Community Benefit | Community Health Framework
Community Health Improvement & Community Benefit
Texas Health plays an integral role in helping our communities meet broader health and social needs. Not only is this central to our mission, but a requirement of our nonprofit status.
Texas Health uses excess revenues made available via our tax-exempt status to support patients and the community in a variety of ways. Referred to as our “community benefit,” this support includes:
- Caring for and treating uninsured and underinsured patients.
- Absorbing any medical costs we are not reimbursed from Medicare or Medicaid.
- Investing in community health initiatives through community benefit grants and sponsorships.
- Financing our internally-driven community health programs.
- Volunteering our employees’ time and resources to support worthy health-related causes.
Under Texas state law, we are required to allocate 5 percent of our net patient revenue to charity care. In 2012, our community benefits exceeded this requirement by about 495 percent, surpassing the contributions of other community hospitals in the North Texas region.
In total, we provided nearly $784 million, or $2.14 million a day. Our charity care also increased 32 percent since 2010 following a policy revision that increased the number of individuals who were able to access this care.
In response to recent federal health care reform20 that requires all nonprofit health care systems to complete a Community Health Needs Assessment, Texas Health Resources began this effort in 2012. This process includes:
- Collecting and analyzing data to determine community health needs.
- Developing an action plan inclusive of implementation and evaluation strategies.
- Communicating findings both internally and externally to the communities served.
Required every three years, the assessments will help us identify future nonprofit partners that can join us in responding to our communities’ specific health needs. We will publish our first report in 2013.
Community Health Framework
To address unmet community health needs, we must confront them at their source by promoting good health, disease prevention, healthy lifestyle choices and early treatment of illness.
Texas Health Resources’ community health framework was developed in partnership with the Public Health Institute. At the hospital level, Community Health Councils, comprised of employees and local business and civic leaders, oversee these programs. Members analyze health data and existing programs to address risk areas, and establish improvement objectives and plans.
The challenges for the North Texas region include a high rate of obesity, and poor infant health and mortality rates. We are helping our communities address these challenges through the following initiatives:
Child Automobile Safety Initiative (CASI)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. For this reason, Texas Health has long supported car seat safety checks and distributions, as well as car seat safety education programs.
CASI takes a holistic approach to raising community awareness about child passenger safety. Its goal is to increase student, parent and teacher knowledge of booster seat safety and the requirements of Texas state law.
All wholly-owned hospitals participate in the program, which includes child passenger restraint checks, community-based education, school-based education and training. During the 2011-2012 school year, CASI reached 2,211 students, and increased booster seat use between 10 and 30 percent.
A Matter of Balance
Fear of falling can keep elderly individuals from being active, which results in loss of muscle strength and balance. It can also compromise their social interaction and increases their risk of isolation.
A Matter of Balance is an evidence-based program that strives to reduce fear of falling, stop the fear-of-falling cycle, and increase activity levels among community-dwelling older adults. Implemented in our service areas, the free, eight-week course teaches older adults how to reduce fall hazards in their homes; increase strength and balance; and improve their overall health through increased activity.
Our objective is to ensure 90 percent of participants complete the course with increased confidence; they know how to reduce falls and how to safely get up after a fall. We also want to build their understanding of how to improve their physical strength. In 2012, Texas Health hosted 20 courses and graduated 200 participants.
Healthy Zone School Recognition Program
Texas Health Resources is a proud sponsor of the Healthy Zone School Recognition Program®, a collaboration between United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and The Cooper Institute® to fight childhood obesity. A Healthy Zone School establishes healthy policies and activities for students, teachers and parents. It serves as a role model in helping other schools and the broader community promote healthy behaviors.
As part of the program, our employees volunteer at participating schools to host field days, fun runs or fitness fairs to promote healthy behaviors to students and families. Texas Health also provided a three-year financial grant to support the program through the 2013-2014 school year.
Texas Health also supports numerous initiatives that address specific needs, such as:
- Offering free breast cancer screenings to uninsured women.
- Providing support and pre-natal education to pregnant teens.
- Collaborating with local elementary schools to teach healthy eating and exercise habits.
- Partnering with Healing Hands Ministries to provide low-cost medical and dental care to the uninsured.
- Screening athletes for cardiac abnormalities.
- Hosting free prostate cancer, diabetes and hypertension screenings.
- Providing free childhood and flu immunizations to the uninsured and high-risk populations.
In 2012, Texas Health provided community health support through 10,596 free screenings; education that reached 126,986 community members at 85 events and appointments; and support groups attended by 1,335 neighbors. Additionally, we collaborated with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health to leverage community involvement, education and research to empower women in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to take control of their health.
We also enhanced our Community Health Improvement department and community health hospital advocates by providing:
- Education and peer-to-peer sharing opportunities through regular meetings.
- Opportunities to develop hospital-specific Community Health Councils.
- Guidance on hospital community health programs to ensure they aligned with our values, strategy, efficacy and effectiveness.
- Community Benefit Inventory for Social Accountability software systemwide, which makes it easier to track and report community benefit efforts at our hospitals.
20 Per requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act criteria set out within the IRS Form 990