Tribpedia: Health And Human Services Commission

Tribpedia

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission, with its $16 billion annual budget and 9,300 employees, administers and determines eligibility for programs for underprivileged Texans, including Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

The commission oversees the four other state health agencies, including the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the Department ...

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Abortion Opponents: Davis Disclosure Changes Nothing

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, leaving the Senate chamber with colleagues Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, after a press conference on May 30, 2011.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, leaving the Senate chamber with colleagues Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, after a press conference on May 30, 2011.

Texas’ leading anti-abortion groups, reacting to the news that state Sen. Wendy Davis had two abortions years ago for medical reasons, reiterated their opposition to the termination of pregnancies, including ones where an unborn child is diagnosed with severe disabilities.

 

 

 

 

Patients are shown checking out in 2010 at the People's Community Clinic in Austin, a safety-net clinic that serves Medicaid recipients and the underinsured.
Patients are shown checking out in 2010 at the People's Community Clinic in Austin, a safety-net clinic that serves Medicaid recipients and the underinsured.

Rule Changes Address Contraceptive Devices

Texas women who receive state-financed health services may be able to more easily access contraceptive products like intrauterine devices and hormonal implants beginning Friday, when rule changes to the state’s Medicaid program and the Texas Women’s Health Program go into effect.

Yesenia Alvarado holds her daughter, Medicaid patient Melanie Almaraz, 2, while waiting to see Dr. Alberto Vasquez for the treatment of a fever at the Su Clinica Familiar in Harlingen on Jul. 9, 2013.
Yesenia Alvarado holds her daughter, Medicaid patient Melanie Almaraz, 2, while waiting to see Dr. Alberto Vasquez for the treatment of a fever at the Su Clinica Familiar in Harlingen on Jul. 9, 2013.

Texas Sees Rise in Medicaid Signups

More than 80,000 additional Texans have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act last fall, despite Republican state leaders’ decision not to expand eligibility to poor adults. 

 

Dr. Rose Okoro, a nurse practitioner, who owns Daystar Family Clinic in Katy, is shown on May 12. 2014. She says she has struggled to treat a greater number of Medicaid patients because of state regulations.
Dr. Rose Okoro, a nurse practitioner, who owns Daystar Family Clinic in Katy, is shown on May 12. 2014. She says she has struggled to treat a greater number of Medicaid patients because of state regulations.

Nurse Practitioners Look to Ease Supervision Rules

Nurse practitioners say state regulations, which link them to supervising physicians, limit their ability to treat patients in a state with a looming shortage of primary care physicians. As they seek more freedom in the state Medicaid program, physicians say the the current “team-based” model has proved to be effective.

Helen Hawkins, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, treats 13-month-old Kevin Gorostieta at Carousel Pediatrics in Austin on Nov. 8, 2012.
Helen Hawkins, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, treats 13-month-old Kevin Gorostieta at Carousel Pediatrics in Austin on Nov. 8, 2012.

Medicaid Fraud Settlement Worries Health Providers

For health providers who treat the state’s poorest patients, a high-profile settlement between the Texas health commission's office of inspector general and Carousel Pediatrics has raised questions about how the inspector general’s office distinguishes fraudulent intent from human error.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, addresses abortion rights advocates at the Texas capitol on Feb. 20, 2014.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, addresses abortion rights advocates at the Texas capitol on Feb. 20, 2014.

Senators Discuss Progress of Women's Health Programs

The Senate Health and Human Services committee discussed Texas’ efforts to expand access to women’s health services across the state at a hearing on Thursday as abortion rights advocates gathered nearby to protest the strict abortion regulations passed by the Legislature last year. 

John Specia (left), the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek testify Feb. 20, 2014, at a Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing.
John Specia (left), the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek testify Feb. 20, 2014, at a Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing.

Data Effort Aims to Help Reduce Child Deaths

The Department of Family and Protective Services has ramped up its efforts to conduct predictive data analysis and reduce the high turnover of CPS caseworkers, the agency’s commissioner told a panel of senators on Thursday.

Oct. 31, 2012: TribLive event with Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek
Oct. 31, 2012: TribLive event with Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek

Sources: Perry Backing Janek for UT Chancellor

Gov. Rick Perry is quietly lobbying for current Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek to be the next chancellor of the University of Texas System. UT's board of regents is looking for someone to replace Francisco Cigarroa, who said earlier this month that he will leave the post as soon as a replacement can be found.

OIG Loses Another Medicaid Fraud Court Battle

The state health commission’s Office of Inspector General, which says Texas has misspent hundreds of millions on Medicaid orthodontic and dental fraud, has now lost its first three court battles against accused providers. The latest judicial setback has rallied accused Medicaid providers who argue the state’s inability to win in court proves the allegations are unjustified.

Gov. Rick Perry speaks to media after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Teletón USA children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio on Aug. 6, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry speaks to media after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Teletón USA children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio on Aug. 6, 2013.

Perry Directs HHSC to Pursue Medicaid Block Grant

In a letter to the state's health agency on Monday, Gov. Rick Perry laid out his plan to request a federal waiver to reform Medicaid as Texas sees fit — without expanding eligibility. “Seemingly, the president and his administration are content to simply throw money at a problem and hope that any problems will resolve themselves,” he wrote.

Gabrielle Davis, 16, receives a shot at the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County in Fort Worth on Aug. 30, 2013.
Gabrielle Davis, 16, receives a shot at the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County in Fort Worth on Aug. 30, 2013.

Outbreaks Make a Case for Vaccinations

A measles outbreak at a North Texas megachurch and soaring rates of whooping cough across the state are drawing renewed calls for immunization legislation, which some lawmakers and medical professionals argue would help the state prevent and respond to public health crises.

New Medicaid Eligibility Calculation Draws Concerns

The Affordable Care Act's new rules for determining Medicaid eligibility has officials at the Health and Human Services Commission worried about an increased burden in processing applications. But proponents of the law say such hurdles are a natural part of major policy reform.

Birth control at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, Texas.
Birth control at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, Texas.

Texas Women's Health Program Claims Decline

The number of claims filed for medical and family planning services in the new state-run Texas Women's Health Program has dropped since the state ousted Planned Parenthood from it and set up its own program without federal financing, according to figures from the Health and Human Services Commission.

Zoila Chaver, second from right, a member of the Texas Organizing Project, giving health care information to Dallas resident Graciela Garcia at Garcia's home on July 10, 2013.
Zoila Chaver, second from right, a member of the Texas Organizing Project, giving health care information to Dallas resident Graciela Garcia at Garcia's home on July 10, 2013.

Groups Work to Promote Health Insurance Exchange

With state officials declining to implement key components of the federal Affordable Care Act, many private organizations are working to educate Texans about coverage options through the federal health insurance exchange, which opens on Oct. 1.