Weatherford Democrat

Front Page

March 5, 2013

Indigent healthcare eligibility re-evaluated

 

By CHRISTIN COYNE 

The Parker County Hospital District board of directors discussed Thursday the possibility of changing the guidelines for medical assistance program eligibility. 

The district currently spends about $1 million to cover some medical costs for about 400 indigent patients who have major health issues, such as cancer or heart issues, board members were told.

Currently, to qualify as indigent for the district’s medical assistance program, those served must be at or below the 200 percent federal poverty guidelines. 

That’s a guideline that the district can at look lowering, which would make it more difficult to qualify for the district’s healthcare assistance program, district attorney Brian Jackson told the board. 

However, the district cannot raise the threshold due to the contract with the hospital operator, Community Health Systems, which also provides indigent care to patients at the hospital at no charge to the district, according to Jackson. 

Some hospital districts set their guidelines at the state-allowed minimum - 21 percent of the federal poverty level. Most other hospital districts set the guidelines between 50 percent and 150 percent of the federal poverty level, Jackson said, adding that Parker County’s indigent qualification threshold is one of the highest in the state.

The number the district is serving has also approximately tripled in the last six years, according to Jackson. 

Each year, the poverty levels go up, as well, Tyna Pendergrass, the medical assistance program coordinator, said. 

As the numbers go up, that could affect the district’s budget, Young told boardmembers. 

Young told the board he doesn’t want the negative publicity that could come with lowering the level to 50 percent but recommended staff get more information and come back to the board with figures about lowering the guidelines to 150 percent. 

Jackson said he was not advocating any current patients be removed from the program and added that if the board did decide to lower the number, they could not go back up to the current threshold. 

Text Only
Front Page
  • N0423050.tif FM 51 to get new speed limit posting

    Drivers along Weatherford’s North Main Street will soon see changes soon to the speed limit along the road.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council votes to lower softball/baseball fees

    Weatherford Little League parents will see a drop in the fees to play baseball and softball after city council members voted to lower the fees during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

    April 24, 2014

  • WPPD collecting unused, expired medication Saturday

    Willow Park police will be accepting unused or expired medication Saturday, April 26, in an effort to help area residents safely dispose of unwanted drugs and avoid misuse or abuse. 

    April 24, 2014

  • Request for no parking sign removal delayed

    A request to remove no parking signs along 120 feet of Texas Drive near Austin Elementary was tabled by Transportation Advisory Board members at Thursday’s meeting.

    April 24, 2014

  • 0423 one ribbon cutting main.jpg Almost there

    A ribbon-cutting on a bright, beautiful Tuesday morning — attended by more than 135 people — marked the near-finish of the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway, the centerpiece and largest project of the $80 million Parker County Transportation Bond approved by voters in November of 2008.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Azle couple charged with leaving child in car outside bar

    A couple who, police say, left their 12-year-old son in the car while getting drunk at a Reno bar Friday night were charged with endangering their child. 

    April 23, 2014

  • Burglary suspects caught after stop for unlit license plate

    Three men police believe burglarized a Willow Park convenience store early Monday morning didn’t make it far. 

    April 23, 2014

  • Annetta gets A+ bond rating

    Annetta’s general obligation bond rating has improved significantly, jumping several levels of creditworthiness from the rating the city received last year. 

    April 23, 2014

  • puckett.jpg Q&A: The race for WISD Place 6

    MEET THE CANDIDATES

     

    With some contested races in area school board and city council races on the May 10 ballots, the WD will provide a closer look at some of those through a question-and-answer feature with the candidates. Early voting begins April 28. Today we look at the candidates running for Place 6 of the Weatherford ISD school board.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Curtis Elementary 1.jpg Interactive reading program comes to Curtis

    A new reading trend has been sweeping the country — Wandoo Planet, an interactive reading program that allows kids to choose books based on their interests.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks