EHF announces $17 million investment to strengthen the health system and community-based clinics in Texas

The Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) is announcing a $17 million investment to help community-based clinics provide a wider range of health services and go beyond the doctor’s office to address underlying causes of poor health.

EHF has awarded $17 million in grants to help community-based clinics provide a wider range of health services and go beyond the doctor’s office to address underlying causes of poor health.

“More medical care alone ignores many of the non-medical issues that cause chronic illness,” said Elena MarksEHF’s president and CEO. “To improve health in Texas, resources in the health system have to shift to pay for those non-medical factors like housing conditions, safe neighborhoods, healthy eating and other things that really determine health. Much of this investment helps clinics become change agents to move health resources beyond the exam room.”

Non-medical factors that affect health are often called social determinants of health. They are broadly defined as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. Research shows that 80% of a person’s health is influenced by social determinants of health, and only about 20% of health outcomes result from medical care.

EHF’s $17 million investment includes:

  • Grants to support clinic efforts to convert from a volume-based care payment model that’s centered on the number of medical procedures, to a value-based care payment model that focuses on quality and patient health outcomes.
  • Grants that help clinics address non-medical factors that contribute to poor health, including funding for EHF’s ongoing Texas Community-Centered Health Homes Initiative with 12 Texas clinics.
  • More than $9.1 million in grants to help community-based clinics provide comprehensive care (including primary care, preventive services, dental care, specialty referrals, and behavioral care) to low-income and populations in need.
  • More than $500,000 in grants to help expand and strengthen clinics in rural areas.

Along with strengthening clinics, EHF’s investment also includes $1.6 million to organizations that are expanding health insurance coverage and other benefits for Texans with the least resources. These organizations help enroll eligible Texans in programs and then follow up to ensure that these families use the health services covered by their plans.

“Low-income populations are less likely to have health insurance, leaving them at greater risk of poor health,” Marks said. “True access to health services requires a system of affordable coverage. People who are insured have greater access to care and have better health outcomes, including lower mortality rates.”