Governor Perry Signs SB 7 to Better Serve Patients

July 19, 2011

AUSTIN -- Governor Rick Perry yesterday signed SB 7, legislation authored by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to eliminate waste and inefficiency in health and human services and better serve Texans.

"Texans expect us to make efficient use of their tax dollars as we meet our responsibilities to those who rely on state services. These reforms will produce a more effective, capable system that focuses our health care dollars on the outcomes we want for patients, and contains the unsustainable growth in our health and human service budget," Senator Nelson said.

SB 7 achieves at least $467 million in cost-savings through efficiencies and fraud prevention in Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and community-based services. It focuses health care dollars on keeping patients healthy instead of the quantity of services, and allows health care providers to form collaboratives to better coordinate care, free from burdensome federal regulations. 

Senate Bill 7:

  • places prescription drug benefits into Medicaid managed care with existing patient protections;
  • implements an electronic visit verification system to deter fraud in community care programs;
  • repeals the prohibition against managed care in South Texas;
  • implements co-payments for non-emergency visits to hospital emergency rooms;
  • aligns Medicaid and CHIP reimbursement with patient outcomes rather than quantity of services;
  • creates the health care collaborative certificate to provide safe harbor from antitrust laws for providers who join together to provide care that promotes quality, patient engagement and coordination of services;
  • implements public reporting of hospital rates of preventable re-admissions and complications;
  • authorizes Texas to enter into a health care compact with other states to design programs that meet the state's unique needs; and
  • contains limitations against public tax dollars being used for abortions.
Video: Governor Perry SB 7 Bill Siging