Houston-based Episcopal Health Foundation has announced grants totaling $17 million to strengthen healthcare services at community-based clinics across the state.
Many of the grants will support efforts to address illnesses and conditions related to social determinants of health, broadly defined as where people are born, grow up, work and live as adults, and choose to age. According to the foundation, social determinants influence up to 80 percent of a person's health outcomes, while only 20 percent of their outcomes are determined by medical care.
Grant funding also was awarded to help transition a number of clinics from a volume-based payment model (based on the number of medical procedures performed) to a value-based model (based on the quality of care provided and patient outcomes), while more than $9.1 million in grants was awarded to expand the range of services provided by clinics to low-income and other vulnerable populations.
Awards include a grant of $1.5 million to Integral Care in Austin to develop and pilot a value-based payment model at two Travis County clinics; a grant of $333,272 to the Family Service Center of Galveston County to provide integrated and collaborative behavioral health services to the homeless and medically indigent; a grant of $150,000 to the Samaritan Counseling Center of East Texas in Tyler to develop a tool that measures mental wellness; and a grant of $354,042 to Memorial Assistance Ministries in Houston to provide application assistance to families eligible for Harris Health System financial assistance, Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, and TANF benefits.
"More medical care alone ignores many of the non-medical issues that cause chronic illness," said EHF president and CEO Elena Marks. "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."
For a complete list of grants awarded in this funding round, see the Episcopal Health Foundation website.