The Smith County Communications Office strives to promote transparency by providing the public with the most accurate, accessible and up-to-date information possible while promoting the county's brand and message of "Striving for Excellence."
Located on the first floor of the Smith County Annex Building
200 E. Ferguson, Suite 100
Tyler, Texas 75702
Email: Casey Murphy
Smith County to Expand Indigent Health Care Services
Smith County Indigent Health Care Offices will move to the Cotton Belt Building
Smith County’s Indigent Health Care Program will soon see expanded services and a new, more convenient office location at the Cotton Belt Building thanks to a renewed partnership with UT Health East Texas.
The Indigent Health Care Program is mandated by state law, and requires counties to pay for basic health care services for its low-income residents who meet certain income and resource requirements. Previously in Smith County, UT Health East Texas’ predecessor, East Texas Medical Center, performed the administrative role of qualifying program participants and paying claims.
Now, UT Health East Texas will utilize HealthFirst TPA to perform those administrative functions and more. Under the Administrative Services Agreement between Smith County and HealthFirst TPA, approved unanimously by the Smith County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, January 29, the services provided to the county will also include claims administration, detailed data and trend analysis and utilization management, among other things.
“We are excited that our renewed partnership and updated agreement with UT Health East Texas now includes HealthFirst TPA,” Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran said. “Their high level of expertise in claims administration will bring numerous added benefits to the county and its citizens during the administration of our state-mandated indigent health care program.”
The County also approved a correlative lease for space in the Cotton Belt Building, where indigent health care claims administration will now take place. In doing so, the Commissioners Court recognized that this location is better for citizen-participants because it is along a bus route, has more parking, and has on-site security during business hours.
HealthFirst is providing the administrative services for indigent health care for Smith County at-cost, meaning they will not make a profit from these services. Moran said that is a benefit for the community, as well, and a reaffirmation of the commitment of UT Health East Texas to the Smith County community.
“We are pleased to provide these services to the county and assist in managing the care for Smith County’s indigent population and the costs for the county,” UT Health East Texas President and CEO Moody Chisholm said. “UT Health East Texas provides hundreds of millions in charities and uncompensated care and pays more than $77 million in federal, state and local taxes annually that help support our local governments, school districts and colleges. This administrative service agreement with the county is just another way UT Health East Texas is bringing value to the communities we serve.”
The Cotton Belt Building is located at 1517 W. Front St. in Tyler.