San José Clinic joins TMC, partners with CHI

February 14, 2017

As the newest member institution of the Texas Medical Center, San José Clinic is now able to further grow services and volunteer base to expand capacity and better serve patients’ needs. Photo courtesy of San José Clinic.

HOUSTON — San José Clinic has joined the Texas Medical Center (TMC) as its newest member institution.

“The San José Clinic’s mission to provide quality healthcare and education to those with limited access to such services is complementary to the mission and goals of the TMC and its member institutions,” said Dr. Robert C. Robbins, president and CEO of TMC. “We look forward to a strong and enduring relationship that will benefit the Clinic, the TMC community and the larger populace we serve.”

San José Clinic, the original safety-net clinic in Houston, has steadfastly grown into a leading provider of healthcare services for individuals and families in the Greater Houston area who struggle the most with accessing care since it was founded in 1922.

“We’re honored to join the prestigious Texas Medical Center as its newest member institution,” said Paule Anne Lewis, president and CEO of San José Clinic. “As the only multidisciplinary clinic in Houston that exclusively serves the uninsured and underserved, San José Clinic works to ensure that those who face economic and social challenges are not denied the right to quality healthcare. We are grateful that Dr. Robbins and the TMC leadership as a whole recognize the clinic’s contributions to, value for, and vital place within our healthcare system.”

The clinic’s decades of growth have been supported by partners, including every major healthcare system in the TMC, coming together to better serve Houston’s growing community. Each year, more than 800 volunteers from professional, academic, and public groups join the clinic staff, of less than 50, to deliver patient care and support.

By officially joining the TMC, San José Clinic will continue to strengthen and expand these partnerships to further its mission and impact. Through this opportunity, the clinic will also be able to further grow services and volunteer base to expand capacity and better serve patients’ needs.

“San José Clinic serves an invaluable role in providing medical and dental care to families and those underserved who are oftentimes in the margins in today’s society,” said Daniel Cardinal DiNardo. “The medical center is gaining a member with more than 90 years of history in serving our community — not only as an active healthcare institution but as a vital ministry of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration for the benefit of those we serve.”

In addition, the clinic has partnered with CHI St. Luke’s Health–Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center (CHI), which had established a transitional care clinic (TCC) for its post-discharge congestive heart failure (CHF) patients to make sure they had consistent follow-up care, education and counseling. 

CHI approached the clinic in 2014 after it was having difficulty finding appropriate ongoing care for uninsured CHF patients, who number a few dozen in any given year and are at high risk for readmission if not carefully monitored. The two organizations already had a working relationship, and the clinic had capacity to accommodate the patient population. San José Clinic sought to create a medical home for comprehensive care management for these patients.

“San José Clinic has collaborated with CHI St. Luke’s Health since they initially came into Houston three years ago,” Lewis said. “This partnership is a wonderful way for the Clinic to continue to fulfill our mission by providing quality healthcare to those in need.”
The overall goal of the partnership was to create a care transition program to coordinate care for these patients and give them a stable source of ongoing monitoring and follow-up treatment.

Specific goals of the partnership included to develop co-management strategy for heart failure in the uninsured population, subsidize care during the transition period from post-acute care to a community setting and provide a stable primary care–based medical home for patients.

CHI paid for each patient’s initial visits to San José Clinic to offset the upfront costs of establishing the patient relationship (e.g., lab work, consultations). Patients were referred to the clinic after an initial meeting with a TCC team member to explain the partnership with San José Clinic and its role as the patient’s medical home.

The program was beneficial to all parties involved. For patients, the partnership improved health and access to additional services. For CHI, the partnership provided cost savings due to reduction in uninsured CHF admissions and readmissions. The partnership also gave the clinic compensation for delivery of services during the patient’s transition period.