Monthly Update
 February 2014
CCC Board of Directors Meeting Dates:

 All Board meetings will be held at 2:00pm at 1111 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78702 and can be changed or added as needed.

  • April 8, 2014 
  • May 13, 2014 
  • June 10, 2014 
  • July 8, 2014 
  • August 12, 2014 
  • September 9, 2014 
  • October 14, 2014  
All meetings of the Board of Managers of Central Health and the Board of the CCC are open to the public. 


One of two monthly meetings of the BOM of Central Health is streamed live. Audio of Central Health Board meetings is available on 


  * The BOM of Central Health must approve budgets of the CCC in an open meeting.

:: 512-978-8464

Contact: Laura Miles
A Note from the CMO 
Hi everyone, 
Mark Hernandez, MD
Chief Medical Officer

As I have spent time talking to providers throughout the delivery system, there is one area in which all agree we need improvement: specialty care. The system is undersupplied with dental services, and both surgical and non-surgical specialties. As part of the work of the CCC, we are addressing these needs in some critical areas through 3 DSRIP projects -- Gastroenterology, Pulmonology and Dental. The latter two of these are discussed in much more detail later in this newsletter. These programs will substantially increase access for our patients to these specialties, and represent the first in a series of real improvements in care delivery in Travis County for our patients.


More to come!


- Mark 

Transforming Care - Implementing CCC 1115 Medicaid Waiver Projects


The 1115 Medicaid Waiver allows for funding of Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP) projects that increase access to health care services, increase the quality and cost-effectiveness of care, increase patient satisfaction and enhance the health of the patients and families served.  The Community Care Collaboration (CCC) DSRIP projects include thirteen approved 4-year projects, 1 4-year project still pending approval, and 1 proposed 3-year project.  These projects are categorized through the Waiver as either Infrastructure Development projects - creating or expanding healthcare infrastructure through investment in tools, technology and human resources or Innovation and Redesign projects -- transforming care by piloting, testing, or replicating innovative care models.


This newsletter details the status of two CCC Infrastructure Development projects that are expanding needed services for the CCC population - dental services and pulmonology services -- primarily through the hiring and/or contracting of staff to allow for additional service slots.  

Transforming Care - Expanding Access to Dental Services


Low-income Travis County residents currently have limited options for dental care.  Only seven clinics throughout the county serve low-income residents and one exclusively serves the HIV population.  With a limited supply of appointments, new patients often wait months to be seen and emergency appointments are often filled months in advance or take individuals on a first- come/first-served basis.  As a result, many patients seek relief in local emergency departments. 


However, March 3, 2014, marks the beginning of increased access to dental services for the CCC population through the CCC Expanded Dental Services DSRIP project.  This is a 4-year DSRIP project that will increase dental services with a focus on two priority populations that often have unmet dental needs - pregnant women and patients with multiple chronic conditions.  Research has identified relationships between dental health issues and negative health outcomes for both of these populations. 


Initially, these expanded services will be provided at CommUnityCare's North Central Health Center location on Braker Lane, with dental services now offered from 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. - 6:00p.m. on Friday, and from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays.  Through the end of September 2014, these expanded hours will support 3,700 additional dental visits and serve an additional 100 pregnant women and an additional 750 individuals with multiple chronic medical conditions over baseline.


In addition to the new dental provider hired to serve adults a pediatric dental provider will also be hired to serve low-income and uninsured children.  Pediatric dental services will be a new offering for CommUnityCare.  A dental hygienist and support staff will round out the care team.  Additional dental services for the CCC population are planned for the Southeast Health and Wellness Center after that facility opens in the fall of 2014.

Leader Spotlight   

M. Brigitte Beiter, DDS

serves as the Service Line Director for CommUnityCare's dental program.  In this capacity, Dr. Beiter is responsible for the supervision of all provider staff at CommUnityCare's four dental clinics and is the liaison for all clinical issues that arise.  She also serves as a representative for CommUnityCare Dental on the CCC Steering Committee and is actively involved in the design and implementation of the DSRIP projects that are expanding dental care to our population as well as planning the new Southeast Austin Health and Wellness Center Dental clinic which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014. 


Dr. Beiter is a native Austinite, graduating from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in 1976 and from The University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School in San Antonio in 1980 with a DDS.  After 13 years in private practice, she began a new phase of her dental career serving the underserved population in Austin and has never looked back.  She has been providing full time dental care at the RBJ Dental Clinic since the early 1990s and has been in a supervisory role since 1996.

Transforming Care - Expanding Access to Pulmonology Services


Access to timely specialty care services is a long-standing issue for the CCC population because most specialty care service availability is exclusively provided through a limited numbers of half-day clinics at the University Medical Center Brackenridge (UMCB) Specialty Clinic.  For pulmonology services, access has been limited to approximately sixteen clinic sessions per year with no clinics offered in December or January.  The average wait time to see a pulmonologist is four months, and a patient who presents in the emergency room with a serious lung disease during the months when the clinic is closed must be admitted to the hospital to receive services.


To begin to address the critical need for additional services, the CCC Expanded Pulmonology DSRIP project will initially offer co-located pulmonology services at the CommUnityCare North Central location on Braker Lane for the entire Travis County safety-net population.  Patients will be seen by referral only and typically will have a diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or asthma.   


According to state statistics, COPD is one of the leading causes of death in Central Texas as well as one of the leading contributors to potentially preventable hospitalization costs. In addition to improving health outcomes and quality of life for CCC patients with COPD, the expansion of pulmonology service capacity is expected to reduce hospital admissions for COPD among the target population. Potentially preventable hospitalizations for COPD contributed to almost $90 million in hospital charges in Travis County between 2005 and 2010.


The expanded pulmonology services will be offered through a contracted provider team and one additional mid-level staff provider from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 


It is anticipated that the additional staffing will support 1,982 encounters this fiscal year. Matt Balthazar, Practice Administrator at CommUnityCare's North Central Health Center says, "We are thrilled to have this opportunity to bring a much needed service to the community.  It is an exciting time to be involved in the transformation of health care in Travis County."


In addition to the increased provider hours, a range of on-site testing options is being reviewed to facilitate timely diagnosis and limit the number of additional appointments needed for our patient population.


Additional pulmonology provider capacity and testing services will also be provided at the Southeast Health and Wellness Center when that facility opens in the fall of 2014.  This facility will integrate a range of services including primary care, specialty care, behavioral health, dental, preventive care, and wellness services.

Leader Spotlight


Kristin Hamlett, MA, MS, PCMH-CCE

serves as a Quality Consultant at CommUnityCare and is currently staffed full-time to manage the organization's DSRIP projects.  She has been with CommUnityCare for nearly two years and has worked on a wide variety of operational projects, including initial development of the Patient Navigation Center and setting up the current patient satisfaction survey process.  She is a member of the Clinical Operations Steering Committee.  Kristin has also worked for the Texas Department of State Health Services Immunization Program, the Texas Early Childhood Intervention Program, and was most recently the Interim Director of the Texas Nurse Oncology Education Program administered by the Texas Nurses Association.


Kristin moved to Austin from Florida to attend graduate school at the University of Texas.  She has a Master of Arts in Sociology (with a concentration in Demography) from UT and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Ethics from St. Edward's University.  In October, 2013, she earned the NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Certified Content Expert (PCMH-CCE) designation.  Kristin's past volunteer service includes the Austin Area Comprehensive HIV Planning Council, Leadership Austin, College Forward, and the Volunteer Healthcare Clinic.  She is excited and challenged by the opportunities within the collaborative to transform healthcare in Travis County and its focus on quality and outcomes measurement. 
Southeast Health and Wellness Center


Central Health will open a new state of the art health and wellness center in the fall of 2014 at the location of the former VA clinic on Montopolis Drive in the 78741 ZIP code. 


The new Southeast Health and Wellness Center is a model for providing high quality, cost effective, person centered care in the integrated delivery system. This site exemplifies the CCC's vision for the future of care delivery in Central Texas. 


The Southeast Health & Wellness Center is being designed and developed through an intensive community engagement process.  The next community event is anticipated to be held at the site on January 4, 2014, to review the schematics of the planned facility renovations.


The goal of the center is to provide a facility where residents can obtain a full spectrum of health related services, including medical care, behavioral health services, nutrition and wellness assistance, and more.