Biden-Harris Administration Awards Texas Up to $5 Million to Transform Delivery of Rural Health Care
Nearly 60,000 Texans with Chronic Conditions Could Benefit from Decreased Hospital Admissions and Readmissions
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (the Commission) an initial $2 million to address disparities in health equity by improving access to quality health care in rural communities.
These funds will help determine whether the Commission would maintain or improve quality of care and lower health care costs by improving care coordination; decreasing unplanned hospital readmissions; improving treatment and prevention of chronic conditions; and increasing access to primary and specialty care. In an effort to better serve the nearly 60,000 Texans with Medicare who have chronic conditions, the Commission seeks to decrease the number of hospital admissions and readmissions for chronic conditions, increase the number of residents able to receive care in the community for certain conditions, and better address the needs of older adults with chronic conditions.
“By working to decrease hospital admissions and readmissions for those with chronic conditions, we are investing in the health of rural residents,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Expanding access to health care in rural communities is a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. These awards are one step to ensure access to health care is equitable and that we are reaching underserved communities.”
This award is part of the CMS Innovation Center’s Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model. As an award recipient, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission can receive as much as $5 million, with $2 million being given during the initial pre-implementation phase and as much as $3 million upon completion of milestones over the course of six performance periods.
More than 57 million people live in rural communities across the United States, with 3,847,000 in Texas. Rural residents tend to be older with more complicated health needs than their urban counterparts. In addition, rural communities often face challenges with access to care, financial viability, and the lack of infrastructure investments in some rural areas can negatively impact people’s health. Within rural areas, Black, Latino, and other communities of color experience greater access barriers and disparities in health outcomes. Rural residents may also have limited access to high-speed internet, hindering their ability to leverage online health care information and to participate in remote or telehealth visits with their health care practitioners.
The CHART Model invests in rural areas by offering technical assistance and support as they implement care delivery reforms to serve their populations. This can include modernizing infrastructure and using technology to eliminate traditional barriers to care, like distance to specialists or transportation issues. Within the supportive framework of the CHART Model, for example, award recipients can expand telehealth to make it easier for people in rural areas to receive care.
For more information on the CHART Model, visit: https://innovation.cms.gov/innovation-models/chart-model.