In this section:
Texas Health deploys numerous strategies to save consumers time and make getting the care they need easier.
To help consumers get from point A to point B in their healthcare journey, consumers can use Texas Health Connect, which offers agents in our contact center and access to our mobile-first website from a smartphone or computer to:
- Find primary or specialty care physicians on the medical staff, urgent care, home-virtual care and more with one click or call.
- Schedule appointments with a live scheduler during expanded hours to accommodate consumers trying to schedule appointments around work hours or lunch breaks. Centralized scheduling also frees up staff time to focus on in-person interactions. Or, consumers can self-schedule or request an appointment online 24 hours a day.
- Register for events and classes, or pre-register for services and procedures.
- Make post-discharge connections with nurses to make a home transition seamless following a hospitalization.
- Receive Help Desk support for MyChart and other online tools.
During these interactions, if consumers have questions or need assistance with other services, our consumer digital support team will guide them.
To save people time searching for information or filling out forms by hand, we offer such tools as:
- MyChart, a secure portal where consumers can access their medication records, test results, upcoming appointments and medical bills. They also can manage communication preferences, message their provider, review health privacy information or share their records with family or external providers.
- eCheck-in and eSignature, which allow consumers to electronically upload insurance, fill out registration and medical history forms online, sign documents and complete other necessary steps before setting foot in a provider’s waiting room.
- Text messaging, which sends appointment reminders, links to virtual visits and instructions to complete registration or other forms on consumers’ smartphones.
We also use identity management analytics to monitor consumers’ previous interactions with Texas Health so that we don’t have to ask for insurance, images and health history information repeatedly. We are building this ability across all digital channels to pick up conversations with consumers where we left off.
- Rebranded its Virtual Care Center and consumer web portal as Texas Health Connect and added patient navigation capabilities to direct consumers to appropriate services, providers and resources seamlessly. We are building a more robust view of consumers’ care history, needs and preferences, which will help us remind them to take action to improve their health. For example, if a woman calls to register for a class, we can see that she is due for a mammogram and help her schedule it simultaneously.
- Allowed consumers to cancel their appointments in MyChart instead of calling the location. This has improved consumer satisfaction and involvement with their care. We also released sensitive lab results (those requiring more review and consultation with a physician) to consumers sooner (five days or less, while previously it was 10 days or less), and narrowed the list of sensitive conditions from several hundred to just 11.
We make it easier to access Texas Health’s providers, services and support online, from home or through neighborhood clinics and hospitals and surgery centers. This allows us to expand consumers’ access to care, helping people manage their health faster.
We offer telehealth capabilities to connect consumers with primary and specialty care, urgent care and behavioral health providers using their computers or smartphones. Many of our health education programs, support groups and resources also are online. We also offer Quick Care video visits to consumers needing support for lower-acuity ailments. They can schedule a video consultation with providers within five minutes or in person within 30 minutes.
Care at Home
Eligible patients can receive acute-level care in their homes, making it more comfortable and convenient through Texas Health Care at Home. The most common conditions include heart failure, COPD, asthma, pneumonia, cellulitis/soft tissue infections, complicated urinary tract infections, gastroenteritis, dehydration or COVID-19.
The program equips patients’ homes with the necessary technology to connect them with a 24/7 medical command center staffed by physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and service coordinators. These clinicians consult with and assess patients’ progress several times a day and visit in person when needed.
Additionally, cardiac rehabilitation and emergency department patients, their loved ones and care teams can stay on top of care from home using MyChart Care Companion. The tool:
- Allows providers to share educational materials and videos to explain a health condition or treatment.
- Analyzes vital signs and symptoms and alerts care teams as needed.
- Sends reminders to take medication.
- Enables patients to check in with providers to provide recovery updates or share concerns.
For help treating illnesses and injuries that don't require emergency care, consumers can visit our neighborhood Texas Health Breeze Urgent Care™ clinics, which offer affordable care and enable most consumers to leave with medications in hand at no additional cost.
They can quickly see providers in person, virtually or walk in without a reservation. Alternatively, consumers can schedule a house call through a service we offer exclusively through DispatchHealth.
Primary and Specialty Care
From infants to seniors, the common cold to congestive heart disease, Texas Health Physicians Group provides education, advanced technology and personalized care to consumers in person and virtually.
- Launched Texas Health Care at Home for qualified emergency department patients at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth. The program will expand to more hospitals and patients over time.
- Opened six additional Texas Health Breeze Urgent Care™ clinics, bringing the total at year-end to 20. Providers cared for nearly 118,000 patients, of which about 48% were new to Texas Health. Visits averaged 41 minutes “door to door,” significantly under the industry average of 65 minutes.
- Made MyChart Care Companion available through a website and app and extended it to cardiac rehabilitation patients.
- Introduced Quick Care video visits to make it more convenient for consumers to reach providers.
Texas Health Physicians Group (THPG) launched a robust platform across its practices in 2022 to improve the telehealth experience for consumers. Individuals who request a video visit can electronically check in, fill out forms and request translation services if needed.
Patients receive a text with a link and time to join. Once connected, a medical assistant meets with the individual to gather health information and assist the provider.
The platform also allows providers to share their screens to display images or information, attach documents or include other physicians or family members in the discussion. Texas Health Behavioral Health will begin using the tool in 2023.
THPG also was recognized by the Texas Medical Association Foundation for its commitment to expanding consumers’ access to care through video visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. It received the 2022 John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award for exceptional projects that address urgent public health threats.
Determining the cost of healthcare and managing billing can be complicated. Texas Health developed an online tool to help consumers estimate out-of-pocket costs to make it easier. By visiting TexasHealth.org/Cost or the MyChart app, consumers can search for cost estimates for up to 300 procedures and services.
They can enter their insurance or other coverage information to estimate out-of-pocket costs for the service and facility selected. Texas Health also offers financial counselors who are familiar with variables that might impact the cost of service. Consumers are welcome to call 877-773-2368, Option 3, for personalized assistance from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. With more cost transparency, consumers can make more informed decisions about their healthcare and be better prepared for the financial impact of the services provided.
Additionally, we help consumers arrange payment plans to lessen the burden of paying for care. To ease the process, we created a payment portal that allows them to:
- Manage payment plans based on reasonable monthly amounts, depending on the balance due and the timeframe they need to pay off their debt. We also offer short-term minimal payment options, such as $25 monthly for three months. We do not engage in aggressive collection tactics, such as suing patients, garnishing wages or placing liens on homes or other property.
- Pause or skip payments due to financial hardship. They also can meet with financial counselors to identify alternative coverage options, file applications for Medicaid eligibility, and help those who qualify for financial assistance mitigate part or all their out-of-pocket costs.
- Consolidate bills into one payment plan and for multiple services performed in our wholly-owned hospitals so consumers can make just one monthly payment.
- Access statements virtually to reconcile balances with an insurer's benefits in a side-by-side view. Statements are provided in multiple languages.
- Receive support through expanded customer service hours via chat messaging or email. We monitor feedback daily, proactively answer questions and help consumers navigate the portal.
- Complete financial application forms online and access statements electronically.
- Make payments for up to 60 months for high balances, up from 36 months.