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State spotlight: TexMEP elevates providers

State spotlight: TexMEP elevates providers

Adrienne TriggAUSTIN, Texas – The small but motivated group behind the Texas Medical Equipment Providers Association has a renewed sense of purpose: Giving providers a stronger voice in Texas. 

“We’re interested in making TexMEP into an association that serves providers,” said Victoria Peterson, president, “and we want to make Texas a more provider-friendly state.” 

Right now, Texas is anything but provider-friendly, says Adrienne Trigg, chair of the Legislative Committee. 

The state was one of the earliest to transition to the MCO model and it is one of only a handful that have not expanded Medicaid access. 

“Insurance wants to cannibalize the industry,” she said. “We are getting stronger and better able to protect individual interests. Just to have a united voice instead of individual providers telling stories –we’ve had much greater representation.” 

 TexMEP has made itself heard on a variety of issues, says Peterson, whether it’s the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a disastrous winter storm in February or the host of health care bills before the state legislature during its recent session. 

“We’re starting to get a little name recognition at the Capitol and with various committees and Texas Health and Human Services,” she said.  

TexMEP hopes to build on that momentum. Formed four years ago, it currently has about 20 paying provider members – far fewer than there are providers in the state, says Lauryn Estrella, who was tapped as the association’s executive director in May. 

“We’re confident that we’ll be able to pull in additional members once we start putting ourselves out there,” she said. “We’ve been trying to get through COVID and then we’ll come out with more education and, next year, in-person events.” 

This fall, TexMEP plans to host a series of virtual roundtables called “Tuesdays in October” that will be open to all providers. The one-hour roundtables will include speakers and a general membership meeting, culminating with a Halloween-themed virtual happy hour. 

“We don’t want to overwhelm people, after two Medtrades and Heartland,” Estrella said. “We’re trying to set ourselves apart and educate on Texas issues.”


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