April 20, 2021

Around the nation: CMS rejects 10-year extension of Texas's Medicaid waiver

Daily Briefing

    CMS on Friday rescinded former President Donald Trump administration's approval of Texas's request to extend a Medicaid waiver to help cover emergency care for the uninsured state residents, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Florida, Michigan, and Texas.

    • Florida: Tenet Healthcare has named Maribel Torres as CNO of North Shore Medical Center. Torres most recently served as CNO of Hialeah Hospital, which is also part of Tenet, and previously worked at Rush University Copley Medical Center in Illinois (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 4/15).
    • Michigan: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Sunday said she doesn't intend to implement stay-at-home orders or business closures to curb the recent spike in coronavirus cases in the state, because of Republican-led lawsuits filed last year challenging her authority to do so. According to The Hill, the Michigan Supreme Court in October 2020 ruled that Whitmer lacked the constitutional authority to continue to extend the Michigan's state of emergency—under which Whitmer had previously implemented the state's stay-at-home order—during the coronavirus epidemic. Whitmer during the interview said the ruling means she is no longer able to unilaterally shut down businesses or impose stay-at-home orders, although public health officials—including Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser for the White House's Covid-19 response—have said those measures would help mitigate the state's rise in infections (Bowden, The Hill, 4/18).
    • Texas: CMS on Friday rescinded former President Donald Trump administration's approval of Texas's request to extend a Medicaid waiver to help cover emergency care for the uninsured state residents. In November 2020, Texas asked CMS to fast-track a request for a 10-year extension, forgoing the usual comment period, in an effort to ensure financial stability for both the state's Medicaid program and providers in the state as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic. However, CMS said the request didn't meet the standard for emergency approval because the state's program had already been extended through September 2022 and Texas did not present an issue in the application "related to the public health emergency for Covid-19" (Brady, Modern Healthcare, 4/16; Blackman, Houston Chronicle, 4/18).

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