Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Crowd Rallies State Lawmakers to Preserve Patient Access to Care

Hundreds of patients and their doctors joined forces Tuesday in McAllen, Texas, urging state legislators to rescind budget cuts that are harming access to care for thousands of dual-eligible patients —  those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Texas’ new payment policy on services doctors provide to these patients has created a medical emergency across the state. The problem has been particularly acute in the Rio Grande Valley, where severe poverty makes many Medicare patients eligible for Medicaid as well.

As a result of the new policy, many doctors face financial ruin, and their most vulnerable patients may lose their doctor. TMA President Bruce Malone, MD; Hidalgo-Starr County Medical Society President Victor Gonzalez, MD; and TMA Board Vice Chair Carlos Cardenas, MD, discussed the severity of the crisis at the huge rally and news conference. The physicians encourage everyone to sign the Medical Emergency petition urging the state to reverse its decision.

Here are two videos that help underscore the impact of the state budget cuts to dual-eligible patients:

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