The Texas Observer

Senate Approves Two Healthcare Reform Bills

Senate Approves Two Healthcare Reform Bills

The Texas Senate passed two healthcare reform bills this morning. Both are aimed at reducing waste and inefficiencies and would pay healthcare providers based on patient outcomes rather than the types or number of services provided.

State Sen. Jane Nelson’s Senate Bill 7 focuses specifically on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The bill proposes a change to how providers are reimbursed for “preventable readmissions and complications,” among other ways to discourage emergency room use. Senate Bill 8, which is similar to SB 7, focuses on streamlining the entire healthcare system and improving transparency. Both bills are co-sponsored by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. (In fact, snarky lobbyists in the Capitol have been referring to the bills as “Dew-bamacare.”)

“Our intent is to ensure that the dollars we invest in health and human services are achieving the results we want, which is healthy patients,” Nelson said. Both bills have won broad support from across the political spectrum. And both bills are now headed to the House. But with just 41 days left in the session, their chances in the lower chamber remain unclear.

Here are the highlights of each, taken from Sen. Nelson’s press release issued after the bills were passed:

Senate Bill 7

 Senate Bill 8