Central Health establishes new executive medical board as first step to begin employing physicians

Central Health off East Cesar Chavez Street.
The Central Health Board of Managers on Feb. 26 voted to establish the Central Health Medical Executive Board. According to Central Health, it is mandated by state law to create this board before it can employ its own physicians. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Central Health Board of Managers on Feb. 26 voted to establish the Central Health Medical Executive Board. According to Central Health, it is mandated by state law to create this board before it can employ its own physicians. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Following a change in state law that allows Central Health to employ and appoint physicians, the agency took its first step to hiring its own medical professionals.

The Central Health Board of Managers on Feb. 26 voted to establish the Central Health Medical Executive Board. According to Central Health, the entity is mandated by state law to create this board before it can employ its own physicians.

Central Health documents show the Medical Executive board will oversee Central Health’s practice of medicine, including credentialing, quality assurance and pharmacy employment.

Senate Bill 1142, filed by Kirk Watson and signed into law on May 7, 2019, granted Central Health the ability to hire physicians for the first time. Previously, Central Health was barred from directly employing physicians to apply health care to patients. Other health care districts across Texas have similar allowances for employing physicians in place, according to a May 23 Central Health news release.

The bill requires Central Health to establish the Medical Executive Board as a means to ensure that physicians employed by the health care district retain the ability to exercise “independent medical judgement,” according to Central Health documents.


“This has been a work in progress for at least two years leading up to the last legislative session,” said Jonathan Morgan, chief operating officer for Central Health. “This is our next big step in that direction.”

According to a presentation given to the board of managers on Feb. 26, the Central Health Medical Executive Board is required to have policies in place for governance, credentialing, quality assurance, utilization review, peer review, medical decision making and due process.

Further, a policy must be put in place to resolve any conflict between any policy adopted by the Medical Executive Board that contradicts a policy adopted by Central Health.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the reporter for Northwest Austin.


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