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Central Texas Medical Center: News

CTMC partnership with Hays County Health Department will take effect at first of year
SAN MARCOS, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court is working with Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) to leverage newly available federal dollars for covering costs of treating Hays County citizens currently utilizing services at the Hays County Personal Health Department (PHD).

The Texas Healthcare Transformation & Quality Improvement Program allows Texas Hospitals to continue to receive supplemental funding for the treatment of Medicaid patients while allowing additional dollars for improvements to healthcare delivery systems.

As part of this local realignment of health care, CTMC will begin operating clinical services currently available to clients at the County’s Personal Health Department through its Live Oak Health Partners Primary care providers. The hospital will also work to expand and improve healthcare resources that are available to citizens of Hays County. Because current County PHD staff will be offered their same positions with CTMC, the transfer of operations is expected to be seamless for clients who use County health services. Hays County will continue to own the Personal Health Department building.

“We’ve been looking at this opportunity for more than a year,” said Precinct One Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe, “and discussing with CTMC what would work best in Hays County. Our goal is to expand services to those who need it while stabilizing the amount of local tax dollars that fund our program – our health care costs are currently in the $2 million per year range. This program will bring us $1.40 in federal tax dollars for every $1.00 in local taxes that we contribute. If we had chosen not to participate, the federal matching funds would have been sent elsewhere, and it just doesn’t make sense to see that happen when our need here is so great.”

In addition to bringing federal tax dollars back to Hays County, qualified patients who need care beyond what the County can currently provide will have access to specialists through CTMC who can manage and treat chronic diseases. Bringing quality preventative care to those who often can’t visit doctors on a regular basis is expected to reduce the number of emergency room visits and provide a better continuum of care for those in need.

“We look forward to expanding options for healthcare with the county. It will afford us the opportunity to extend the healing ministry of Christ to a larger part of our community,” said CTMC CEO/President Sam Huenergardt. “As the partnership continues, this program will allow CTMC to expand services to those who seek care at the Hays County Personal Health Department.”

To participate, the County will make quarterly payments to the State of Texas. In turn, the State will match those dollars with the federal funds, and return that money to the affiliated hospital to fund improvements.

The initial program is expected to last five years, with each party allowed to end the affiliation at will during that time.

“We’ve already begun the transfer of funds to the state so that CTMC can participate in the program and we expect the health clinic responsibilities to change on January 1, 2013,” said Hays County Chief of Staff Lon Shell, who also serves as interim director of the PHD . “Hays County residents who need our health care services will go to the same building and see many of the same people they’ve been seeing there, with new faces added as services expand through CTMC. County employees will continue to do those public health functions most directly related to County responsibilities – screening clients for health care eligibility, health-related emergency preparedness and the tuberculosis screening and treatment programs, some of which is funded through state and federal grants. In all, about 22 positions are affected; seven will remain with the County.

For more information about services provided by the Hays County PHD, visit www.co.hays.tx.us and click on the Community & Health dropdown at the top of the page. More information about CTMC and Live Oak Health Partners is available at www.ctmc.org.

About CTMC
The hospital, which originated in 1923 as Hays County Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Memorial Hospital, was restructured in 1960. The present facility was opened at its current Wonder World Drive location in 1983. The CTMC staff of more than 700 employees works with more than 220 active and consulting physicians to provide quality services to patients and their families. In addition, over 200 community members and interns from area educational institutions volunteer their services to the hospital. In 2010 and again in 2011, CTMC was named The Best Hospital in Hays County. In addition, CTMC added a certified Chest Pain Center to its ER capabilities in 2011. In 2012, CTMC became the first operating room along the IH-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to be equipped with a da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery suite.

CTMC is a member of the Adventist Health System (AHS), a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, AHS has quickly grown to become the largest not-for-profit Protestant healthcare provider in the nation. Today, AHS supports 43 hospitals and employs 55,000 individuals. AHS hospitals are comprised of 7,700 licensed beds, providing care for 4 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits.
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