Making Primary Care Primary Through Policy

Texas Primary Care Consortium (TPCC), with support from Episcopal Health Foundation and St. David’s Foundation, brought together a statewide consensus panel to identify and advance bi-partisan, smart public policy that will help increase access, reduce costs, and improve outcomes

Given the systemic and chronic nature of our state’s challenges, the consortium proposes a three-pronged framework of solutions for a positive and sustainable impact. The proposed policy priorities for primary care are: increasing access to care, promoting value-based payment, and strengthening primary care. Checkout our specific policy priorities below.

Help us advance primary care in Texas by sharing about TPCC's 2023 policy priorities on social media and email! Please download our policy toolkit for sample language and graphics. 

TPCC Policy Efforts

Policy Wins
Legislative Priorities
Policy Data Brief

Increasing Access to Care
Promoting Value-Based Payment
Strengthening Primary Care

HB 2983, SB 1675 HB 12 HB 3414, SB 2045 HB 1073, SB 1135 HB 1599, SB 550

Texas Data Snapshot

This data and the brief above are meant to contextualize Texas Primary Care Consortium policy priorities through data on the current primary care universe in Texas. This is not a complete scan, and this information will be updated as more public data becomes available.

Who Provides Care

Graphic shows different blocks representing the number of providers in six categories for primary care in Texas. Registered nurse make up the major portion of providers. | Physicians: 76.2 per 100,000; Physician Assistants: 32.4 per 100,000; Nurse Practitioners: 72.9 per 100,000; Registered Nurses: 860.7 per 100,000; Licensed Master, Clinical, and Baccalaureate Social Workers: 82.88 per 100,000; Community Health Workers: 13.98 per 100,000
32 Texas counties lack a primary care physician.” Map of Texas shows these 32 counties in green. Most of the counties in the graphic are to the west, south and north

Who Seeks Care

61% of Texans delay care due to cost and 3 million Texans live in rural areas. In addition, 26% of Texans lack access to a usual source of care. Stronger primary care can lower health care costs, reduce hospitalizations, and lead to healthier populations.

Uninsurance rates range from >30% in the Rio Grande Valley and border counties to 18% in some urban counties.” Map of Texas by county shows most of the state with a 17.2-23.4% unisurance rates with high rates to the west, south, and north. Only two counties (Travis and Collin) have the lowest rate (8.5% - 12.4%).]

Table 1: Type of Insurance in Texas

Uninsured Adults 23.6%
Uninsured Children 11.5%
Medicaid 16.9%
Medicare 11.1%
Employer-Sponsored 46.1%

Care Provided

Table 2: Primary Care Spending and Cost

Primary Care Spending
As share of total, age 65 and older 5.50%
As share of total, ages 18 to 64 7.50%
Per beneficiary, age 65 and older 11 $770
Per enrollee, ages 18 to 64 $565
Adults who went without care due to cost 16.1%
People delaying care due to cost 61%
People with medical debt 18.8%

Table 3: Percent of physicians who accept new patients by coverage type

Medicaid Medicare Private
Texas 65.1% 86.0% 93.9%
United States 74.0% 88.2% 95.6%

Where primary care is provided

72 federally qualified health centers* with 660+ service delivery sites

813 emergency departments

84 nonprofit community health and hospital systems

605 delivery centers

328 rural health clinics

88 critical access hospitals

Consensus Panel

The policy priorities were created by a 16-member consensus-based panel and several health care experts:

Name Organization
Tom Banning Texas Academy of Family Physicians
Sue Bornstein Texas Primary Care Consortium
Ankit Sanghavi Texas Health Institute
Helen Kent Davis Texas Medical Association
Kay Ghahermani Texas Association of Community Health Plans
Chris Skisak Houston Business Group on Health
Ray Perryman The Perryman Group
Jamie Dudensing Texas Association of Health Plans
Shao-Chee Sim Episcopal Health Foundation
Jana Eubank Texas Association of Community Health Centers
Amy Einhorn St. David's Foundation
Laura Warren Texas Parent to Parent
Ken Janda University of Houston College of Medicine
Bob Kamm Robert Kamm
Nora Belcher Texas e-Health Alliance
Charles Miller Texas 2036
Jeff Bullard Catalyst Health
Rebecca King Texas Nurses Association
Chris Koller Milbank Memorial Fund
Lisa Kirsch Dell Medical School
Katrina Daniel Teacher Retirement System of Texas
Lisa Watkins Milbank Memorial Fund
Jamie Dudensing Texas Association of Health Plans
Maureen Hensley-Quinn National Academy for State Health Policy

Funding for TPCC’s policy priorities is supported by Episcopal Health Foundation and St. David’s Foundation.