Governor Abbott Announces Five Year Extension Of 1115 Waiver For Texas

December 21, 2017 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have reached an agreement for approval of the 1115 Demonstration Waiver for the next five years. The extension will allow the state to continue to serve Medicaid clients through managed care, which has proven to be a cost-effective alternative to traditional Medicaid. Importantly, the 1115 Demonstration Waiver provides critical support to the state’s healthcare safety net.

“I committed to the people of Texas that we would focus on preserving access to care without expanding a broken Medicaid system under Obamacare,” said Governor Abbott. “The new 1115 Waiver ensures that funding will remain available for hospitals to treat and serve people across our state who are in need of top-quality healthcare. I am proud of the work done by Commissioner Smith and thank the federal government for a willingness to work together to ensure all Texans are able to access care.” 

“We are a state that is committed to providing quality healthcare to our people. With this agreement, we will continue our innovative approach to providing healthcare to millions of Texas Medicaid clients,” said Texas HHSC Executive Commissioner Charles Smith. “We’re committed to delivering a sustainable healthcare system over the long-term while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”  

The waiver will provide much-needed assistance to safety-net hospital providers. This extension comes at the end of a two-year effort by Governor Abbott and Executive Commissioner Smith to solidify an agreement  that’s workable, efficient, and beneficial to Medicaid clients and healthcare facilities in Texas while maintaining responsibility with to taxpayers.

“Texas hospitals extend their sincerest thanks to Governor Greg Abbott, THHSC Executive Commissioner Charles Smith, CMS Administrator Seema Verma, the Texas Congressional delegation and all their staffs for their hard work and commitment to securing this agreement,” said Ted Shaw, President and CEO of the Texas Hospital Association. “The importance of the Waiver to Texas health care providers and the patients we are privileged to care for cannot be overstated.”  

"The Children’s Hospital Association of Texas appreciates the Texas Governor’s Office and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission achieving a renewal of the Medicaid 1115 Transformation Waiver," said Stacy E. Wilson, President of the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas. "The funds that the Waiver provides are vital to hospitals like children’s hospitals who are heavily dependent on Medicaid funding due to the large number of children in Texas who are enrolled in Medicaid.  We look forward to continuing to work with the state on implementing the extended waiver in a way that benefits Texas children who rely on Medicaid."

"We are very pleased that Texas was able to work out a waiver renewal because of the importance of these dollars to Rural Hospitals," said David Pearson, President and CEO of the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals. "Without this renewal many rural hospitals would potentially close. We would especially like to thank Governor Abbott and the HHSC Executive Commissioner Charles Smith for their hard work brokering this deal."

“Teaching Hospitals of Texas applauds the diligent work of Governor Greg Abbott and HHSC Commissioner Charles Smith on the 1115 Waiver renewal,” said Maureen Milligan, President and CEO of Teaching Hospitals of Texas. “Their tireless negotiations have insured that critical funding for innovative patient care across Texas will continue uninterrupted. These continued funds are essential to maintain the services all Texans rely on and our members provide.”