The Task Force reconvened in February and March of 2012 to consider the potential impact of the Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program on access to healthcare. The Task Force’s deliberations led to this Code Red Report 2012.
Findings of the Task Force
The Texas economy has not been immune to the national financial markets’ crisis and rising healthcare costs. Even though the situation has been less dire than in other states, many Texans have suffered lossesof jobs, homes, and access to healthcare. The fundamental findings and recommendations of the Task Force have remained consistent since the original 2006 Report.
- The overall health condition of Texans is poor.
- Texas continues to have the highest percentage of uninsured in the United States.
- Texas cannot sustain the continued rise in Medicaid costs, state/county health care expenditures, and uncompensated care costs incurred by providers of healthcare services.
- The most expensive means of delivering healthcare is the overuse of hospital emergency departments.
- Expanding and coordinating ambulatory (outpatient) services that include community settings and home services will provide an essential, more cost-effective means of healthcare delivery.
- All Texans will benefit from strategies that ensure the most cost-effective delivery of high quality healthcare services.
- Significant improvements in health outcomes and the reduction of healthcare costs will require additional investment in public health and prevention. This additional investment can be achieved by redirecting funds from high-dollar, low-value services and delivery methods.
- Prior to the current Demonstration Waiver, Texas had not taken full advantage of available federal matching funds to reduce the burden of providing healthcare for the uninsured.
- The current county-based approach to delivery of healthcare in Texas is inadequate and inequitable.
- Texas has a significant shortage of healthcare professionals – particularly, primary care professionals who could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery to all Texans.
- Access to mental health services and dental care remain major problems for Texas.
- Providing efficient, effective healthcare to all Texans will require efforts such as disease anagement programs, the use of electronic health records, and the innovative re-design of healthcare delivery models.