Enhanced design will help UMCB remain sustainable, lead in meeting our Mission
Seton has been working with Sen. Kirk Watson and the leadership of Central Health, formerly known as the Travis County Healthcare District, to develop a plan to improve health care in our community, create a medical school inAustinand build a modern teaching hospital that can also continue to serve as our safety net hospital inCentral Texas.
In April, the Central Health Board approved a Letter of Intent (LOI) signed by Seton President and Interim CEO Jesus Garza, a preliminary step in accomplishing these important goals. Now, negotiations for a new operating agreement with Central Health can begin in earnest.
The LOI is non-binding, which means that Seton's investment must still be approved by the Seton Board of Trustees as well as the Ascension Health Board. If approved by the Boards, the $250 million investment will be part of a new arrangement to dramatically reduce Seton’s losses at UMCB.
An article about the LOI in the Sunday, April 22, Austin American-Statesman said that behavioral health beds will be located in the new UMCB. While Seton and Central Health are committed to improving behavioral health services, it is not yet clear what the services will look like or where beds will be placed.
The LOI does articulate the aspirations of the two organizations to achieve a fundamentally different health care delivery system inCentral Texas, one structured to improve care for everyone, with special concern for our poor and vulnerable neighbors. We believe we can create a system of care that will be more efficient in the delivery of care and services, expand access for the indigent, and bring new dollars into Travis County that ultimately help pay for this improved system.
A memorandum sent by Sen. Watson to Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe does a good job of explaining the unique public-private partnership that exists inCentral Texas. The senator also credits Seton for all the work we do to accomplish our mission. The credit goes to all of you, our dedicated associates. Thank you.
Major elements of the LOI between Seton and Central Health
- Seton funds the construction of a new UMCB in exchange for increased risk on Central Health’s part;
- Seton and Central Health jointly govern “Integrated Delivery System” (IDS) entity, to achieve greater efficiency and maximize local, state and federal funding;
- Central Health and theUniversityofTexas Systemjointly fund the construction and operation of a medical school;
- Clear acknowledgement that Seton, as a Ministry of the Catholic Church, is committed to abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives of Catholic Health Care Services.
Contact Adrienne Lallo, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to be kept abreast of developments regarding the new medical school, teaching hospital and Sen. Kirk Watson’s 10-point plan for a healthier Central Texas.