Written by Emily Cheslock

Each year, the Texas Hospital Association Annual Conference and Expo serves as the backdrop for the most significant issues affecting Texas hospitals, their leaders and their communities. This year's event, held in February in San Antonio, brought together leaders from all over the state to reflect on hospital finance, legal hot topics, behavioral health and other important issues.

The program featured sessions to guide hospital leaders on how to comply with new legislation regarding surprise medical billing, operational and financial trends, emergency response, communication with members of the press and much more. Being a part of the THA Annual Conference is a vital component of growing leadership and ensuring hospitals have the resources and information they need to meet the challenges of today and and beyond.

Special Section

2019 THA Award Winners

Click here to read more about winners of the Earl M. Collier, HOSPAC Star, Pioneer and Bill Aston awards.

The conference marked the official swearing-in of the 2020 THA board of trustees, including new THA board chair Chris Durovich, president and CEO of Children's Health in Dallas. Throughout the event, Durovich emphasized the importance of hospitals working together to serve their communities and create the best outcomes for the patients they serve.

The event's political debate also reflected the common theme of working together to find the best solutions for health care and patients, despite the backdrop of a heated upcoming election. Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune served as moderater for Donna Brazile, former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, and Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush. The three discussed the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election and current health care legislation pending in the U.S. Congress.

Ted Shaw, president and CEO of THA, asked hospital leaders to focus on compassion, while working together on the challenges that Texas hospitals are facing: Medicaid cuts and the uncertainty around supplemental payments, rural hospital closures and the rising number of uninsured Texans. Shaw called on hospital leaders to speak with a unified voice and create opportunities from these challenges.

"These challenges are precisely why we are here - why we take a moment out of our daily lives to come together as a community of health care experts - leaders in our field - to share ideas, collaborate and learn from each other," said Shaw. "And while much of what we do is about protecting the bottom line, we are reminded every day that our work is about the patient."

The 2021 THA Annual Conference and Expo will be online only, Feb. 16-19. Look for more information in the coming months at www.tha.org/conference.