Legislative Update:
Children’s Hospitals in Texas

The Children’s Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) is providing the following information to offer some context to decisions about children’s healthcare funding. We welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with you in person. Our contact information is found at the end of the newsletter.

The mission of the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) is to support the development of an effective, comprehensive, high-quality and appropriately funded children’s healthcare delivery system in Texas. Our member hospitals include:
  • Children’s Medical Center (Dallas/Plano)
  • Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital (San Antonio)
  • Cook Children’s Health Care System (Fort Worth)
  • Covenant Children’s Hospital (Lubbock)
  • Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas (Austin)
  • Driscoll Children’s Hospital (Corpus Christi)
  • Texas Children’s Hospital (Houston)

Our hospitals are the pediatric safety net for all Texas children and have unique expertise and experience in caring for children. Children are not little adults, and caring for children requires specialized skills, training and equipment that are concentrated in children’s hospitals.

Children’s hospitals are working to create the clinical capacity to care for this fast-growing population by training and recruiting pediatric subspecialists and building outpatient clinics and inpatient care facilities.

Did you know?

  • Every day, almost 25 percent of the patients in children’s hospitals are transfers from other medical facilities that could not provide the necessary specialized pediatric care.
  • Children’s hospitals are regional centers that serve children from all over Texas. In 2008, children from 243 of the 254 counties in Texas were patients at children’s hospitals (and only 6,000 children live in the other 11 counties).
  • Because Medicaid covers children with disabilities and children in low-income families (who tend to have more health-care problems), almost 60 percent of the patients in children’s hospitals are covered by the Medicaid program.
  • There will be almost 8 million children (under age 19) living in Texas in 2020—more than one million children living here compared to 2010.
  • Because children’s hospitals serve children with the most complex problems, more than 40 percent of the beds in children’s hospitals are for intensive care.
  • Only about three percent of all the inpatient hospital beds in Texas are in children’s hospitals.
  • Nearly 80 percent of the patients in children’s hospitals are age 14 or younger. In all other hospitals, 80 percent of the patients are age 18 or older.
  • The ratio of pediatricians to children in Texas is significantly lower than the national average.
  • More than 70 percent of the pediatricians in residency programs in Texas are training at CHAT hospitals.

Children’s Healthcare Issues in the News

Click on the following links to learn more about some of the issues impacting children’s healthcare in Texas.

“Public schools, college students, Medicaid hammered in Texas House budget plan," The Dallas Morning News, January 19, 2011

“Editorial: Cook Children's Healthcare System works to make North Texas the best place to be a kid,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, January 14, 2011

“Poll: Texans don't want to cut social services, public education,” San Antonio Express-News, January 9, 2011

“Opinion Editorial: Let’s spare funding for child health care,” Houston Chronicle, October 24, 2010

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Copyright © 2011 Children's Hospital Association of Texas, All rights reserved.