A revised list of Texas Women’s Health Program providers — with 965 fewer doctors and clinics — has returned to the state’s website.
The HHSC had previously stated that the Texas WHP had 3,500 participating providers, roughly 1,000 more than the number of providers that participated in the former Medicaid WHP. That list has shrunk to 2,448 doctors and clinics, as 965 providers said they would not accept WHP patients, despite being certified for the program. The contact information for 700 other providers has also been updated on the state’s website.
“HHSC added the provider search back to the Texas Women’s Health Program website late Friday after thousands of calls were made to verify the information,” Linda Edwards-Gockel said in an email. “The search is now set up to display first those health care providers who can serve the greatest number of clients.”
State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, said in an email that she remains skeptical of the list’s accuracy. Farrar requested a list of all WHP providers and the number of patients they can serve from the HHSC under the Public Information Act, but the agency is still processing her request. “After briefly going through part of the list for Houston providers, my staff already found numerous duplicates.”
Going from 3,500 providers to 2,448 is a reduction of thirty percent. If I’m reading this correctly, there are now as many providers in the replacement WHP as there were in the original, except that the single largest provider by far is no longer allowed in. Would someone please remind me how it is that this program could possibly be an adequate alternative to the perfectly functional one we used to have? Assuming that this “corrected” list of doctors and clinics is now in fact complete and accurate, which is not a sure bet. We’ve had our fun error-checking the HHSC’s work, but the real issue is still how many of the women who depend on this program will actually be able to receive adequate health care through it? We can’t lose sight of that. Trail Blazers has more.