Texas leads the nation with the highest number and percentage of uninsured residents. As a result, county-based “hospital” or “health” districts play an outsized role in providing and paying for care to uninsured residents in our most populated urban counties. Bexar County (San Antonio) is one of several urban counties that support public hospitals, clinics, and programs of care for low-income uninsured residents, and the community can build on those investments by taking a more granular look at how well the Bexar County hospital district structures and policies are targeted to serve residents with the greatest needs.
Every Texan’s Bexar County Charity Care Spending Analysis examines relevant data revealing how charity care costs in Bexar County’s hospital district – known as the University Health System (UHS) – appear to be a smaller share of taxes levied when compared to that of other selected Texas metro counties with hospital districts. As independent taxing authorities, these hospital districts levy property taxes for the purpose of providing healthcare to their neediest residents, but as the data gathered demonstrates, the taxes collected and subsequently spent on charity care are not equal.
Every Texan acknowledges Bexar County as an innovator among Texas metro hospital districts, pioneering the CareLink access plan for uninsured residents, and the Community First Health Plan publicly-sponsored and not-for-profit Medicaid Managed Care plan. Despite Bexar County’s strong performance on many fronts, UHS and every major metro hospital district in Texas can benefit from analysis to identify potential areas of improvement for charity care policies to better embed health equity.