The Central Health Board of Managers took several steps to begin the new 2014 fiscal year, which starts on Oct. 1, at the regularly scheduled meeting last night. The board approved the new Central Health strategic plan for fiscal years 2014 through 2016. Also approved were the FY14 budgets for Central Health, the Community Care Collaborative (CCC) and Sendero Health Plans, Inc.
Central Health’s new fiscal year 2014-2016 strategic plan provides a philosophical and operational framework for all of the work Central Health will undertake for the next three years. The process to design and develop the plan began early in the calendar year. The Board of Managers approved in February four priority areas for the plan to address: Health Care, Health Promotion, Health Coverage, and Health Infrastructure. A draft plan was developed in the spring, followed by a public participation process to further refine the draft. Input from the public was incorporated directly into the plan, while other thoughts and ideas submitted by the public during the process will continue to feed future work.
“We know there is a number of highly motivated, dedicated individuals in our community who recognize the importance and value of Central Health’s work. We felt giving them all the opportunity to weigh in on this plan, which will direct all of our efforts over the next three years, was the best way to truly reflect the complexity, diversity and needs of our community,” Vice President of Planning & Communications Christie Garbe said.
The final approved strategic plan will be published and available to the public, both in printed form and online at www.centralhealth.net. The plan was however designed to continually adapt to the ever-changing Central Texas health care landscape, and revisions are expected.
The fiscal year 2014 budget signifies a fundamental transformation of the local health care delivery system. The creation of the Community Care Collaborative (CCC) earlier this year, investment in a new medical school and teaching hospital, and participation in the Texas Health Care Transformation and Quality Improvement Program, also known as the 1115 Waiver, represent a new and vastly improved way of providing access to health care for those who need it most. The FY14 budget was developed using the new strategic plan as a framework for these various projects, and for the increased expectations of the year to come.
The cornerstone of the FY14 budget is Central Health’s new tax rate. In November of last year, Travis County voters approved Proposition 1, increasing Central Health’s tax rate to 12.9 cents per $100 of property valuation. These funds will provide for greatly expanded health care objectives in the coming year. The voters effectively set the new rate by way of the election; the Board of managers gave final approval last night.
The Board of Managers also gave final approval to the Central Health FY14 budget. Accounting for anticipated revenue as a result of the new tax rate, the total budget for FY14 is $219.8 million. The delivery of health care is expected to account for $210.6 million, or approximately 96 percent of the total. The vote to approve the budget followed two public hearings on Aug. 29 and Sept. 4, and will require final approval by the Travis County Commissioners Court, expected on Sept. 17. Additional supporting information is available online at www.centralhealth.net.
A major component of FY14 health care expenditures is the budget for the new Community Care Collaborative (CCC). The CCC, a new nonprofit health care organization created by Central Health and Seton Healthcare Family earlier this year, will manage and fund the majority of the contracts with providers who provide direct care to the eligible residents of Travis County, which were previously held and funded by Central Health. The CCC will also utilize the funding derived from the new tax rate in order to maximize federal matching funds available under the 1115 Waiver through 14 delivery system reform incentive payment (DSRIP) projects. Although the CCC maintains its own board of directors that developed and approved its annual budget, the Central Health Board of Managers must give final approval to that budget.
Comprising the CCC’s expenditures is a total of approximately $73.3 million for health care delivery, including provider contracts, contingency and expansion funds, $21.6 million for implementing its 14 DSRIP projects under the 1115 Waiver, $35 million in payments to UT for the new Dell Medical School, as agreed upon in the previously approved Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Texas at Austin, and $5 million for emergency reserves. Central Health created Sendero Health Plans, Inc. as a community-based, non-profit health maintenance organization (HMO) in 2012 to provide affordable Medicaid subsidized health plans for eligible residents of Travis County. The Board of Managers gave final approval to Sendero’s FY14 budget, as well as a contract with the federal government for the HMO to become a qualified health plan issuer under the new Health Insurance Marketplace. Sendero’s board previously approved the contract with the federal government, contingent upon the Central Health’s Board of Managers’ approval. Last night the Central Health board approved a resolution in support of the arrangement.