HIX Lags in Texas, as Healthcare Providers Wait on Feds

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , October 11, 2013

It's not where Bramlett wanted to be, but federal government approval of ETBHN's grant application didn't come until late August. The application was submitted in June.

Dallas-based Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic, a federally funded health center serving the area's large, uninsured and underinsured Latino population, echoes the delays experienced by JPS and ETBHN. Unlike JPS, however, it has already received approval to certify some staff as application counselors.

"We just started enrolling this week," says Joleen Bagwell, director of development and marketing for Los Barrios Unidos, which received federal approval also in late August. "It took us that amount of time to [train]."

Hospitals and health systems like Los Barrios Unidos, JPS, and ETBHN, are eager to see HIXs succeed because it will impact the populations they serve.

Bagwell says about 14,000 of its patients are uninsured, and the Los Barrios Unidos staff who are certified application counselors are charged with reaching out to its own patients as well as the community at-large so that it can ultimately drive down costs.

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