Bills Cut Funding To Highest Level Emergency Departments

Trauma centers across the state are at risk of losing funding used for highly trained medical personnel and services, according the chairman of the Texas Hospital Association.

Jeffrey Canose, MD, senior executive vice president and COO of Texas Health Resources in Arlington, says 12 bills up for debate in Austin would change or end the Driver Responsibility Program, which provides about $50 million in funding to the state's trauma centers, yet none, except one of those bills, replenishes the funding that would disappear.

In the Driver’s Responsibility Program, portion of any person’s speeding/motor vehicle ticket goes to trauma funding at these facilities. 

Level 1s and Level 2s trauma centers get a bigger piece of the funding since they provide more services and must maintain more staff for accreditation.

"The trauma centers won't be able to keep their trained specialists, won't keep up blood banks at the level required to take care of mass casualty and people's lives will be put at risk," says Dr. Canose.

"Without them, people really do run the risk of failing to have their life saved if they're in a major accident."

He says the programs cost undue burden on the courts and do need change, however worries about consequences of a lack in funding for the state's 40 or so Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers.

Two weeks remain in this year's legislative session.

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