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Texas Health Improvement Network (THIN)

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Established by the Texas Legislature in 2015, THIN seeks to:

  • Serve as a trusted resource for decision-makers.
  • Facilitate the use of data to drive population health.
  • Align and increase resources for population health.
  • Support local and regional health improvement efforts.

Current Projects

 

Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Primary Care and Social Service Integration in Texas 

 

final report
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To improve the health and well-being of their patients, healthcare innovators are working to systematically screen patients for social, economic, or other non-healthcare needs and link them with appropriate services provided internally or through community partner organizations.

Seeking to support this movement, the Texas Health Improvement Network (THIN) conducted a 15-month project, funded by the Episcopal Health Foundation, to explore the current practice of healthcare and social care integration in Texas, identify key issues impacting adoption and sustainability, and develop recommendations to advance this work in Texas. Six Texas case studies were conducted, providing a qualitative snapshot of healthcare and social care integration activities in Texas. A two-day meeting of experts and leaders from within and outside Texas was convened for a deep dive into the subject of healthcare and social care integration. Panels discussed implementation practice, outcomes, and paths to sustainability.

The final report includes the case studies, recommendations, and an overview of the state of integration in Texas.  The case studies are also available as a separate document

Videos of the sessions from the two-day meeting are viewable on YouTube.

 

Healthier Texas Summit Series

Texas's largest population health conference is virtual this year. Every week through October 29, 2020 there will be new virtual sessions and chances to connect digitally with health champions around Texas. All sessions will be free to attend. The Summit will conclude with a keynote from Dr. Sandro Galea, physician, epidemiologist, author, and dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. For a schedule and other information, visit the Summit website

 

Rural Community Health System (RCHS) White Paper

The purpose of this project is to investigate the potential of an RCHS to address barriers to healthcare coverage and access in rural Texas, and recommend revisions to the statute currently governing RCHS to maximize benefit and minimize unintended consequences. The aims include:

  1. Conduct an environmental scan on health insurance coverage options in rural communities and factors contributing to low insurance coverage in rural Texas; where health insurance options are limited, describe the impact on rural physicians, hospitals, employers, and patients.
  2. Describe the Rural Community Health System (RCHS) concept and how an RCHS or another community-owned health plan model could potentially impact healthcare coverage options and healthcare access in rural communities;
  3. Identify the potential pitfalls or unintended consequences of enacting an RCHS, and propose changes to the existing law governing RCHS to maximize potential benefits and minimize pitfalls.


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Publications

 

Bi-Annual Report to the Legislature

THIN was created by the 84th Legislature of the State of Texas through statute and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott in 2015. As part of its mandate THIN provides bi-annual reports to the Legislature.  

Catalyzing Adoption of Telemedicine for Population Health and Health Equity in Texas

This report summarizes key issues identified through from a 2 day stakeholder meeting and provides a set of recommendations for policy makers and others committed to increasing adoption of telemedicine in Texas.

Partnering on a Joint Community Health Needs Assessment in Williamson County: Process and Lessons Learned

This report documents the coordinated effort of a local health department and three non-profit hospitals serving the same region to conduct a joint Community Health Needs Assessment.

Facilitating Use of Data to Drive Population Health in Texas

This report highlights issues and provides recommendations for policy makers and others committed to the responsible use of data resources for health improvement in Texas.

Texas Health Improvement Network Interim Charge Suggestions for 86th Legislature

With guidance from its 24–member Advisory Council, THIN developed a set of interim charges recommendations for the 86th Texas Legislature.

 

Advisory Council

 

Executive Officers

David Lakey
UT System

Lewis Foxhall
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Members

Jennifer Banda
Texas Hospital Association

Jordana Barton
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio

Karen Batory
Texas Medical Association

Nora Belcher
Texas e-Health Alliance

Ann Bishop
Employees Retirement System of Texas (Ret.)

Eric Boerwinkle
UTHealth Science Center, Houston

Brooke Boston
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

Kirk Calhoun
UTHealth Science Center Tyler

Lynn Crismon
University of Texas at Austin

Katrina Daniel
Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Nancy Dickey
Texas A&M University

Epifanio Elizando
US Public Health Service (Ret.)

Victoria Ford
Health and Human Services Commission

Sonja Gaines
Health and Human Services Commission

Kay Ghahremani
Texas Association of Community-based Health Plans

John Hellerstedt
Texas Department of State Health Services

Ginny Lewis
Texas Association of Regional Councils

Elena Marks
Episcopal Health Foundation

Octavio N. Martinez, Jr.
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Billy Philips
Texas Tech Health Sciences Center

Eduardo Sanchez
American Heart Association

Stephen J. Spann
University of Houston College of Medicine

Alan Stevens
Texas A&M College of Medicine

Dennis Thombs
UNT Health Science Center

Jaime Wesolowski
Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.

Marc Williams
Texas Department of Transportation

Stephen Williams
Houston Department of Health