Monday, March 19, 2012

Medical Emergency Hits Houston

The Rio Grande Valley is not the only place where low-income seniors risk losing their doctor — it’s a statewide crisis.

Ana M. Torres, MD, cares for patients in Houston. Nearly 20 percent of these patients are dual-eligibles: old enough to qualify for Medicare and able to qualify for Medicaid because of their income. “They are the poorest, and some of them are the sickest,” Dr. Torres says.

Texas Medicaid helps pay for their health care, filling in the gaps Medicare leaves, like deductibles and copays. But budget cuts have trimmed what Texas pays doctors to care for these patients. As a result, many doctors cannot afford to accept any new dual-eligible patients.

“They are good people, they deserve the best care that we can give them,” says Emilio B. Hisse, MD, a cardiovascular surgeon in Houston. “This law is hurting them.”

Help ensure Texas’ dual-eligible patients have access to their doctor. Please sign the Medical Emergency petition.

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