The Healthcare Equity Plan
How Central Health’s New Healthcare Equity Plan Will Help Achieve Equitable Healthcare in Travis County
Central Health’s Healthcare Equity Plan and Health Equity Action Plan provide the roadmap for building a high-functioning comprehensive safety-net healthcare system in Travis County.
The Equity Plan, adopted in February 2022 after an 18-month planning process, identified unsustainable gaps throughout the healthcare system serving Travis County residents with low income. Those gaps mean at least 30%, and in some cases more than 50%, of the anticipated need for healthcare services would go unmet unless Central Health – the entity with the authority and responsibility to meet these needs – took action.
The identified gaps include shortfalls in primary care, specialty care, behavioral health, dental care, hospital-based care, and post-acute care. These needs were assessed by Central Health’s subject-matter experts and consulting partners at Guidehouse using community input, clinical and data analysis, and benchmarking Travis County’s safety-net healthcare system against national peers. This was the first such needs-assessment ever conducted specifically for Travis County residents with low income.
Central Health and Guidehouse have translated the needs identified in the Equity Plan into 38 initiatives that include more than 150 projects being implemented now and over the next seven years. Funding estimates call for Central Health to invest nearly $700 million into projects that strengthen the healthcare safety net – much of which will come from the hospital district’s reserves.
“Central Health has been building towards this moment for almost 20 years,” said Mike Geeslin, Central Health’s president and CEO. “It’s why we’ve been setting aside reserves for direct patient care and a high-functioning health care system centered on the patient. This sophisticated roadmap will allow us to use funds strategically to close gaps in care, improve health outcomes, and reduce disparities and inequities.”
THE FOUR MAIN STRATEGIC IMPERATIVES
ACCESS & CAPACITY
Increasing providers and care teams
Optimizing transitions of care
Enhancing engagement for enrollees and expanding enrollment in high-need regions
SYSTEM OF CARE
Joint service-delivery planning and timely sharing of healthcare data