On Thursday, July 16, 2015, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) held a public meeting regarding its request to seek an extension of its Section 1115 Medicaid Transformation Waiver. The current waiver covered a five year period ending September 30, 2016. Under the waiver Texas has expanded Medicaid managed care, created a funding pool to offset uncompensated care and provided incentives for hospitals and other providers to develop delivery system infrastructure in Texas. Over the waiver period, Texas will commit $29 Billion to the uncompensated care and delivery system payment pools (approximately 58% or $16.82 Billion represent federal funds).

Texas must submit a request to extend the waiver by September 30, 2015. To this end HHSC held a public meeting seeking comments on the proposed extension (information about the extension request is available here). As several commenters noted, Florida implemented an 1115 waiver similar to the Texas waiver and has faced resistance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the basis that waiver funds are not intended to compensate for care provided to patients that would be eligible for Medicaid if Medicaid coverage were expanded. Texas, like Florida has not expanded Medicaid coverage and may face similar issues with its waiver extension request.

Those wishing to comment on the HHSC waiver extension you may submit written comments to HHSC through August 5, 2015 at TX_Medicaid_Waivers@hhsc.state.tx.us.