Community Cares Program

As part of its goal to build a community of healthy children, Texas Children’s Pediatrics’ Community Cares Program (previously referred to as Project Medical Home practices) to provide trusted, high-quality pediatric medical services for children who otherwise would seek care from emergency rooms or possibly go without care or treatment due to low family incomes and/or lack of health insurance. Regardless of the family’s financial situation, The Community Cares Program provides health care to children from birth to age 18 and offers the opportunity to develop a trusting, long-term relationship with a board-certified pediatrician.

Six practices, located in underserved areas, offer convenient locations, extended hours and health education, as well as complete well- and sick-care medical visits. A licensed, masters-prepared social worker is on staff at every location, providing support to families — including assistance with applying for coverage — and also enhancing relationships with school nurses, church leaders and other community groups to ensure they are informed of the services provided and can refer patients in need. In 2014, Texas Children's Pediatrics added a new practice - TCP Kingsland.

The Community Cares Program utilizes a clinic-based Outstation Eligibility Worker from the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The primary role of this worker is to enroll uninsured patients into Medicaid or CHIP. She also refers uninsured patients who do not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP to the Marketplace, per the Affordable Care Act. This service helps expedite critical medical coverage for patients, ultimately assisting the greater effort to reduce the total number of children who are uninsured and through this lack of coverage, a medical home.

In 2014, Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine and Menninger Clinic continued to implement mental health care services at 3 of the Community Cares Program practices – Texas Children's Pediatrics Cullen, Texas Children's Pediatrics Gulfton, Texas Children's Pediatrics Corinthian Pointe. This collaboration continues to enhance the mental health services available to patients seeking psychiatric care at no cost to the patients in the clinic setting. Mental health services at Texas Children's Pediatrics Corinthian Pointe are provided for four hours per week by two child and adolescent psychiatric fellows and an attending clinical supervisor. Mental health services at Texas Children's Pediatrics Cullen and Texas Children's Pediatrics Gulfton are provided for four hours per week by a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

In addition to psychiatry services offered within the Community Cares Program, the Psychology Department at Texas Children’s Hospital continues to provide parent intervention training to parents of preschoolers with behavioral problems at no cost to patients at Texas Children's Pediatrics Corinthian Pointe and, in 2012, expanded their services to Texas Children's Pediatrics Gulfgate. This service, in addition to services provided by Menninger Clinic, assists in addressing mental health service disparities in the community.

Texas Children’s Pediatrics Cullen partners with Yellowstone Academy and provides one pediatric nurse practitioner one half day per week to provide free healthcare services to their students. Yellowstone Academy is - a school that exclusively serves children from low-income families.In FY14, Texas Children's Pediatrics Cullen provided free medical care to 54 patients at Yellowstone.

Community Impact 2014

  • Texas Children’s Hospital provided more than $6.1 million to support indigent care in Texas Children’s Pediatrics practices, including the Community Care Program locations.
  • The Community Care Program (6 practices) served 24,316 individual patients, which generated into more than 88,661 patient encounters.
  • 3,521 of these patients were uninsured and 19,294 of patients fell at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines ($48,500 for a family of four in 2014).
  • Clinic social workers addressed social service needs of patients seen at Community Care Program locations, which generated into over 3,742 patient visits.
  • The HHSC worker processed applications for 563 Community Care Program families, which resulted in health coverage enrollment for 1,017 children.
  • Psychiatrists served 235 patients by completing 976 patient visits for psychiatric and mental health services at no cost.


Goals

  • Reduce Level II TCH emergency center low acuity visits from zip codes where a Community Cares P practice is located.
  • Increase health coverage for uninsured patients
  • Community Partners
  • The Menninger Clinic
  • Neighborhood Centers Inc.
  • Yellowstone Academy
  • Windsor Village United Methodist Church
  • Reach Out and Read Texas
  • The Children’s Museum of Houston (they provide free museum passes for our patients)