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Board Approves Contract Expansion Funds

The Central Health Board of Managers approved the organization’s largest ever healthcare services expansion at the board’s regular meeting on Wednesday, July 10. Approximately 9,500 more individuals will now have access to essential healthcare services as a result of this action.

The total amount for the service expansion is $1,613,472 and covers a range of services including primary medical care, cancer screenings, women’s health services, eye disease, and patient navigation. The expanded contracts are with El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, The SIMS Foundation, Inc., Austin Retina Associates, Brian B. Berger, M.D. P.A., Richard B. Briggs, M.D. P.A., and United Way for Greater Austin.

“This increased funding pays for direct patient care for more than 6,500 additional services through El Buen Samaritano. That’s 1,650 new patient visits per month for the rest of the fiscal year. The bottom line is this expansion allows us to continue expanding our primary care services, and we are extremely grateful for the ability to care for more people,” El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission Executive Director Victor Azios said.

Utilization of contracted healthcare services was up across the board this year. With nearly three months remaining in the fiscal year it was necessary to expand these contracts to meet the demand for healthcare through the remainder.

“Central Health’s mission is to create access to healthcare for those who need it most. This action tonight does exactly that. Access to care remains a critical issue for tens of thousands of Central Texans. Through this service expansion, and through the network of high-quality healthcare providers we have cultivated over the years, we are able to help an additional 9,500 members of our community get access to essential care, and that’s a great achievement,” Central Health Board of Managers Chairperson Rosie Mendoza said.

At the beginning of each fiscal year, Central Health budgets for service expansion needs that may arise during the course of the year, typically in the final quarter. A total of $3 million was budgeted for the current 2013 fiscal year, with $1,375,380 remaining after this expenditure.