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
  • cigarette butts.jpg No butts about it, smoking ban nears

    Weatherford eating establishments have just over a week to get their no smoking signs in place and prepare for the no smoking ordinance enacted by the city council in February to go into effect.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Proposed change in city charter goes before W’ford voters next month

    Weatherford residents will have the chance to vote on a pair of charter amendments on Election Day May 10.

    April 16, 2014

  • IMG_7134.JPG Despite cold, peach crops looking rosy

    Parker County peach growers won’t know for sure for a few more days, but as of Wednesday, one day after April temperatures plummeted into the low 30s, they’re predicting a good, even rosy, peach harvest for this year’s Parker County Peach Festival.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal shelter throwing a party

    The Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter made a promise to its staff, volunteers and rescues that if the shelter was able to achieve a 90 percent live release rate by the end of March, the shelter would throw a community-wide party to celebrate its accomplishments.

    April 16, 2014

  • Veterans Memorial Rendering.jpg Cabin fever

    Weatherford Parks and Recreation officials are looking to renovate two areas to make them more user friendly.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Parker County man killed in single-vehicle wreck

    A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 one kidfish.jpg Catching some fun at KidFish

    “Is there anything better than spending time with your kids and teaching them the joys of fishing?” James Shaker, a lifetime Weatherford resident, asked Saturday. “I don’t think so.”

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fund set up for family after losing home

    Two streets down and hours after many members of the East Parker County community gathered April 5 to present a new home built with donations to a local family in need, another family in the West Oak subdivision lost their home to a fire and is now in need of support from the community. 

    April 15, 2014

  • County wins grant, approves road plan

    New funding to improve county roads and a new plan to rank them according to their need for repair moved forward hand-in-hand at Monday’s Parker County Commissioners’ Court meeting.

    April 15, 2014

  • IMG_6890.jpg WC’s new Allied Health Building nears completion

    Construction crews are in high swing as the completion date for Weatherford College’s new Don Allen Allied Health Building nears.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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