Email interview, Josh Havens, deputy press secretary, Office of Gov. Rick Perry, April 1, 2013

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) [mailto:wgselby@statesman.com]

Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 12:13 PM

To: Josh Havens

Subject: Medicad claim fact check inquiry

 

Josh:

 

I write on a statement by Gov. Rick Perry in today’s Medicaid press release to the effect that only “three in 10 Texas doctors are currently accepting new Medicaid patients.”

 

We recently did a fact check on this topic, posted here: http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2013/jan/08/texas-medical-association/medical-group-says-31-percent-texas-doctors-accept/

 

How did the governor reach his one-in-three conclusion?

 

Thanks.

 

wgs

 

 

W. Gardner Selby

 

PolitiFact Texas

From: Josh Havens [mailto:josh.havens@gov.texas.gov]

Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 1:13 PM

To: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)

Subject: RE: Medicad claim fact check inquiry

 

We used the TMA Survey of Texas Physicians -- which is attached.

 

Josh

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) [mailto:wgselby@statesman.com]

Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 1:20 PM

To: Josh Havens

Subject: RE: Medicad claim fact check inquiry

 

I will take a fresh look.

 

But unless the results have changed since we wrote our January fact check, the survey did not speak to how many physicians currently accept Medicaid. Instead, the results indicate that 44 percent of physicians refuse all new Medicaid patients. Some 31 percent of physicians accept all new Medicaid patients, while another 26 percent limit such patients.

 

Separately, 67 percent of Texas physicians submitted a Medicaid claim in fiscal 2011, we wrote. If that holds up, it suggests about one in three physicians do not accept Medicaid—the opposite of what the leaders said.

 

?

 

Thanks again.

 

g.

From: Josh Havens [mailto:josh.havens@gov.texas.gov]

Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 1:28 PM

To: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)

Subject: RE: Medicad claim fact check inquiry

 

Page 12 of the study shows that 31% of physicians are accepting new Medicaid patients. Our statement of “Only three in 10 Texas doctors are currently accepting new Medicaid patients” reflects that.

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) [mailto:wgselby@statesman.com]

Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 1:32 PM

To: Josh Havens

Subject: RE: Medicad claim fact check inquiry

 

That chart (on p. 12) speaks to physicians accepting all NEW patients. The same survey indicates that some 31 percent of physicians accept all new Medicaid patients, while another 26 percent limit such patients. Separately, 67 percent of Texas physicians submitted a Medicaid claim in fiscal 2011, we wrote in a January fact check. If that holds up, as mentioned, it suggests that of late, about one in three physicians do not accept Medicaid.

 

g.

 

From: Josh Havens [mailto:josh.havens@gov.texas.gov]

Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 2:35 PM

To: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)

Subject: RE: Medicad claim fact check inquiry

 

The chart on page 12 is titled, “Percent of Texas Physicians Who Will Accept All New Medicaid Patients”.  What we said in the release reflects the 30% (“only three in ten”) in 2012 who are currently accepting new medicaid patients.

 

Josh 

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) [mailto:wgselby@statesman.com]

Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 2:43 PM

To: Josh Havens

Subject: RE: Medicad claim fact check inquiry

 

What I was trying to convey is that the survey gauged ALL new patients. The statement issued today does not say “all.” My sense of the survey result is that 57 percent of physicians accept new Medicaid patients, 31 percent of them saying they accept all  new Medicaid patients. Agree?

2:55 pm

(from Josh Havens)

Nope. We said “Only three in 10 Texas doctors are currently accepting new Medicaid patients” – and that is what is conveyed in the TMA chart that is titled “Percent of Texas Physicians Who Will Accept All New Medicaid Patients”.

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) [mailto:wgselby@statesman.com]

Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 4:39 PM

To: Josh Havens

Subject: RE: Medicad claim fact check inquiry

 

I have fresh information. The association told us today its final survey results broke out to 32 percent of physicians saying they accept all new Medicaid patients and 42 percent declining all new Medicaid patients--with 26 percent (as before) limiting new Medicaid patients. Put another way, the final results indicate that about four in 10 Texas physicians decline all new Medicaid patients while about six in 10 accept at least some new patients.

5:06 pm

(from Josh Havens)

... you cannot continue to add context to manipulate the result you want.  The fact remains that only three in 10 Texas doctors are currently accepting new Medicaid patients, and you yourself have already investigated it and deemed it accurate.