As Part of RWJF's Communities in Charge Program, Collaborative in Austin, Texas, Launches New Programs to Improve Health Care for Low-Income Residents

Between 2000 and 2004, the Indigent Care Collaboration (collaboration), a network of safety-net health care providers and insurers in the Austin, Texas, region, launched several initiatives to improve health care for low-income residents:

  • An integrated system that screens patients for both public and private health programs.
  • An online database of patient demographic and treatment information.
  • A program under which physicians provide free care.
  • A program allowing health care providers to purchase pharmaceuticals at reduced prices.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program Communities in Charge: Financing and Delivering Health Care to the Uninsured.

Key Results

  • Created I-Care, a central Master Patient Index/Clinical Data Repository to store health information on patients served by collaboration members.

  • Increased enrollment in existing local health care programs.

  • Established a bank of 850 physicians who volunteer their time.

  • Created a local health care financing district.

Medimetrix, a for-profit health consulting firm located in Cleveland, was the national program office, and provided both group and site-specific technical assistance throughout the program.