Central Health hires consulting firm to evaluate its partnership with Seton Healthcare Family

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Central Health, the only one of the state’s largest health care districts to outsource its public hospital through a public-private partnership, will have that partnership evaluated by an independent consulting firm.

The Central Health board of managers voted Wednesday, Nov. 28 to approve hiring Deloitte Consulting LLP to study the partnership between Seton Healthcare Family—which operates the county’s public hospital—and Central Health.

“We’ve been having conversations for a fairly lengthy period of time around our partnership with Seton and its involvement in our funding and health care delivery model,” Central Health CFO Jeff Knodel said during a presentation to the board.

The contract with Deloitte stipulates that both Central Health and Seton will split the payment for the firm’s services evenly for an amount that does not exceed $150,000 each, or a total of $300,000.

Consultants from Deloitte will evaluate how well the two entities’ strategies, finances and services align to serve a shared purpose of providing health care for low income and uninsured patients in Travis County, according to board documents. The firm will then produce a report with findings and recommendations to improve the partnership.

Executive leadership from Central Health and Seton will meet with the consultants to provide information gathered for the report, which the firm aims to complete by February, Knodel said.

Board member Maram Museitif said she is optimistic the process will allow both Central Health and Seton to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

“I’m confident that we are moving in the right direction and we look forward to a better collaboration between the two [entities]and better transparency in terms of who does what and what is necessary to be done in terms of finances and services,” Museitif said.

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Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Northwest Austin reporter. She is also responsible for citywide health care and entertainment coverage. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism in May 2017.
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