Health Care | Texas Public Radio

Health Care

United States Congress

Texas currently leads the nation the number of backlogged Veteran Affairs disability claims and Sen. John Cornyn heard firsthand from Veterans about the problems they’ve seen related to the backlog when comes to awarding VA benefits.

But according the Texas Veterans Administration’s Tom Palladino, a new system here in Texas is also leading the way for reducing the backlog.

"So as of this month, July, the total number of claims is at 75,000 and the total number of backlogged claims is at 50,000. So we have helped reduce that," Palladino said.

Nancy Pelosi (Flikr user: Leader Nancy Pelosi)

In the first segment:

The Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, has a looming October 1 deadline on several aspects of the law. The employer mandate was recently delayed a year, so will the health insurance exchanges also be pushed back?

Dr. Jack Meyer from the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy joins us to talk about where the program stands and what needs to be done to ease the transition.

Metropolitan Health District

Just a few weeks before school begins, when many parents bring in their kids in for back-to-school shots, the City of San Antonio's Metropolitan Health District downtown immunization clinic will close and move to the West Side.

While the  majority of immunizations in the city are given by primary care physicians and other clinics, Metro Health’s new hub is expected to give up to 15,000 vaccinations per year.

CHRISTUS Health

Baylor College of Medicine has now taken over clinical responsibility at Children's Hospital of San Antonio, which is owned by Christus Santa Rosa.

Believing the need for pediatric care is on the rise, Christus Santa Rosa Health System President Patrick Carrier said children's services are an important part of the health system's care ministry. It started providing pediatric services in 1874. In 1917, the first hospital wing dedicated to pediatrics opened.

Carrier said in 1959 the first hospital for children in San Antonio opened.

Flickr user Adam Fagen (afagen) / cc

In the first segment:

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is headed back to court later this month over a 2011 law that excludes the group from being listed and funded by the state-run Texas Women’s Health Program.

In 2011 lawmakers at the state capitol along with Gov. Rick Perry set in place the laws that created the state-run Texas Women’s Health Program, which excluded groups like Planned Parenthood from being listed as a provider of women’s health because of their connection to abortion. 

rickperry.org

Despite a lack of direction from the Texas Legislature, the state’s leading doctor is optimistic about how Texas will function without having a plan to address Medicaid expansion.  

Dr. Kyle Janek is the commissioner for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and will be the chief negotiator when the state begins discussions with federal government on whether to extend Texas a waiver and award the state a block grant to start a state-run form of Medicaid.

Flickr user Rob Chandanais (BlueRobot) / cc

A fact that is being overlooked as the IRS scandal plays out is that both conservative and progressive groups were required to answer additional questions. Two Texas groups talk about the extra questionnaire and why they feel they deserve to be tax free. Also on this show: In the last two years, 60 women's health clinics were forced to close, so why did the state have $2.3 million in unspent federal funds, which was available to keep clinics running?

Ryan Poppe / TPR

The group filing the federal lawsuit against U.S.Secretary of Health and Human Services Katheleen Sebelius and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew is headed by Houston Dr. Steven F. Hotze and the Braidwood Management Group, who both say small businesses will find ways around the provisions listed in the Affordable Care Act.

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio

A bill requiring higher standards for abortion providers has made it out of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and is now on the senate floor for full review.

The discussion on the matter of requiring abortion providers to have a similar setup as surgical office quickly escalated from a civil conversation to a yelling match between the author of the bill, Sen. Bob Duell, R-Greenville, and Virginia Brawn, who owns a North Texas women's clinic.

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