Improve Healthcare Access and Affordability

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the importance of Texans’ ability to safely access health care services at all times, even when physical access to those services is limited. HB 4 expands access to telehealth and telemedicine services in the Texas Medicaid Program. In addition, the Legislature ensured greater price transparency for health care services and expanded access to affordable health care through additional health plans. 

Expanding Telemedicine in the Texas Medicaid Program – HOUSE BILL 4 implements various measures to expand the use of telemedicine in the state’s Medicaid program. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the growing importance of telemedicine. Among other things, the bill expands the telemedicine services for which providers receive reimbursement and allows Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) to conduct tele-assessments for service coordination activities for Medicaid recipients receiving home- and community-based waiver services. In addition, HB 4 requires the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to consider the availability of telemedicine services when adopting network adequacy and provider network standards for MCOs. 

HOUSE BILL 3924 allows the Texas Farm Bureau to offer affordable health plans to its members and authorizes the Farm Bureau to contract with a company authorized to engage in the business of insurance in Texas.

SENATE BILL 1137 codifies federal rules requiring greater price transparency for services from hospitals by providing standard hospital pricing information to the public. 

HOUSE BILL 2090 establishes a statewide all payor claims database and requires health care cost disclosures by health benefit plan issuers and third-party administrators to increase price transparency in health care services.