Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the privilege of spending time with hospital leaders in San Antonio and my hometown of El Paso. These regional THA Town Hall meetings presented an opportunity for health care leaders to come together, share best practices, discuss challenges and opportunities, and strengthen our commitment to delivering high-quality care for Texans.
If you were unable to attend, I’ve compiled a brief recap, along with next steps for THA and our industry. I hope you find it helpful. Also, we will be hosting additional town halls next year in other Texas cities, and I hope to see you there.
Every hospital is different, with unique needs and patient populations. Regardless of hospital type (rural, urban, behavioral health, children’s, etc.), many Texas hospitals face the same challenges in today’s health care environment: delivering quality care despite shrinking reimbursement rates, physician and nursing shortages and a rapidly growing uninsured population.
We heard concerns about supplemental payment programs, uncompensated care, rural health and regulatory oversight. Interestingly, we heard broad concerns about government regulations and bureaucracies, and also specific needs related to vaccinations, maternal health and neonatal designations.
Closing the behavioral health gap continues to be a priority for hospitals across the state. We specifically discussed the importance of supporting first responders, particularly after events of mass violence. It’s clear hospitals are united in their concern about providing better mental health care for Texas children through community collaboratives and technological readiness.
As 2020 approaches, our THA team will continue to work with hospital leaders, legislators and key agency partners to ensure Texas hospitals have the support they need to deliver the best and most compassionate care. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Advocating for hospital funding and identifying ways to provide quality care without cost increases.
- Closing the behavioral health gap through collaboration.
- Identifying strategies for attracting medical residents and advocating for additional residency slots.
- Serving as Texas hospitals’ unified voice on issues like supplemental funding, workforce shortages, payor behavior and regulation.
This year’s regional town hall meetings proved to be a crucial opportunity for THA staff to hear directly from our members about the issues Texas hospitals face every day and to effectively identify ways we can help. “Helping hospitals help Texans” isn’t just a nice slogan. It’s what we do. And we’re honored to work on behalf of our member hospitals.