Burgess, Texas colleagues seek reconsideration of proposed Medicaid financing rule

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) recently led his home-state colleagues in denouncing a proposed rule to revamp aspects of Medicaid financing that they said could negatively impact beneficiaries in Texas and other states.

In a March 10 letter sent to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, Rep. Burgess and the Texas House delegation expressed concerns about the proposed 2019 Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation to change the supplemental payment financing mechanisms.

“I appreciate fellow members of the delegation joining me in a united front to send this letter to CMS, urging a reconsideration of the payment aspects of this proposed rule,” Rep. Burgess said. “I hope CMS and Congress can work in unison to further transparency and accountability within the Medicaid program.”

Generally, Rep. Burgess and the lawmakers wrote that they are concerned that the new conditions proposed by CMS would prohibit the existing approved methods of finance and create ambiguity in the future for Medicaid.

“While I agree with CMS that we need to improve data collection and transparency, it should not come at the cost of Texans who depend upon the state’s Medicaid program,” Rep. Burgess said.

As a physician, the congressman also said he is concerned that the proposed rule would reduce the state’s capacity to provide essential health care services and “would also force the state and local governments to increase taxes.”

“We are particularly concerned about the vague nature of some of the new standards and tests,” wrote the congressmen. “We respectfully request you consider the impact that the use of these terms may have in limiting legitimate public-private partnerships that have allowed Texas hospitals to expand access to care, particularly for underserved communities and indigent patients.”