman who will guide the faithful for the next two years — the latest FEC report, for the month of April, shows $556,000 in financial obligations. In contrast, the Texas Democratic Party currently carries about $49,000 in debt.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of May 10, 2010

Grissom on the transgender marriage conundrum, Hu on the workers' comp whistleblowers, M. Smith on the Texas GOP's brush with debt, Garcia-Ditta on why student regents should vote, Aguilar on the tripling of the number of visas given by the feds to undocumented crime victims, Hamilton on the paltry number of state universities with graduation rates above 50 percent, Ramshaw and Stiles on the high percentage of Texas doctors trained in another country, Ramsey and Stiles on congressmen giving to congressmen, Galbraith on how prepared Texas is (very) for a BP-like oil spill, and my conversation with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst: The best of our best from May 10 to 14, 2010.

Internationally Trained Doctors Work in Texas

That’s right — they’re not from Texas. Newly licensed physicians enlisting to treat the state’s Medicaid and Medicare patients are more likely to have been trained at international medical schools, according to a review of state medical licensing data.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of May 3, 2010

Aguilar and Miller on the immigration rally in Dallas; E. Smith interviews T. Boone Pickens and, in a two-on-one matchup, Jerry Patterson and Hector Uribe; Ramsey on how to make $2 billion disappear from the budget shortfall with creative accounting and on the $1.5 billion problem with health insurance for state employees; Kreighbaum on money bombs; Hamilton and Stiles on the remarkably similar policies for policing immigration in Texas and its largest city; Ramshaw on doctors ducking government health care programs; Kraft on the ups and downs of base closures; Grissom interviews Pulitzer-Pize wine David Oshinsky on the death penalty; M. Smith on the three Texans who want to run the state GOP; and Philpott on the lawsuits already in motion over the oil spill that's still underway in the Gulf of Mexico. The best of our best from May 3 to 7, 2010.

Magical Accounting

Texas Weekly

It's 1983. Oil prices are in the toilet. The Texas economy is suddenly and unexpectedly reeling. Lawmakers, who happen to be in session, have a choice between big cuts or new taxes or something creative. Comptroller Bob Bullock and his top propeller-heads find a creative out — a way to balance the budget without big cuts or tax hikes.

Cameron Maedgen enters his apartment in San Angelo. Maedgen, an autistic, brain-damaged, 19-year-old, is ineligible for state services because his IQ is too high — but too low-functioning to live without assistance.
Cameron Maedgen enters his apartment in San Angelo. Maedgen, an autistic, brain-damaged, 19-year-old, is ineligible for state services because his IQ is too high — but too low-functioning to live without assistance.

IQ Scores Keep Autistic Young Adults From Services

What's in an IQ score? For autistic or profoundly mentally ill Texans: everything. A growing number of disabled young adults are considered too high-functioning for state care services, but their families say they’re too dangerous to go without them. Admission to state-supported living centers is limited to disabled people with IQs under 70 — and community-based care is generally capped at an IQ of 75.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Mar 22, 2010

Grissom on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to stay Hank Skinner's execution, Thevenot on the myth of Texas textbook influence, Rapoport on the wild card who was just elected to the State Board of Education, Ramshaw on the price of health care reform, Philpott on the just-enacted prohibition on dropping kids from the state's health insurance rolls, M. Smith on the best little pole tax in Texas, Ramsey on the first corporate political ad and the reality of 2011 redistricting, Stiles on the fastest-growing Texas counties, Aguilar on the vacany at top of Customs and Border Protection at the worst possible time, Galbraith on the state's lack of renewable energy sources other than wind and its investment in efficiency, and Hu and Hamilton on the runoffs to come in House districts 52 and 127. The best of our best from March 22 to 26, 2010.

How Much Will Health Care, Medicaid Cost Texas?

Behind the fiery health care rhetoric is a measure expected to dramatically expand Texas’ Medicaid program, adding up to 1 million adults to the state’s insurance roll — but at a steep cost. Texas will have to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue to foot its share of the bill.