Rural Community Health System (RCHS) White Paper
The purpose of this project was to investigate the potential of an RCHS to address barriers to healthcare coverage and access in rural Texas, and to recommend revisions to the statute currently governing RCHS to maximize benefit and minimize unintended consequences. The aims included:
- 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.
- 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;
- 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.
Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Primary Care and Social Service Integration in Texas
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.
Videos of the sessions from the two-day meeting are viewable on YouTube.