October 1, 2020
FY 2021 budget approved by unanimous vote of Travis County Commissioners
(Austin, TX) – October 1 marks the beginning of a new fiscal year and implementation of a new budget for Central Health, which recently won a national award for its budgetary transparency and excellence by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).
On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to approve Central Health’s Fiscal Year (FY) 20201 budget and tax rate, which dedicates $354 million – more than 96% of entire budget of $367 million – to health care delivery.
The FY2021 budget and tax rate support a $20 million increase in Central Health’s budget to fund more primary care, specialty care, behavioral health, and other services for people with low income. It also provides $22.5 million for capital development, including three new clinics in Eastern Travis County (Colony Park, Del Valle, Hornsby Bend) and continued support of CommUnityCare’s COVID-19 efforts, including testing, treatment, equipment and supplies.
The Board of Managers adopted four objectives that guided Central Health’s budget and operations for FY 2021:
- Develop and execute health care delivery strategy based on people and place,
- Implement patient-focused and coordinated health care system,
- Implement sustainable financial model for health care delivery through FY2024; and
- Support CommUnityCare for COVID-19 efforts, including testing, treatment, equipment and supplies with coordinated funding from other local, state, and federal agencies.
“This is the boldest budget we have ever adopted, in part because we are taking the health care district to the next level, as we serve more low-income individuals and families across Travis County,” Central Health President & CEO Mike Geeslin said.
“We are grateful to the commissioners court for their thoughtful consideration and support of this budget,” Central Health Board Chair Sherri Greenberg said. “It will help even more people with low-income access quality health care. On behalf of the board of managers, I also want to thank the hundreds of residents who participated in our budget development process. Their input and opinions are invaluable.”
Central Health Receives National Recognition for Budget Transparency
In recent years, Central Health has focused on making the budget process more accessible, transparent, and easier to understand for the public. In August, the GFOA honored Central Health with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Booklet, which provided a detailed explanation of the entire annual budget and tax rate. The award program recognizes transparency and budgetary best practices and is the premier achievement for budgetary excellence.
In order to receive the award, Central Health had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. According to GFOA, “The award… reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.” More than 1,600 organizations have been recognized through the Budget Awards Program; Central Health is the only hospital district to receive the award.
Development and approval of the annual budget is a months-long process, during which time the organization hosts numerous virtual and in-person public meetings and live “Community Conversations” with Central Health leadership. Nearly 500 residents participated in the FY2021 budget process.
Central Health provides monthly financial updates at its regularly scheduled board meetings, which are open to the public, broadcast on television and streamed online.
“Central Health’s achievement of the GFOA budget award is a testament to our commitment to responsible stewardship of public dollars. We are honored to receive this recognition and will continue to strive for excellence in our organization, especially with regard to our financial operations,” Central Health Chief Financial Officer Jeff Knodel said.
More information on GFOA and the award can be found at www.gfoa.org/budget-award.
To read more about Central Health’s FY2 021 budget, click http://centralhealth.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/FY2020-Approved-Budget-Booklet-2019.12.18_Final.pdf.