TAHFA will Dissolve the Association by December 31, 2018

The Texas Association for Healthcare Financial Administration (TAHFA) Board of Directors, an association that has advocated to be the foremost leadership organization regarding financial issues for Texas healthcare providers, has voted to dissolve the association by December 31, 2018.

Originally launched as the Texas Association of Hospital Accountants in 1941, the association rebranded itself as the Texas Association for Healthcare Financial Administration in 1995 and opened membership to all healthcare financial managers.

As the healthcare finance industry has grown and continuing education opportunities are more widely available, TAHFA leadership decided that the time is right to pass the torch on to other associations that are as passionate about the healthcare financial management industry and education.

The TAHFA board of directors is committed to honor member and annual sponsor benefits, including this years’ Fall Symposium.  The 2018 Fall Symposium will take place Sunday, September 23 – Tuesday, September 25 in San Antonio, Texas at the Embassy Suites San Antonio Riverwalk – Downtown.  This final event will celebrate TAHFA’s history as the association looks to the future of the industry.

Leticia Rodriguez, CEO

Ward Memorial Hospital

TAHFA President 2017-2018

Texas Women’s Health Programs Report

Click Here to review the Texas Women’s Health Programs Report for Fiscal Year 2017.

The Texas Women’s Health Program Report Fiscal Year 2017 is submitted per 2018-2019 General Appropriations Act, Senate Bill (S.B.) 1, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017 (Article II, Health and Human Services Commission [HHSC], Rider 97). The report provides a summary of program enrollment, service utilization, and cost savings for the Healthy Texas Women (HTW) program and the Family Planning Program (FPP). This is the first HHSC report to the legislature on the HTW program and the newly redesigned FPP.

HTW and FPP offer women’s health and family planning services at no or low cost to eligible women and men in Texas. Specifically, HTW and FPP seek to increase access to women’s health and family planning services to avert unintended pregnancies, positively affect the outcome of future pregnancies, and positively impact the health and well-being of women and their families.
The findings presented in this report underscore the significant impact women’s health programs make in the lives of Texans and the positive impact to state and federal budgets. A summary of program results for fiscal year 2017 is provided below:

  • Client enrollment in HTW grew 109 percent over fiscal year 2017. Clients enroll in HTW through an application process which covers a 12 month period. The monthly client enrollment grew from 105,406 in September 2016 to 220,154 clients in August 2017. HTW served 122,406 clients in fiscal year 2017.
  • FPP served 96,990 clients in fiscal year 2017. FPP does not have an enrollment application, but determines eligibility on site.
  • General revenue savings due to HTW are estimated at $4.3 million and $8.5 million for FPP. Across both programs, the all funds savings is $157.8 million.1
  • Top procedure codes include testing for sexually transmitted infections, blood panels, office visits, and birth control.
  • Provider and client outreach strategies included direct mail, email, phone calls, professional newsletter notifications, website updates, printed materials, social media, and attending various client and provider facing events.
  • Fee-for-service provider enrollment totaled 5,342 for HTW, a 16 percent increase from the 4,603 fee-for-service providers enrolled in fiscal year 2015 in the legacy Texas Women’s Health Program.
  • Between fiscal year 2012 and fiscal year 2017, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of women receiving LARC across women’s health programs, with 10,203 HTW unduplicated clients and 7,675 FPP unduplicated clients receiving a LARC in fiscal year 2017.
  • Due to changes in program eligibility and benefits, HTW and FPP cannot be compared to legacy programs, with the exception of the provider networks.

HHSC is dedicated to serving the women of Texas through HTW and FPP. With the launch of these programs, HTW and the redesigned FPP have ensured women in Texas are able to get the family planning and women’s health services they need. In the future, HHSC will continue to seek improvements to the current programs and ensure access to care for Texas women.

TAHFA Member of the Year!


Congratulations Joann Hernandez!


Joann has been a great asset to the TAHFA organization for many years.  She has served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President.  Joann worked tirelessly as the Chair of the Education Committee of TAHFA for several years.  She served as a mentor to new committee members, guiding them through best practices to continue to strengthen the TAHFA organization.  Joann has continued to support TAHFA over the years by encouraging participating at TAHFA events and serving as a host site on many occasions.  She continues to work with the TAHFA Education Committee providing valuable feedback to ensure the TAHFA education programs are meeting the needs of the industry with her vast experience.  TAHFA is blessed to work with Joann and proud to call her the TAHFA Member of the Year.


Parkland Health & Hospital System, Charge Description Master (CDM) manager with 30+ years in healthcare including strategic consulting managing complex and diversified engagements to assist providers with Medicare and Medicaid billing services, including compliant charge-master; Medicare strategies that optimize organization financial results; technical skills and strong relationships with various hospital providers. Ms. Hernandez has also participated with several committees including the Texas Association for Healthcare Financial Administration (TAHFA); previously a board member and also chaired the Education Committee.

She received her Bachelors of Business Administration from Walden University/Our Lady of the Lake University Studies and First Line Management Program (SMU/VHA Southwest).

Congratulations David Pipkins!

Congratulations to one of our TAHFA Board Members, David Pipkins.

He has been named CEO at Kate Dishman Rehabilitation Hospital. Previously, he served as the controller at PAM Rehabilitation Hospital in Beaumont.

Learn more in the latest issue of Texas Hospitals from the Texas Hospital Association HERE

Reducing Hospital Costs and over Utilization with Technology

IllumiCare®, in partnership with the Texas Hospital Association, collaborated with Parkland Health and Hospital System (“Parkland”) to implement the Smart Ribbon® within their inpatient health system. Parkland engaged in a rigorous pilot study to compare physicians who used the Smart Ribbon against their historical behavior and then versus non-user Parkland physicians as a control group. The project resulted in a $430,444 savings and an ROI greater than 1000%. IllumiCare is an EMR-agnostic “ribbon of information” that displays patient-specific, real-time, hospital wholesale costs of medications, labs and imaging, as well as iatrogenic risks, concurrent with the electronic medical record (Epic Systems, Madison, WI).

There is a well-documented “recent trend of over-diagnosis, over-investigation and over-treatment of patients.” Costs caused by the inappropriate and avoidable use of medicines in the US were in excess of 200 billion dollars in 2012. This amount was equal to 8% of total healthcare spending. Excessive lab testing is another element of this process. According to one study, laboratory testing has been on an “unrelenting rise” for decades relative to the number of patient visits. In terms of radiology tests, the average American’s medical radiation dose has grown six-fold over the last couple of decades.

A number of studies have been conducted to determine whether physicians and other medical professionals have a sufficient level of knowledge about, and the ability to correctly estimate, healthcare costs. One study found that costs of prescription drugs were estimated correctly less than half of the time. Another study revealed that eighty percent (80%) of physicians were unable to accurately estimate the cost of medical tests and none of the physicians estimated with greater than fifty-percent (50%) accuracy. Further, the level of experience or seniority of the medical provider has been shown to have no effect on the ability of the provider to accurately estimate costs. One report concluded, that while most physicians indicated they “should consider cost in their decision making,” they “have a limited knowledge of cost estimates.

The implementation of the Smart Ribbon powered by IllumiCare at Parkland Hospital was a catalyst for change in the delivery of inpatient services. The successful pilot showed greater than 1,000% project return and has caused the leadership of Parkland to expand the service from the initial 55 pilot providers to the entire medical staff including consideration of expanding to the ambulatory setting as well.

Craig Maxey, MSHA, MBA, MOR, CAP

VP, Customer Success



The detailed Parkland whitepaper and a short video demonstration can be seen at www.illumicare.com/thasmartribbon.


Any statements, photos, descriptions, or opinions contained in spotlight articles are the property of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of TAHFA, nor does TAHFA provide any warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. While TAHFA does reserve the right to make edits as needed, every reasonable effort has been made to faithfully publish the material as submitted. No responsibility is assumed by TAHFA for any claims, injury and/or damage to persons or property from any cause, including negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instruments or ideas contained in the material herein.