5 Things Texas: State health care rankings, Glenda Stepchinski, HEALS & HEROES acts compared

ICYMI, yesterday we announced the launch of our 2020 North Texas State of Reform Virtual Health Policy Conference. We feature it below as well.

Moving to a virtual space is new for everyone. But, I think you’ll find we’ve put in a lot of work to build a platform that is one of a kind in the US for engagement like that which you expect from State of Reform. Early registrants will be able to kick around in the platform starting in late September, so you’ll be able to get a jump start on it all then.

And, if you’ve attended any of our conferences in the past, I’d be happy to give you a free pass to our upcoming virtual conference in Northern California so that you drop in on that event to see what the experience will be like. Just shoot me an email and we’ll set you up.




With help from Michael Goldberg

1. Texas could lose 362,000 health care jobs

If unemployment returns to roughly May 2020 levels, a report published by Families USA projects that Texas could lose up to 362,000 health care jobs – more than other state in the county. While the unemployment rate dropped from 13% to 8.6% in June, economists warn that the improvement could be short lived. The June figures were compiled before Gov. Abbott closed down bars, capped restaurant occupancy, and placed restrictions on outdoor gatherings.

Even on the low end of this projection, the report finds that Texas could lose 215,000 health care jobs. These job losses are downstream of the state’s high uninsured rate and decreased revenue for providers. The unemployment rate for July will be updated on the third Friday of this month.


2. Video: Glenda Stepchinski, HMA

Glenda Stepchinski, RN, BSN, CPHQ, is a Senior Consultant at Health Management Associates. Glenda’s background as a registered nurse has fostered her passion for the delivery of quality health care and promoting optimum member outcomes. She join us on this edition of “What they’re Watching” to discuss the importance of outcome driven policymaking.

“What I really like to try to instill upon anyone is that, as they try to look at the policies and programs, get ahead of it a little bit and think about what kind of measurement and what kind of quality to expect out of that. Instead of having quality be the back side of the results and not getting what you wanted, you really have to think about the outcomes, and for the members and patients in those particular health plans, what kind of outcomes do you expect?”

3. NTX conference and Early Birds rates

Registration is now open for the 2020 North Texas State of Reform Virtual Health Policy Conference! This year’s event is coming up on October 6th and I hope you’ll find time to be with us at this event now just two months out. We’re close to finalizing our Topical Agenda and have been working with our Convening Panel on the finishing touches.

For now, know that our Early Bird rates are available for a few weeks. And, that we’ve lowered Early Bird rates about 50% off of where they were last year. Think of this as a discount for folks who know State of Reform and who are looking forward to being with us again this year.


4. Health provisions in HEALS and HEROES Acts

Senate Republicans recently released the HEALS Act – their proposal for the next round of federal COVID-19 relief legislation. House and Senate leaders, along with representatives from the Trump administration, must now reconcile it with the HEROES Act, which House Democrats passed in May.

In his latest column, our DC-based State of Reform columnist Jim Capretta breaks down the differences in the health-related provisions of the two proposals. He highlights differences in testing and contact tracing funding, health care provider financial support, vaccine development and distribution, and support for job-based health insurance. “The U.S. squandered the beneficial effects of the March-April lockdown on a flawed reopening in May and June,” he writes. “The bill Congress is now negotiating is critical to setting the country on a better course to weather the pandemic over the coming months.”

5. Report: Texas ranks among 10 worst states for health care

Texas placed 43 out of 51 in a new WalletHub report ranking the best states for health care. The report aggregated 44 metrics related to health care cost, access, and outcomes to produce the overall ranking.

Across specific categories, Texas ranked last in the nation for percentage of insured adults and children. Texas was 45th for both physicians per capita and percentage of adults with no dental visit in the past year. The physician Medicare-acceptance rate was another category for which Texas was in the bottom 10 (43rd). The most promising result for Texas was in its average monthly insurance premium, which was found to be the 16th lowest in the nation.