Texas Congress Members Urge CMS to Reimburse Texas Freestanding Emergency Centers

April 17, 2020

On April 13, 2020, members of the United States congressional delegation from Texas, including Senator Ted Cruz, co-signed a Letter to Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), to urge CMS to utilize its 1135 waiver authority to provide reimbursement to Texas freestanding emergency centers (“FECs”) that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In their Letter, the Members of Congress added the following:

  • Currently, FECs are not eligible for payment under the Medicare and Medicaid programs but have similar capabilities as off-campus hospital-owned emergency departments (“EDs”) to assist with patient overflow from EDs including 24/7 operating hours, a physician on-site at all times, and laboratory/imaging services;

  • There are over 200 FECs with approximately 1,500 beds located in rural, suburban and urban areas of Texas that are ready to treat both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients needing emergent care; and

  • It is critical that all of Texas’ health care providers, specifically FECs, are able to access Medicare and Medicaid funding to treat patients and to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The April 13, 2020 Letter can be found here . We will keep you updated on any changes to the 1135 waivers affecting Texas’ FECs.

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Ashley E. Johnston
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Joshua M. Weaver
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Board Certified – Health Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Joseph E. Nelson
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Board Certified – Health Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Steve Litke
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Chris Reed
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Kevin Mitchell
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Shannon Cahalan
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Stephanie Toth
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Rachael Nelson Gearing
Phone: (469) 680-9609
Vicki Wanjura
Phone: (214) 587-6026
Paul Wehrmann
Phone: (214) 957-0919
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