5 Things Texas: Q&A Episcopal Health, Topical Agenda, Jason Gootee

DJ is taking a well-deserved vacation with his family, so while he is away I’m bringing you this edition of 5 Things We’re Watching. I cover health care policy in Texas along with a number of other states that round out our Southwest Edition. Feel free to email me any feedback or tips on what you think we should be covering.

We have some exciting things happening in Texas, including gearing up for the 2019 North Texas State of Reform conference this fall. DJ will be back later this month, but until then, here’s what we’re watching in Texas health care!

Emily Viles
State of Reform 


1. Q&A with Episocopal Health Foundation

The Episcopal Health Foundation supports solutions that address the underlying causes of poor health. The foundation was established in 2013 and is based in Houston. With more than $1.2 billion in estimated assets, the foundation operates as a supporting organization of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and works across 57 Texas counties.

In this interview, I talk to CEO and President Elena Marks, and Chief Communications Officer Brian Sasser, about the foundation’s goals, this legislative session, and how to shift the conversation of health care around the social determinants of health.

2. Topical Agenda is out now!

In case you missed it, we recently released our Topical Agenda for the 2019 North Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference. With hundreds of senior health care executives and health policy leaders expected in attendance, State of Reform will be a “can’t miss” event. We’ll be exploring policy and politics in health care, evaluating opportunities and setbacks in reform, and diving deep into costs, disruptions, and care delivery.

Check out our Convening Panel to get an idea of those who helped put our agenda together. As always, if you have any suggestions on what we should include or potential speakers, you can send those our way. If you haven’t already registered, we’d be honored to have you join us!

3. S&P Budget Scorecard

S&P Global Rankings recently released its quarterly report on the status of finance across the globe. This report, coupled with an S&P podcast episode of Extra Credit, details the status of Medicaid in Texas, and what recently passed legislation and a new budget could mean for the state.

The report warns that Texas may feel financial strain if the cost of Medicaid continues to rise. This, along with a potential economic recession, could dramatically impact the state. “Costs to support the Medicaid program continue growing in Texas, as in nearly every state, and in our opinion, while we do not anticipate it, should a recession occur during the upcoming biennium, caseloads would likely rise, resulting in further supplemental appropriations in the next legislative session – a period in which resources may be stretched,” credit analyst Oscar Padilla explains.

4. Video: Jason Gootee, Moda Health

Jason Gootee is the Vice President of Strategic Market Development at Moda Health. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss payment reform.

“What I want to think about is, where is it going to be five years from now, ten years from now. I keep going back to reference-based pricing, and different payment models because I think the industry and the landscape is going to change. Especially, if the single-payer freight train continues to come down the track, which some think it will depending on how 2020 turns out.”

5. Survey on Texas health care cost, access

Affordability of health care remains a top concern for Texans according to findings from the 2019 Texas Health Policy Survey, conducted by Episcopal Health Foundation. Results reveal stand-out trends in Texas — with cost of care being a top concern.

The high cost of health care, the survey reveals, has forced many Texans to forgo care altogether. The survey revealed that 60 percent of patients either skipped a required appointment, chose not to fulfill a prescription, or did not follow through with medical referrals for fear of cost.