Williamson County hospitals will have a slightly lower rate as part of their participation in a program providing greater access to health care for those who are uninsured or on Medicaid.

What’s happened?

Williamson County Commissioners Court approved Oct. 24 a rate of 1.96% of net patient revenue to be paid by local hospitals to the state’s Comprehensive Hospital Increase Reimbursement Program. The program allows hospitals to, in turn, be compensated for financial deficits associated with providing medical care for uninsured individuals and patients on Medicaid.

The money going into the state program is eligible to receive matching dollars from the federal government, Community Impact previously reported.

“The ability of our health care providers to work collaboratively in caring for our constituents, whether they have insurance or not, is something that is just impressive to me,” Judge Bill Gravell said.

The rate associated with the mandatory provider participation payments has been routinely set around 2% by the county in prior years and aligns with recommendations by the participating providers.

Providers in the program include Baylor Scott and White, Ascension Seton and St. David’s hospitals.

What's new?

This year, the state made revisions to the Graduate Medical Education, or GME, program, now extending funding to support residencies in private hospitals.

“For the first time in probably 20 years, the state has a funded GME program for private hospitals,” said Bill Galinsky, vice president for government finance at Baylor Scott & White Health. “We have a residency program at our Round Rock hospital that we have been building up over the last several years, and we've got about 45 residents in that program that will be eligible to receive GME funds.”

Texas has a need for more residency programs, as historically there have been too few, and students often go out-of-state, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Cynthia Long said.

By the numbers

Texas Health and Human Services reported roughly 62,000 individuals received Medicaid within Williamson County in January. Close to 75% of those recipients were children.

Quote of note

“We talked about all the growth going on in the county in different industries and businesses, but I don't know of a greater renaissance that's occurring in Williamson County than that of our health care industry,” Gravell said.