New health care initiatives likely to take place in 2014

Central Health, Travis County's health care district for the underinsured and uninsured, hosted the Transforming Health Care in Central Texas event Nov. 21 to highlight major health care projects that will take place as a result of Proposition 1 passing in 2012.

Proposition 1 increased Central Health's property tax rate and funds will be used for improving health care in Travis County.

The approximately 30 projects are part of Seton Healthcare, The University of Texas and Central Health's vision to change the health care model in Central Texas by offering high-quality health care to patients for less cost, and to reduce hospital admissions and increase wellness.

Among the projects are 14–15 initiatives spearheaded by the Community Care Collaborative, Travis County's new integrated health care delivery system. The CCC's aim is to provide high quality, cost effective, patient-centered care that improves health outcomes, according to CCC.

"We need to move from treating the disease to treating the whole person. We need to move away from the illness model to a wellness model," said Mark Hernandez, chief medical officer for the Community Care Collaborative. "We need to move from crisis care to preventive care."

The CCC's projects include expanding women's health services such as STD screening, treatment and prevention, and extending primary care hours at some outpatient clinics. Hernandez said another initiative is to integrate behavioral health treatment for people who need to manage their chronic diseases. For example, a person who has diabetes and depression needs to be treated for both, as depression can often influence a person's decisions about managing their health, he said.

To learn more about the Transforming Health Care in Central Texas event, view the presentation.

Timeline

June 2013—The Community Care Collaborative is launched by Seton, Central Health and other community partners.

October 2013—The CCC completed the planning of the approximate 30 projects. The next year will be focused on implementing the projects at health care facilities. Sarah Cooke, Medicaid waiver director at Central Health, said the CCC is in the process of selecting partners to participate in the projects.

February 2014—The CCC's goal is to complete the selection of its partners who will participate in its health care projects, Cook said.

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By Lyndsey Taylor

After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lyndsey began working as a reporter for the Northwest Austin edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2012. During her time as a reporter, she has covered Round Rock ISD, health care in the Austin metro area and Austin Community College. She was promoted to editor of the Cedar Park| Leander edition in 2015 and covers city and education news, including Leander ISD.


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