The Fight for Rural

When I began work with the Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange, I understood that they insured hospitals and health care facilities. I learned that for 40 years they had a strong focus in the rural market.

Let’s stop there. Insurance just for rural health care facilities? Why so specialized and focused? What niche` did we (THIE) have that larger companies don’t? I never knew that such a specialized need existed.

Fast-forward nine months. I’m still learning, but it sure makes a world of sense now! As THIE is beginning to branch out beyond Texas and is spreading its limbs beyond just rural hospitals and into health care facilities as a whole, their roots in insuring rural hospitals still ring true and make THIE the best at what they do.

THIE goes beyond just insurance. We have created a community with our subscribers. Rural health care can be tough; facilities can be small and financial stability can be threatening especially due to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. But we do things to help.

First, our subscribers own us; we are a reciprocal exchange. When THIE profits, we distribute the surplus back to our subscribers. Should rates rise, this helps our insureds maintain stable insurance costs and lets them focus their energy on their patients and less on rising costs.

Second, we train! We interact incredibly close with our hospitals. We come in and do full training’s on Risk Management and more, ensuring our health care facilities function as safely as possible and therefore resulting in less claims.

Third, we train even more! THIE offers educational forums over the year and travel to different areas of Texas. We train on new trends, new legislation, how to be prepared in case of a disaster, how cyber liability can hinder your facility and other topics that effect our facilities.

THIE cares. We believe in the mission of rural. We support our people and consistently grow and stay ahead of insurance trends to guarantee we are always offering our subscribers the best products and services. In doing so, we also keep up with legislation and do our part in stepping in and being an additional voice on the importance of rural.

Recently, I truly learned what that importance is. THIE Board Member Adam Willmann, President and CEO of Goodall-Witcher Hospital Authority, worked tirelessly leading up to elections in his area. He saw an opportunity and a need to create a Hospital District in Bosque County. By doing this, it would ensure the future of Goodall-Witcher Hospital and ensure its doors would not close to residents of the area. Should this hospital close, residents would have to travel an upwards of 55 miles to get to the closest city to receive medical care.

As someone who lives in a city surrounded by hospitals and thousands of health care specialists, I could not fathom having to travel far to receive care. This is rural. This is the importance of rural health care throughout the country.

To be part of a team that cares about its hospitals and that specializes in such a niche` of insurance—doing what we can to help and support these health care facilities is amazing to witness.


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