Local healthcare partners release “Community Needs Assessment”

A comprehensive “Community Needs Assessment Report” was released to the public last week detailing significant shortages in mental health therapy, rural physicians, diabetes awareness and maternal health.

The report was produced by the Regional Healthcare Partnership (RHP 9), one of 20 regional teams the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has defined for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) funded 1115 waiver program. RHP 9 includes Dallas, Denton and Kaufman counties.

Parkland Health & Hospital System served as the anchoring entity for RHP 9. Dr. Sushma Sharma, the director of public and population health research at the DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation, authored the report.

According to the assessment, the maternal death rate of 39 per 100,000 in Texas is the highest in the U.S. with the national average 26 per 100,000. Additionally, Kaufman County has physician-to-person ratio 47 to 100,000, far below the state average of 72 per 100,000 and the national average of 127 per 100,000. The report states these numbers inspire patient migration – patients leaving the county for treatment in a neighboring county – significantly burdening Dallas County healthcare providers including Parkland Health & Hospital System.

Additional RHP 9 partners include Baylor Scott & White Health, Children’s Health, Dallas County Health and Human Services, Denton County Health and Human Services, Medical City Healthcare, Methodist Health System, Metrocare Services, Texas A&M University and Texas Health Resources.

“This community needs assessment was completed in fulfillment of the Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program 1115 Waiver extension process,” said Dr. Sharma. “The purpose of this report is to identify regional health trends and provide solutions. This report is a resource for stakeholders to make informed decisions to improve the health of residents within our region.”

The report can be found here.

For information, please contact Dr. Sharma at [email protected].