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Welcome - Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals

TORCH would like to thank all of our Critical Access Hospital members, exhibitors and sponsors for your participation in this year’s Critical Access Conference and Tradeshow. This event was a huge success and we look forward to hosting it again at the beautiful Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa June 27-28, 2017.

CAH Conference Presentations

Tuesday, June 28th

CAH Market Analysis and Macroeconomic Trends

Balance is Bull$%*&!: Defining Priorities to Find Peace of Mind

Key Drivers of Critical Access Hospital Financial Performance

The Impact of Value Based Payment on Cost Control Reimbursement

Targeting Zero: Developing a Culture of High Reliability

Wednesday, June 29th

Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program Updates and Opportunities

Expanding Quality to Enhance the Viability of Your Hospital

Market Influencers and Challenges Facing the 340B Drug Pricing Program for CAH

Operational Strategies for Managing the Critical Access Hospital Swing Bed Program

And That's A Wrap!

TORCH would like to thank all of our hospital, endorsed vendors and corporate members for attending the 2016 Annual Conference and Tradeshow. This year's conference broke record attendance with over 700 total attendees and 100 individual member hospitals represented. We appreciate everyone taking time out of your busy schedules to attend this educational and networking event. Your participation and engagement is crucial to our success and we thank our hospital members and vendors for joining us. Please save the date for April 18-20, 2017 as we will be back at the Hyatt Regency Dallas next year and hope to see you there.

Patrick L. Wallace, FACHE 2016 Gordon Russell Merit Award Recipient

Each year, the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals honors a rural hospital administrator who embodies the true spirit of superior service to their local community. In recognition of nearly 40 years of service in health care and to rural hospitals, including executive leadership positions at rural hospitals in Athens, Graham and Palacios, Patrick Wallace has been named the recipient of this year's Gordon Russell Award of Merit.

This award exists to recognize outstanding achievement by rural and community hospital administrators and for their leadership and dedication to the profession. Gordon Russell, the award's namesake, was the administrator of Hi-Plains Hospital for over 40 years and a former mayor of Hale Center, Texas.

Since 1988, Patrick has been the current administrator for ETMC Athens in Athens. Prior to joining ETMC Athens, he spent 10 years as administrator for Graham General Hospital in Graham. He was also the administrator for Wagner General Hospital is Palacios. Prior to Wagner General Hospital, he was an administrative resident at Bexar County Hospital District in San Antonio.

Patrick received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown and then his Master of Science Degree from Trinity University in San Antonio.

His professional activities include being a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board 7, Rural or Small Hospitals Constituency Section Governing Council and the Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities Rural Subcommittee. He is also the Past Chairman of the Texas Hospital Association. Patrick is also on the executive committees of the Texas Center for Rural Health Initiatives, Texas Office of Rural Community Affairs and Texas Department of Rural Affairs (SORH).

TORCH Annual Awards

TORCH is pleased to announce the following award winners at the 2016 TORCH Annual Conference & Tradeshow:

TORCH Founder's Award - Connie Berry

HealthSure TORCH Light Award - Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital

TMSI Endorsed Partner of the Year - Southwest Medical Associates

20 Year TORCH Corporate Member - Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange

10 Year TORCH Corporate Member - Merritt Hawkins

John F. Boff Memorial Scholarships - Ashley R. Evans and Sarah Tucker

Continuing Education Stipend Awards - Billie Bell, Renee Castillo, Sonia M. Castro, Cary Shane Keys, April M. Monroe, Phillip Smith

MHA Scholarship Award - Rhett D. Fricke

TORCH Outgoing Board Plaques - Bill Barnes, Jack R. Endres, JD, FACHE, John Henderson, Grady Hooper, Chuck Norris

TORCH Conference Presentations

Tuesday, April 26th

Population Management...It Does Take a Village - The Eight Challenges We Face

Federal Advocacy Update from the DC Front Lines

State Legislative/Election Update

Wednesday, April 27th

The Future of Texas' Rural Hospitals: What the Data Tells Us and New Models for Preserving Access to Care

Taking it to the streets: The Intersection Between Public Health and Population Health

New Weapons for Your War on Cost

Drivers for Healthcare Technology Investment

How to Find Your Next Super Star Biller/Collector

Instituting a Highly Effective Physician Compliance Program

How Hospital Districts Can Leverage State Pricing to Adopt Cloud-Based Services

Home Health Roundtable Discussion

The Rural Experience as Seen from Elsewhere

"Beware:Ransomware Attacks Healthcare"

Thursday, April 28th

2016 Legal Issues Update

"True Grit":Paves Way to A Brighter Future

NAIP Stories from Rural TeleHealth Pilot Participants

TORCH Board Approves the Formation of a TORCH Community Care Organization (CCO)

This year we are very excited to be in the midst of a rollout of an important new initiative for TORCH and its members around population health. The Texas Community Care Organization (TxCCO) is a joint venture between TORCH and Rural Solutions, LLC. This business and operating model achieves several key objectives and provides TORCH with access to:

  • A care management platform developed specifically for rural provider organizations encompassing the infrastructure necessary to create a statewide clinically integrated network;
  • A means to diversify business risk and offset start-up capital requirements;
  • Expertise with population health payment models and payer negotiations; and
  • A partner that acknowledges and honors the unique relationships developed by TORCH over the past 25 years.

Upon its formation, the TxCCO will assemble the infrastructure to function as both a statewide rural provider network (a "Clinically Integrated Network", or CIN) charged with developing and implementing a care management platform, quality and cost standards, and analytics capabilities as well as a contracting entity to negotiate and manage performance-based service agreements with third-party payers. The work plan is composed of five phases:

  • Phase 1: Recruitment and Formation
  • Phase 2: Chronic Care and Transitional Care Management
  • Phase 3: Medicare Shared Savings
  • Phase 4: Clinically Integrated Network
  • Phase 5: Value-Based Provider Contracting and Alternative Revenue Sources

The Opportunity:

You have the chance to get in on the ground floor of this effort to move rural hospitals in Texas from a 'Fee-for-Volume' to a 'Fee-for-Value' system. Our hope is that our members will want to become a part of this groundbreaking effort to create a fully-integrated, population-based rural healthcare delivery system in Texas that is TORCH-led and Texas-specific.

The Timing:

Any facility that returns their Letter of Intent and initiation fee between now and December 31, 2015 will become a 'Founding Member' of the TxCCO. Becoming a Founder will ensure that you are involved in the initial decision making and also be included in our Chronic Care Management and Transition Care Management Programs at the earliest possible opportunity. Even if you did not join by December 31, 2015, you can still participate as a member of the TxCCO. Please contact the TORCH office at (512) 873-0045 for more information on how to join and participate in this program.

Want To Know More About the TxCCO?

Continue to be on the lookout for new information from the TxCCO. The TxCCO hosts a monthly membership call on the 3rd Monday of every month. To register for these calls, please click here.
Click here for a brief white paper on the TxCCO.

Texas Rural Hospital Map

Click here to see a map of the rural hospitals throughout the state.



Happy National Rural Health Day from TORCH!
Rob Thomas Named the 2015 Gordon Russell Merit Award Recipient
Quorum Report: Against Backdrop of Proposed Tax Cuts; Rural Hospital Closures Accelerate
RCMH Advises TORCH-Member Hospitals on Controlled Substances Registration
Texas Rural Hospitals Standing By To Serve Our Veterans
Increasing Value in Health Care from a Rural Perspective
It’s Time for DSH Audits in Texas
Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) Grants DUE MARCH 6


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April 26-28, 2016
Hyatt Regency Dallas, Dallas, TX
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