Emails, responses to PolitiFact Texas, Brent Annear, media relations manager, and Pam Udall, director, Media Relations and Public Relations, Texas Medical Association, Dec. 19, 2012 and Jan. 3 and 4, 2013

950 am

Dec. 19, 2012

Every two years TMA conducts a survey of Texas physicians on a variety of key issues affecting patients and doctors. The tweet reflected the results of that survey in response to the question about whether doctors accept all new Medicaid patients. In this year’s response, 31% said they do, while back in 2000, 67% said they did.  

1053 am

Dec. 19, 2012

Here’s a link to the TMA Physicians Survey page, from which you can link to the actual survey results, initially published in March.  http://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=16236

That’s why it’s called “preliminary findings” on the title page- it reflects early results. However our statisticians do not tabulate those results until a statistically-valid sample is reached. I believe the survey is actually still in the field – doctors have until year-end (I think) to respond… but at this point it’s stragglers here and there, in such small numbers our experts do not see the needles changing significantly on any of the answers. A final update is forthcoming.  

Near the end of the survey PDF document you’ll see the methodology paragraph including margin of error (“The margin of error for most segmented responses is 5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level”) and the questions (yours is   6) For patients covered by the following payers, does your practice currently (1) accept all new patients, (2) limit new patients that you will accept, or (3) accept no new patients? ).

In general physicians certainly have problems with Medicaid’s low pay, but bureaucracy and hassles exacerbate the problems… I hear they say they must jump bureaucratic hurdles (like even while attempting to enroll in Medicaid so they can care for Medicaid patients) just to be paid so low for patient care that some say it doesn’t cover the cost of providing the care. \

...

Thank you,

Brent

Jan. 4, 2013, 613 pm

From 2000 to 2011, Medicaid fees were decreased four times. And, please keep in mind the fees were inadequate to begin with in 2000, and still are today. See charts Donna and Helen did for you last night.

 

2000 -- 1.2 increase for a very small set of codes

 

2003 -- 2.5 percent reduction, across the board

 

2007 --Frew-related; see below

 

2010 -- 1 percent reduction, across the board

 

2011 -- 1 percent reduction, across the board

 

2012 -- dual eligible payment reduction (more than 20 percent)

 

 

From: Pam Udall

\Sent: Friday, January 04, 2013 9:33 AM

Texas Medicaid has always paid doctors less than any other payer.  In the decade from 1993 to 2003 Medicaid fees were not updated to allow for general cost increases.  In 2003, budget-strapped legislators approved a 5-percent across-the-board cut (it was cut in half before being implemented), and, later, 1-percent annual reductions in both 2010 and 2011. Separately, in 2007, the state agreed to a 25-percent boost in part of the funding pool to pay for physician services provided for children on Medicaid. The increased funding came as part of efforts to resolve a longstanding lawsuit charging the state with failing to ensure all children enrolled in Medicaid were receiving appropriate preventive and specialty care services. That same year, the legislature increased the funding pool for adult services by 10 percent.  A Health and Human Services Commission’ appointed physician advisory committee recommended how to apportion the new monies, which varied by service.  In Jan. 2012, physicians who care for elderly poor patients that depend on both Medicare and Medicaid took another pay cut of more than 20 percent. Texas’ leadership recently made a decision to restore part of these funds because of the damage it had on physician practices and their patients.

 

 

 

Pam Udall

Director Media Relations and PR

Texas Medical Association