Tribpedia: Health And Human Services Commission

Groups Work to Promote Health Insurance Exchange

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.

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.

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

Health Care Providers Bracing for Medicaid Enrollment

Texas is not expanding Medicaid eligibility, but enrollment in the program is still expected to climb under new rules created by the federal Affordable Care Act. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission projects 240,000 children currently eligible for Medicaid but not participating will enroll in 2014 and 2015.

Tiger Whitehead and his children Logic and Domnick, who used SNAP and the the Sustainable Food Center Farmer's Market double dollars coupons, shopping at the Farmer's Market at 2835 East MLK Blvd. in Austin on March 19, 2013.
Tiger Whitehead and his children Logic and Domnick, who used SNAP and the the Sustainable Food Center Farmer's Market double dollars coupons, shopping at the Farmer's Market at 2835 East MLK Blvd. in Austin on March 19, 2013.

Nutrition Benefits a Mixed Bag for Farmers Markets

About 50 farmers markets around the state take SNAP benefits, WIC benefits or both. The programs are not well utilized, but proponents say it is important to provide as many healthy food options as possible for Texans who use nutrition benefits.

Interactive: Economic Impact of Medicaid Expansion

It's politically unpopular among most Texas Republicans — and Gov. Rick Perry has vowed not to do it — but proposals to expand Medicaid coverage to more poor adults have gained traction with some fiscal conservatives who argue the economic benefits could outweigh the backlash. This interactive shows the estimated economic impact of expanding Medicaid by House and Senate district. 

 

 

State Sen. Tommy Williams on the Senate floor on May 16, 2011.
State Sen. Tommy Williams on the Senate floor on May 16, 2011.

Senate Finance Committee Tackles Health Budget

The Senate Finance Committee opened its discussion on how to finance the state's health budget on Wednesday by considering the impact of cost containment initiatives passed last session, how to proactively curb Medicaid fraud and ways to address the costs associated with federal health care reforms.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, outline proposals to reduce Medicaid spending in Texas at a press conference on Jan. 16, 2013.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, outline proposals to reduce Medicaid spending in Texas at a press conference on Jan. 16, 2013.

Dewhurst, Nelson Tout Proposals to Curb Medicaid Costs

The Texas Senate on Wednesday released proposals to bring down spending on Texas Medicaid, the state’s health program for the poor, by instituting quality-based payment reforms for long-term care services and measures to catch Medicaid fraud and abuse.

Nicole Griffis, nurse practitioner, consults with a patient at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, Texas.
Nicole Griffis, nurse practitioner, consults with a patient at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, Texas.

HHSC: New Women's Health Program Has Enough Providers

The Health and Human Services Commission on Monday said a new survey it commissioned shows the Texas Women’s Health Program has a greater capacity to serve impoverished women than its predecessor, a joint state-federal program that ended after the state moved to exclude clinics affiliated with abortion providers.