HHSC Needs Help With Health Homes

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) wants physicians and Medicaid providers to submit proposals for developing a health home - more commonly known among physicians as a "medical home" - in their area as part of its effort to help children on Medicaid get regular checkups and coordinated care.

Health homes give the children in Medicaid, particularly those with special needs and chronic illness, coordinated comprehensive care that starts with their primary care physicians. They include access to any specialty or social support services the child needs, including dental and behavioral health treatment. To be selected, pilot projects must serve at least 5,000 children enrolled in Medicaid (practices also may serve adult Medicaid patients, but those patients will not be counted toward the minimum participation level).

HHSC says it will look for health home proposals that can:

  • Improve patient access and the quality and coordination of care;
  • Focus on the patient and family;
  • Use a team-based approach to care;
  • Address issues that are most common in the provider's patient base; and
  • Enhance collaborative efforts among providers, especially in rural areas.

The proposals must show how those objectives can be achieved in a cost-effective and sustained way. HHSC will fund up to 10 health home proposals.

HHSC will issue a request for proposals later this month, with detailed instructions for submitting them and the timeline. HHSC says it expects to award contracts for two-year pilot projects by late spring or early summer.

To be notified when HHSC issues the request for proposals, go to the Contract Opportunities page of the HHSC Web site and click on the "Sign up for e-mail updates" link. TMA also will post information about the request for proposals on its  Web site when it is available.


Action , Jan. 15, 2010