I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
This is a good start to public debate in Texas about how we can provide access to quality care for all Texans. But we need to do a lot of homework on what will be most effective.
Until recently, the cost of uncompensated care was offset through a cost-shifting subsidy provided by payments from Medicare and private insurance payments. Because of pressure to reduce health care expenditures, Medicare and private insurers have reduced payments to hospitals. But hospital costs continue to rise. As a result, hospitals are under increasing financial pressure, particularly those providing care to significant numbers of uninsured individuals.
Texas should double its efforts to aggressively pursue Medicaid and other federal reimbursement programs for which a state investment will result in substantial federal matching and supplementary reimbursements.
Texas leadership should actively work with federal officials to maximize opportunities for initiatives and new policies intended to provide for the most efficient delivery of health care services to broader numbers of uninsured individuals living in Texas. As a business leader and employer, you have a part in this debate. I encourage you to voice your opinions and join in a collaborative effort to find solutions for the crisis in health care access.
For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals –Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.