CORPUS CHRISTI – For Driscoll Children’s Hospital, certain proposed cuts and changes in the state’s budget mean reduced services for the children of South Texas. In response, a contingent of physicians and volunteers from Driscoll will travel to Austin to voice their concerns to legislators about healthcare issues. The group will leave the hospital by bus the morning of March 2 for a one-day trip.
There are two main issues that Driscoll wishes to address. The first is a proposed $20 million cut in Medicaid provider payments. Driscoll Children’s Hospital is the second-highest-ranking hospital in the state for percentage of Medicaid patient days. The proposed budget would cut the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient reimbursement by 10 percent, or approximately $10 million, and cut Driscoll’s Upper Payment Limits reimbursement by approximately $10 million. If this is approved, Driscoll’s ability to provide specialty services such as cancer treatment, kidney transplants and heart surgery will be diminished.
The other issue concerns a Medicaid managed care expansion, for which Driscoll is requesting support from legislators. This not-for-profit health plan, proposed by the state’s Health and Human Services Commission, will enable the hospital to continue its wide range of services without fear of non-Medicaid payment.
The Driscoll team plans to make their case with simple, straightforward facts. This includes:
Driscoll has saved the lives of thousands of South Texas children. In many cases, Driscoll is their only source for medical help.
- Medicaid is the lifeblood of medical care for many South Texas children.
- Driscoll serves one of the poorest populations in the United States.
- Medicaid presently pays approximately 85 percent of Driscoll’s costs to treat Medicaid patients.
- Driscoll is one of only five free-standing children’s hospitals in the State of Texas, providing care from Victoria to Laredo and throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
Since 1953, Driscoll Children’s Hospital’s not-for-profit mission has been to care for the children of South Texas, regardless of their ability to pay.