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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Texas Health and Human Services commissioner Kyle Janek (center) with deputy commissioner Chris Traylor and moderator Emily Ramshaw in a discussion of the future of state health policy at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 22, 2012.
Texas Health and Human Services commissioner Kyle Janek (center) with deputy commissioner Chris Traylor and moderator Emily Ramshaw in a discussion of the future of state health policy at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 22, 2012.

Janek's Scrutiny of Uninsured Stats Draws Critics

Texas Weekly

At The Texas Tribune Festival, Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek made what to some health care observers was a startling suggestion: that the Census Bureau’s projection that a quarter of Texans are uninsured is inflated. 

Glenn Foore planting cabbage on Springdale Farm, Austin, Tex. on September 11, 2012
Glenn Foore planting cabbage on Springdale Farm, Austin, Tex. on September 11, 2012

Farm to Table Caucus Advances Local Food Movement

A Democrat from Austin is finding common ground with Republicans and rural Texans. State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez and the rest of the Farm to Table Caucus are hoping to reduce barriers to local, healthy food. The first caucus of its kind in the nation, the bipartisan group aims to reduce obesity and the health problems it brings.

Photo Essay: Women's Health Issues Along the Border

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Here's a visual perspective of reproductive health issues in the Rio Grande Valley, one of the country's poorest areas. This year, the issue of public financing for contraceptives and cancer screenings has often become intertwined with the controversy surrounding abortion.

Dr. Javier Saenz with a patient, Elena Chavez, 73. Chavez is part of the 50 percent of patients Saenz sees who draw from both Medicare and Medicaid.
Dr. Javier Saenz with a patient, Elena Chavez, 73. Chavez is part of the 50 percent of patients Saenz sees who draw from both Medicare and Medicaid.

Struggles Continue for Doctors Treating Elderly Poor

Months after Texas physicians treating the state’s poorest seniors made a desperate plea for relief, there has been little movement to reverse a state policy that curbed their reimbursements for patients eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. Some doctors have exhausted their personal savings trying to stay afloat.  

Despite Health Care Ruling, the State Can Wait

Texas Weekly

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold federal health reform — but to make the Medicaid expansion it requires essentially optional — has created, in the words of Donald Rumsfeld, a lot of “known unknowns” for Texas. But decisions that seemed so urgent just a week ago probably aren’t imminent. 

Video Series: Fertile Ground

From the evolution of state and federally subsidized contraception to the battle over Planned Parenthood to the cost of unplanned pregnancies, our six-part series on the effects of the Legislature's family planning cuts is the most comprehensive look yet at the politics of reproductive health in Texas.

Interactive Map: Women's Health Program Providers

Use our interactive map to chart the locations of health care providers participating in Texas' Women's Health Program. Click on any point on the map to see the types and number of available providers at each location, or get a video tutorial here. You can also flip through various map styles to compare women's health statistics across the state.

Natasha and Mark Rosen, of Austin, with baby Matthew, who was born 3 months premature, in Seton Medical Center Austin's neonatal intensive care unit. Texas lawmakers are looking for ways to curb prenatal births and the high costs they present for the state's Medicaid program.
Natasha and Mark Rosen, of Austin, with baby Matthew, who was born 3 months premature, in Seton Medical Center Austin's neonatal intensive care unit. Texas lawmakers are looking for ways to curb prenatal births and the high costs they present for the state's Medicaid program.

HHSC Targets Premature Births in Quest to Cut Costs

A new state health program launched this week aims to reduce the number of women on Medicaid whose newborns require costly neonatal intensive care.


Former state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, on the Texas House floor in 2007
Former state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, on the Texas House floor in 2007

Letter Urges HHSC to Block Abortion-Related Proposal

A letter signed by 10 Democratic state senators asked HHSC Commissioner Tom Suehs to block a proposed rule that would require women seeking abortions to report more personal information. The rule stems from requirements Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington previously outlined failed legislation. But it is not clear yet what impact the letter will ultimately have.

Tom Suehs waiting outside Senate committee hearing on January 31, 2011.
Tom Suehs waiting outside Senate committee hearing on January 31, 2011.

HHSC Commissioner Tom Suehs Retiring in August

Texas Weekly

Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs, who has overseen the state's massive health agency since 2009, is retiring at the end of August. Suehs' announcement follows news last month that Billy Millwee, the state's Medicaid director, was retiring, leaving an even bigger void than anticipated at the top of an agency facing billions of dollars in unpaid Medicaid costs.

State's Medicaid Chief Retiring

Billy Millwee, who oversees the state's giant Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance programs, will retire in August. Millwee has been a state employee for more than 20 years — 18 of them with Texas' Medicaid program. He has directed the Medicaid and CHIP programs, which account for nearly a quarter of the state's total budget, since early 2010.

Interactive: Texas Budget Cuts Shrink State Government

With the state government tightening its belt, there are now 10,200 fewer state employees, according to an analysis of data collected by the state auditor’s office. This interactive shows how budget cuts have affected employment at state-funded entities from the second quarter of fiscal year 2011 to the second quarter of fiscal 2012.