Not only is this rider anti-competitive and illegal, it endangers the lives of thousands of state employees across Texas by limiting their options for care in the event of a medical emergency. Please urge the Senate Finance Committee to reconsider this rider that ultimately hurts patients. Request that the committee seek cost containment through alternative measures that would not violate federal and state law or jeopardize the health of thousands of Texans throughout the state.
Click HERE to message your state representative and make your voice heard!
What Is The SB 1 Rider?
On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee adopted recommendations from a cost containment budget work group that would negatively impact public health by reducing access to emergency care across the state.
The Senate Finance Committee voted to add a rider to Senate Bill 1, the Senate budget bill, which directs the Employee Retirement System (ERS) to “disincentivize member utilization of freestanding emergency rooms.” The rider would effectively shift a larger portion of costs for emergency care rendered at a freestanding emergency room to the enrollees of the ERS plan, including higher co-payments and deductibles, regardless of the facility’s network status.
Freestanding emergency rooms are fully functioning emergency rooms that are not attached to a larger hospital. These facilities provide the exact same level of service as hospital-based emergency rooms, and can treat true medical emergencies like heart attacks and strokes. Freestanding emergency rooms are subject to state licensing, with safety and quality standards similar to hospital emergency rooms.
Who Will Be Affected By The SB 1 Rider?
Thousands of state employees across Texas will be affected if SB 1 Rider passes. Blaming providers and punishing ERS enrollees for a poorly managed health insurance contract is not the answer, and it will only lead to increased litigation for the state.
Make Your Voice Heard
Take action now to protect access to care by messaging your state representative today! Click HERE to get started.