Anchor health systems — hospitals that provide critical health services for lower-income and often uninsured or underinsured populations — are leading the charge to advance innovative and sustainable care solutions for their communities.

A recent Harvard Business Review article highlighted THOT-members Harris Health System and Parkland Health for their efforts to “reform their own approaches to delivering their essential care and services” to remain viable institutions that can continue serving their communities for years to come.

“Like so many of our members, Harris Health System and Parkland Health are constantly forging ahead to develop strategic ways to improve access and care for their communities,” said Maureen Milligan, Teaching Hospitals of Texas president and CEO. “These are some of our state’s most important care centers, and they’re living up to their role as foundational pieces of Texas communities and the state’s system of care.”

Both Harris Health System in Houston and Parkland Health in Dallas are lauded for their programs to achieve efficiencies while simultaneously improving quality.

Harris Health serves more than 300,000 patients every year, 46 percent of whom are uninsured. To tackle the challenge of frequent, and often costly, ER visits, the system deployed its MVP program to reduce frequent, often double-digit ER visits by identifying the underlying causes, whether housing, behavioral, or substance-use-disorder issues, and empowering its staff to work with patients to resolve those causes.

Parkland Health’s Center for Clinical Innovation pioneered the use of predictive analytics to assess the risk of illness for children with asthma. The program has cut asthma-related hospital admissions in half for more than 93,000 children in the Dallas area.

The authors also highlight the Harris county community’s tremendous support for Harris Health’s plan to further invest in community health. A $2.5 billion bond  will be used to construct a new Level 1 trauma center at the LBJ Hospital, and to fund additional renovations and expansions at other locations. This type of community support, including from businesses and other community leaders, is essential for anchor health systems’ longevity.

Visit our news & updates section to stay up to date with all of the great work our members are doing.