City of San Antonio announces Brooke Army Medical Center to become a Medicaid provider with passage of Texas House Bill 2365

CONTACT: Laura Mayes, City of San Antonio

Michelle Vigil

SAN ANTONIO (June 17, 2021) — The City of San Antonio celebrates the passage of HB 2365, which recognizes Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) as a participating Medicaid provider.  The bill, which was a priority in the City of San Antonio's 87th Texas Legislative Program, will mitigate financial burdens placed on the significant number of civilian trauma patients who are treated at BAMC every year that are covered by Medicaid. HB 2365 was authored by Representative Ray Lopez, sponsored by Senator Donna Campbell, and signed by Governor Greg Abbott this week.

"I am very proud to have filed this bill, and grateful for all of the support to pass it and for Governor Abbott's signature," said Rep. Lopez. "HB 2365 will ensure that our most vulnerable population who receive trauma care from a military treatment facility will not be saddled with excessive medical debt."

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"BAMC, which is the only Tier 1 military medical treatment facility in Texas, plays a vital role in providing quality healthcare services to our military service members, their families, veterans and other emergency patients within the San Antonio area," said Senator Campbell. "I was proud to work on HB 2365 with Representative Lopez to ensure that emergency room patients have full access to their Medicaid benefits at BAMC."

Military trauma teams develop invaluable surgical skills and competency due the high volume of civilian trauma patients treated at BAMC -- a number that cannot be duplicated treating only the active-duty military population. This civil-military relationship is mutually beneficial as it saves lives, both on the battlefield and in our community.

"I am extremely pleased by the passage of this bill," said Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who along with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, led a resolution in 2017 that was unanimously passed by the City Council and Commissioners Court highlighting the importance of maintaining BAMC based in the City of San Antonio. "This law will benefit our community's citizens who suffer severe trauma injuries while ensuring that the military medical teams that train at BAMC continue to hone the surgical skills needed on the battlefield."

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After multiple visits to the Pentagon to discuss challenges facing BAMC, the City's Office of Military and Veteran Affairs (OMVA) presented a proposed legislative solution to the City Council's Intergovernmental Relations Committee, chaired by Councilman Manny Pelaez. Following Council approval of the item in the City's Legislative Program, OMVA worked side-by-side with Representative Lopez's staff and medical subject matter experts to craft the bill's language and answer elected officials' questions. Councilman Clayton Perry, who chairs the Military Transformation Task Force, and OMVA staff testified at legislative hearings.

"We are extremely proud of this bill which we have been working on for years," said Retired Marine Major General and OMVA Director Juan G. Ayala. "This was truly a team effort and I want to express our sincere thanks to the Intergovernmental Relations Committee for their efforts to advance this bill, which takes effect September 1st, 2021."

BAMC and University Hospital are the only two Level 1-certified trauma centers in a 22-county region in Southwest Texas that covers more than 26,000 square miles and services more than 2.2 million people.

Filed Under: Government, City

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