CHRISTUS Spohn showcases Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center to top state health official November 16, 2017

Charles-Smith-tour

One of CHRISTUS Spohn’s newest health care facilities was the scene of an important visit this week as health care providers, physicians and health care leaders joined Charles Smith, Texas Health and Humans Services Executive Commissioner, to discuss the ways health care is now being delivered to Corpus Christi patients. A variety of issues were shared with Smith including:

1. Concern over the pending 1115 Medicaid Waiver extension or renewal which is set to expire December 31 2017 to offset uncompensated care. CHRISTUS Spohn has more than 20 projects aimed at helping the underserved achieve better access and healthcare.

These projects are part of the Delivery System Reform and Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program and provide significant funding to help deliver care to Medicaid beneficiaries.  Estela Chapa, CHRISTUS Spohn’s Chief Clinical & Transformational Officer told Smith about the success of CHRISTUS Spohn’s Care Coordination Team made up of Care Transition nurses & Community Health Care Workers. CHRISTUS Spohn’s Care Transition Teams are on the frontlines of meeting the needs of the poor and underserved in South Texas. CHRISTUS Spohn’s med-to-bed program was also discussed. The program, run out of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center, uses new technology and intervention strategies to improve the success of a patient’s outcome during the inpatient to discharge period.  The on-site pharmacists at Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center have the skills and resources necessary to help position high-risk patients for success after discharge. The pharmacist can fill a hospitalized patient’s much needed and crucial medications. Those then get delivered to a patient’s room before discharge resulting in better patient compliance by helping make their hospital departure easier and less stressful by avoiding unnecessary readmissions.

2. Reduction in Unnecessary Emergency Room Visits
Since opening the doors of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center in mid-January 2017, CHRISTUS Spohn has been able to reduce ER visits in any given month by more than 50 percent. The data supporting this achievement showcases what CHRISTUS Spohn expected would happen by opening a family focused primary care clinic. More people are seeking care in the appropriate setting by using the Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center for primary care services and proactive wellness care.  Education and outreach efforts are transforming the population’s use of appropriate levels of care.

3. Hurricane Harvey and Trauma Center Transformation
While many other hospitals were unable or chose not to remain operational and shut their doors during Hurricane Harvey, CHRISTUS Spohn like nearly all CHRISTUS facilities chose to stay open to serve the needs of our communities. As the only Level II Trauma Center South of San Antonio, CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline played an important role in leading the South Texas disaster preparedness response. More than 125 CHRISTUS Associates traveled to other CHRISTUS facilities to provide extra care during the nearly 3 ½ week long response to Harvey and subsequent rain and flooding impact.

4. The Pressure that Surrounds Reimbursement Issues

CHRISTUS Spohn leadership shared how Medicaid cuts severely impact nonprofit systems like CHRISTUS as CHRISTUS relies heavily on government-sponsored patients.  Texas already has a very low Medicaid reimbursement rate, less than 60% for inpatient care, and further cuts jeopardize CHRISTUS’ ability to continue our mission to provide access to care to all.