Connection to Specialty Care

The Issue:

Many low-income people with chronic, life-threatening conditions struggle to find a specialist who will see them, and too many rural patients are forced to travel long distances to access specialty care. While the health care sector in the United States has developed remarkable advances in medical treatment, the structure of our delivery system limits timely and affordable access to these same advances. The existing referral process to access specialty care services is ad-hoc and often based on informal relationships. Problems such as availability to timely specialty care, barriers to follow-up appointments, and lack of patient engagement persist in our Central Texas community.

Our Plan:

Our goal is to increase timely access to specialty care services to effectively manage chronic life threatening conditions, such as heart disease, in an effort to improve the quality of life and reduce premature deaths.

Who We Serve:

Working with safety-net providers and other stakeholders, St. David’s Foundation will target the uninsured, underinsured, and publicly funded adults residing in Central Texas.

How We Will Do It:

Our approach for connection to specialty care includes plans to:

  • Ensure timely access to our target populations, including increased availability of affordable specialty care options
  • Develop and test creative payment methodologies for the uninsured
  • Support provider training, improved follow-up monitoring and patient engagement
  • Improve and support the referral process and technology improvements, such as electronic consultations

For More Information


Abena AsanteContact
Abena Asante, Senior Program Officer
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Strategic Priorities