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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TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/11/10

Hu on freshman House Democrats trying to win re-election in a Republican year, Grissom on Republicans bolstered by those same political trends, Aguilar on slow reforms in immigrant detention programs, Chang on the trouble with synthetic marijuana, Ramshaw on how proposed cuts in state Medicaid services could affect 13,000 Texans, yours truly on how political polls have as much to do with who's counted as with what they say, Galbraith on why Texas is building coal plants in spite of tightening federal air pollution standards, Hamilton on community colleges accusing the University of Texas of siphoning money from their financial wells, M. Smith on the court of inquiry proposed for a death penalty case and how it would work, and E. Smith interviews U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess about federal health care: The best of our best from Oct. 11 to 15, 2010.

Barbara Cullison does her daughter Audrey's hair. Audrey, who is autistic, risks losing her Medicaid waiver services because of state budget cuts.
Barbara Cullison does her daughter Audrey's hair. Audrey, who is autistic, risks losing her Medicaid waiver services because of state budget cuts.

Budget Shortfall Forces Big Cuts for Disabled

Advocates say the Department of Aging and Disability Services’ baseline budget request eliminates financing for more than 13,000 people — the majority waiting to receive Medicaid waiver services. Agency officials will only say that an “unknown number” of people already receiving the services could lose them. It's unclear if lawmakers can make these cuts without risking losing federal funding; federal health care reform requires states to maintain coverage at the same level it was when the Affordable Care Act became law in March.

Clay Boatright, the new president of the Arc of Texas
Clay Boatright, the new president of the Arc of Texas

An Interview with Arc of Texas President Clay Boatright

The new president of the Arc of Texas on why the disability community’s rallying cry to close state-supported living centers has become trite and ineffective, why the movement's messaging should be upgraded (employing everything from the iPad to the Bible) and why businesses and faith-based groups should be mobilized to fill the gaping holes in government services.

Do Scandals Necessarily Get Incumbents Defeated?

Double-billing taxpayers for travel expenses, driving a luxury car owned by a state transportation contractor and repeatedly failing to pay taxes won’t put a lawmaker in good standing with the ethics police, as state Reps. Charles “Doc” Anderson, R-Waco; Joe Driver, R-Garland; and Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving, are finding. The three hope the headlines dogging their re-election bids won’t follow them to the polls, while their Democratic opponents are reveling in their misery at every campaign stop. Yet whether a scandal forces an incumbent from office depends on the scenario.

'Astrodome' stadium filled with refugees from Louisiana in Houston, Texas, USA, on September 3, 2005.
'Astrodome' stadium filled with refugees from Louisiana in Houston, Texas, USA, on September 3, 2005.

Five Years Later, Houstonians Conflicted About Katrina

Five years after Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana exiles have fundamentally changed Houston, and vice-versa. The uneasy arrangement was a shotgun marriage: Many evacuees had no choice in whether or where they went, and Houstonians had no choice, for humanity's sake, but to take them in.

District Attorney for Harris County, Pat Lykos.
District Attorney for Harris County, Pat Lykos.

An Interview With Harris County DA Pat Lykos

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The first female district attorney of Harris County on the massive scope of her job, softening her office's tough-on-crime reputation, the link between mental health care and criminal justice, why she set up a Post-Conviction Review Section and what she's learned from innocence cases so far.

Top Texas News for the Week of August 16 to 20, 2010

Galbraith on grass, federal money and efforts to prevent another dust bowl, Ergenbright on school suspensions and who gets punished; Aguilar's interview with Alan Bersin, whose job is to keep the U.S./Mexico border secure, M. Smith on why it would be harder than you think to ditch the 14th Amendment, Adler and me on whether controversy is politically contagious, Ramshaw on the flap over funding for the state's institutions for the disabled (it's not about the money), my meditation on the state's fiscal woes (including a $1.3 billion deficit in the current budget), Philpott on proposed cuts to the state's food stamp program, Grissom on the push by Hidalgo County officials for a special election that might not be legal; Hamilton on the seven Texas universities that are making a play for Tier One status and Stiles on the mid-year cash-on-hand numbers reported by campaigns and political action committees: The best of our best from August 16 to 23, 2010.

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.