The successful implementation of medical homes into the JPS Health Network in recent years is a driving force behind the inclusion of more medical homes as part of the JPS Future Plan. The $800-million bond referendum approved for JPS includes preliminary plans to add at least four more medical home facilities, with at least one coming in the first phase of the project, allowing JPS to provide more people with readily accessible healthcare services.
“Our job is to reduce as many hospital admissions as we can by being active in the community,” says Laura Keller, Executive Director for Community Health Administration at JPS. “We have to be in the communities where our patients can get to us easily.”
The JPS Future Plan will build on the success seen with the medical homes concept. In the past five years, the JPS Community Health team has completed more than 3.4 million patient appointments, with about 1.9 million of those (56.5%) accomplished at medical home sites. The program has experienced 14% overall growth since 2017, even with a dip in patient visitors due to COVID-19 impacts in 2020 and 2021.
“Our homes are incredibly busy,” Keller adds.
JPS Health Network currently operates 14 health centers and medical homes in Tarrant County under the medical home model, including eight within Fort Worth city limits and six more in suburban locations. The goal is to cut health care costs, improve quality and improve patient satisfaction by making coordinated healthcare services more easily available for residents throughout the county.
“The availability of primary care in the medical home locations allows wraparound services to be provided as well, such as behavioral health services, dental, lab, radiology and pharmacy,” says Keller.
A medical home is a care delivery model where patients receive comprehensive services to address their physical and behavioral health. Primary, preventive, wellness, acute and chronic care are all available in one central location. Medical home care is patient-centered and coordinated among a team of doctors, nurses, assistants, pharmacists, educators and other providers. Combining services encourages coordination of care among providers and engagement by patients, who no longer need to travel to multiple locations for diagnostics such as X-rays and lab tests.
“The way of healthcare is preventive medicine, getting care to take place outside the walls of a hospital setting,” says Keller. “The best service we can provide for citizens of Tarrant County is to make medical services available wherever they are.”
For example, the Medical Home Northeast Tarrant facility offers primary care, women’s health, behavioral health, dental, optometry, laboratory and radiology care. In addition to pharmacy services, it is the first JPS site to offer a drive-up window for prescriptions. The 35,000 square foot site in Euless could serve as a model for future JPS medical home sites, with experiential lessons added along the way.
For more information about JPS Health Network medical homes and health centers, including location sites, available services, hours and contact information, please visit the JPS Health Network locations web page.