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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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.

La'Tonya Ephraim speaks with Carrie Adney, a Women's Health Program client since last year, at Seton-Circle of Care Women's Services in Round Rock, TX.
La'Tonya Ephraim speaks with Carrie Adney, a Women's Health Program client since last year, at Seton-Circle of Care Women's Services in Round Rock, TX.

Time Running Out for Women's Health Providers

Texas Weekly

The clock is ticking for reproductive health clinics that are affiliated with abortion providers — the state will force Planned Parenthood and others like them out of the Women’s Health Program early next month.

Interactive: Mapping Access to Health Care in Texas

For many Texans, a basic visit to the doctor requires an hours-long drive. Health care providers are lacking across the vast expanses of rural Texas, and the problem could be worsening. The Tribune created an interactive map to illustrate just how few physicians there are in some parts of the state.

Texas resident Shantell Keller cannot afford insurance and does not qualify for Medicaid. For years, she has avoided seeking treatment for a variety of mounting health problems. Thanks to reduced rates at the federally qualified health service provider Lone Star Circle of Health in Georgetown, she is now able to afford co-payments for occasional visits to a family practice clinic.
Texas resident Shantell Keller cannot afford insurance and does not qualify for Medicaid. For years, she has avoided seeking treatment for a variety of mounting health problems. Thanks to reduced rates at the federally qualified health service provider Lone Star Circle of Health in Georgetown, she is now able to afford co-payments for occasional visits to a family practice clinic.

On the Records: $61 Million Awarded for Health Centers

The federal government awarded Texas $61 million today for new or improved community health centers across the state.

La'Tonya Ephraim speaks with Carrie Adney, a Women's Health Program client since last year, at Seton-Circle of Care Women's Services in Round Rock, TX.
La'Tonya Ephraim speaks with Carrie Adney, a Women's Health Program client since last year, at Seton-Circle of Care Women's Services in Round Rock, TX.

Judge Gives State OK to Exclude Planned Parenthood

A federal judge's ruling this morning means that the state may begin removing Planned Parenthood and other so-called abortion "affiliates" from the Women's Health Program, despite a district judge's Monday ruling to the contrary.

La'Tonya Ephraim speaks with Carrie Adney, a Women's Health Program client since last year, at Seton-Circle of Care Women's Services in Round Rock, TX.
La'Tonya Ephraim speaks with Carrie Adney, a Women's Health Program client since last year, at Seton-Circle of Care Women's Services in Round Rock, TX.

Texas Outlines Future Plans for Women's Health Program

Texas health officials have delivered their plans for taking over the Women's Health Program from the federal government. Taking over responsibility in November would let the state "conduct robust outreach to clients and providers,” an official said.