News of the Medicaid waiver expiration had an extremely sour note on East Texas health care businesses. A number of clinics relied on the waiver to cover the bills of patients who couldn’t afford care. If state representatives don’t resolve the matter soon, these places may face grave financial distress.
The 1115 waiver helped Texans receive care while preserving hospital funding, it reimbursed hospitals for the “uncompensated care” they provide to patients without health insurance and pay for new health care projects, such as mental health services that serve low-income Texans. Such is the case of Burke, a mental health clinic that provides care in Deep East Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services. If the waiver is rescinded, they won’t be able to keep providing their services to a large number of low-income patients.
Melanie Taylor, Burke’s CEO, said health providers gave a” collective gasp” after reading the e-mail about the potential funding loss. She added that most health providers that serve low-income people are asking for a one-year waiver extension.