Tribpedia: Health And Human Services Commission

Behind Medicaid Cuts, a Fight Over Child Therapy

Before the state finalizes a decision next week that would slash payments for a therapy program for the poor, speech and physical therapists are fighting back, saying the impending budget cuts will harm thousands of children. Behind the publicity campaign, a more private battle is taking place — this one among providers. 

Chairwoman of the state Senate Finance Committee Jane Nelson and state House Appropriations Chairman John Otto.
Chairwoman of the state Senate Finance Committee Jane Nelson and state House Appropriations Chairman John Otto.

Limited Contracting Fixes Moving Forward

Amid a series of scandals, most lawmakers say they want to reform the way Texas hands out billions in state contracts. As the session's end looms, discussion has narrowed to a handful of bills that some warn are merely first steps.

 

Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek whispers to an aide at a hearing of the Sunset Advisory Commission on Jan. 14, 2015.
Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek whispers to an aide at a hearing of the Sunset Advisory Commission on Jan. 14, 2015.

Uncertainty Haunts Health Commissioner Kyle Janek

Two reports have criticized Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek’s leadership. Three state lawmakers have publicly called for his resignation. And a controversial contract awarded to a private vendor on his watch is under investigation. What's a new governor to do? 

Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013.
Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013.

Rules Hurt Family Violence Programs, Nelson Says

State regulations are unnecessarily holding up funds for shelters and programs that help victims of family violence, state Sen. Jane Nelson says. She wants to loosen the rules, even as she leads the charge to tighten other state contracting procedures. 

Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, confers with Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, during a March 11, 2015, committee hearing on state contracting issues.
Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, confers with Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, during a March 11, 2015, committee hearing on state contracting issues.

Contracting Overhaul Sails Through Senate

Amid an ongoing scandal over how the state awarded a multi-million dollar contract to a private company, the Texas Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would overhaul the state’s contracting processes.

 

 

Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Dr. Kyle Janek
Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Dr. Kyle Janek

FBI at Health Commission Asking About 21CT

FBI agents have interviewed Texas Health and Human Services Commission employees about the agency's problematic contract with Austin firm 21CT, Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek said Thursday, the first time any official with direct knowledge of the FBI's involvement has confirmed it.

People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.
People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.

Conservatives Join Push to Pay Care Workers More

Personal attendants help the elderly and disabled with daily tasks ranging from rising and eating to bathing and going to the bathroom. For that, the state pays them about $8 an hour. Gov. Greg Abbott and some fiscal conservatives want to raise their wages.