Central Health authorizes creation of fund designed to boost federal dollars for uncompensated care

The Board of Managers officially created Travis Countyu2019s Local Provider Participation Fund to get ahead of looming state deadlines.

The Board of Managers officially created Travis Countyu2019s Local Provider Participation Fund to get ahead of looming state deadlines.

Following recently signed legislation that authorized Central Health to expand its operating powers, the health care district moved to formally create a pooled fund that will increase the amount of matched federal funds the county and private hospitals receive for uncompensated health care services.

The board of managers on June 19 officially established Travis County’s Local Provider Participation Fund, or LPPF, to get ahead of looming state deadlines.

LPPFs allow private hospitals to access matched federal funds for uncompensated health care costs incurred while providing services to uninsured patients.

Private hospitals in Travis County would pay an established rate of their net patient revenue and pool it into the LPPF fund. Those pooled funds would then be combined or matched with federal dollars, which would then be redistributed by state and federal government to county hospitals, according to Central Health.

According to Central Health documents, the district was granted authority to “assess a mandatory payment to hospitals required to participate in the LPPF” when Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 1350 into law May 31.

Jeff Knodel, chief financial officer of Central Health, told managers June 19 that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission notified all participating counties that affiliation agreements must be in place by July 15.

“HHSC notified us that the [LPPF] program needed to exist to meet the affiliation agreement,” Knodel said.

According to Knodel, Central Health will need to further establish mandatory rates for the county’s private hospitals by July 31. Further, Central Health will need to designate a depository bank to hold the pooled hospital funds at that time.

“We are working in real time related to ... creating the rates related to the LPPF,” Knodel said.

Central Health documents show the county would send collected funds to be matched as early as Sept. 5 to receive FY 2019 uncompensated care payments.

The district’s timelines additionally show a public hearing and vote scheduled for Aug. 28 to set Travis County’s LPPF rates for FY 2019-20.

The Williamson County Health Care Provider Participation Program, established by the 85th Texas Legislature in 2017, began collecting hospital funds in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Williamson County commissioners on April 30 set the rate for the Williamson County Health Care Provider Participation Program at 1.59% of net patient revenue.
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 editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


MOST RECENT

Austin bars scrap for survival during monthslong shutdown

Bars are fighting through red tape to reclassify as restaurants, offering takeout orders and finding new uses for their spaces. Local business owners said they are finding every avenue possible to survive.

According to the report, 380,174 total COVID-19 cases have been reported in children nationwide as of Aug. 6, which accounts for approximately 9.1% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
REPORT: COVID-19 cases in children increase by 90% nationwide in 1 month

As school district officials across the U.S. prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year, 179,990 new COVID-19 cases were reported in children nationwide between July 9 and Aug. 6—an increase of 90%, according to a report compiled by The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.

Austin City Council is considering moving the forensics lab services and internal affairs department out from under the Austin Police Department and into civilian roles. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Police cuts, community reinvestment, reimagining public safety on table as Austin City Council looks to adopt budget

City Council is considering a cut of more than a $150 million to the police budget.

The University of Texas will host football games at Darrell K. Royal Veterans Memorial Stadium this fall after an announcement from the Big 12 Conference on Aug. 12 that the fall sports season will continue. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
After Big Ten and PAC-12 cancel, Big 12 announces fall sports season will roll on

The conference football season will begin Sept. 26, and fan capacity in stadiums will be up to each of the 10 member universities, according to the Big 12.

Dripping Springs Mayor Bill Foulds welcomes the community to a virtual City Council meeting Aug. 11. (Courtesy city of Dripping Springs)
Dripping Springs City Council to vote on tax rate, $7.6 million city budget next week

The budget outlines maintaining the current tax rate of $0.19 per $100 valuation.

Future Austin ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde spoke to trustees at a meeting Aug. 11. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD makes it official, hiring Stephanie Elizalde as next superintendent

Elizalde was serving as Dallas ISD’s chief of school leadership prior to the hire.

A trial related to a speeding ticket in Pflugerville on Aug. 11 was the first-ever binding criminal jury trial to take place via videoconferencing, according to Travis County Justice of the Peace Nicholas Chu. (Courtesy Travis County Justices of the Peace)
‘You’re on mute’: Travis County pilots virtual trial by jury

The low-level misdemeanor trial featured a YouTube user commenting on a juror's cat and one potential juror—who was not selected—whose name appeared on Zoom as "Goth Brooks."

A screen shot of Dr. Mark Escott's face
Travis County health officials turn toward positivity rate to track local coronavirus risk

Recent statistics show the positivity rate for testing could be an early sign of local coronavirus trends to come.

A screenshot of a DSISD meeting
Nearly 60% of Dripping Springs ISD families opt to send their students back to campus in mid-September

Almost 60% of Dripping Springs ISD students are registered to switch to in-person classes in September.

Chief Equity Officer Stephanie Hawley speaks to trustees at a board information session Aug. 10. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Outside equity assessment at AISD could evaluate hiring practices, past closures

A report could look at the root causes of inequities and offer the district best practices as potential solutions.