The Monitor, March 11, 2013

A proposed fee for local hospitals could help Hidalgo County raise funds that it lacks without a hospital taxing district. State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, filed two bills to impose a so-called uncompensated care fee on hospitals. The bills, filed days before Friday's deadline to introduce legislation in the session, would generate revenues to bring down matching federal dollars for providing care to the uninsured in emergency rooms. The uncompensated care fee is one of several different mechanisms under consideration to help local hospitals that are under strain from cuts to their reimbursement rates for Medicaid patients, Hinojosa said. Although urban Texas counties have access to local tax dollars to draw down federal matching aid, Hidalgo County lacks that option.
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