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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Lawmakers Revisit Texas Medicaid Waiver

Texas lawmakers and hospital administrators took a hard look Tuesday at the state Medicaid waiver recently OK'd by the Obama administration. “This impacts every hospital in this state... and every community,” Tom Suehs, Texas' health and human services commissioner, said in a morning hearing.  

More than half of the patients at Cedar View Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center rely on Medicaid.
More than half of the patients at Cedar View Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center rely on Medicaid.

Medicaid Payment Cuts in Texas Worry Therapy Providers

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Some cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates will take effect on Jan. 1, putting Texas’ Medicaid spending on par with that of many other states. But as Jessica Mahoney of KUT News reports, providers of physical, occupational and speech therapy worry many could be left without services.

Day 5: Budget Cuts Final Straw for Air Ambulance

Throughout August, The Texas Tribune will feature 31 ways Texans' lives will change come Sept. 1, the date most bills passed by the Legislature — including the dramatically reduced budget — take effect. DAY 5: The Rio Grande Valley’s longest-running helicopter ambulance will be permanently grounded this fall, and state budget cuts were the final straw.

Four of the five children who live in this dilapidated one-room home in Mexico Chiquito, a colonia in the Rio Grande Valley.
Four of the five children who live in this dilapidated one-room home in Mexico Chiquito, a colonia in the Rio Grande Valley.

Conditions, Health Risks Sicken Colonias Residents

Along the border, residents of colonias tell identical stories: of migrating with dreams of safety and prosperity, of getting misled into buying worthless land with no modern infrastructure, of sticking it out so their children will get educated. And of getting sick.

A child rides his bike in the Del Mar Heights colonia in the Rio Grande Valley.
A child rides his bike in the Del Mar Heights colonia in the Rio Grande Valley.

Red Tape, Catch-22s Impede Progress in Texas' Colonias

Life has clearly improved in the "colonias" — Spanish for neighborhood or community — since the 1950s, when opportunistic developers first established them for migrant workers on the Texas side of the Mexican border. But many efforts to better conditions for the half a million residents of the colonias have fallen short, the result of bureaucratic nightmares, mixed messages and a spiral of confusion and fees. 

In-Home Nursing Companies Facing Cuts Again

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Companies that provide intensive in-home care to patients who might otherwise be in nursing homes could face big cuts under a cost-saving budget proposal the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will consider today.

Overshadowed, Med Schools Face Drastic Reductions

Texas medical schools feel like the scorned children of the state’s education budget. Lost amid the pleas of parents to restore funding for public education, and the demands of college students to preserve financial aid, the state’s health care institutions say few seem to understand the drastic situation they face. Med schools say they won’t be able to fully fund the students currently enrolled, and could be forced to curb new admissions next year.

Doctors Harish Chandna, Ajay Gaalla, Dakshesh Parikh stand for a portrait in their offices' waiting room.
Doctors Harish Chandna, Ajay Gaalla, Dakshesh Parikh stand for a portrait in their offices' waiting room.

Cardiologists Accuse Hospital of Discrimination

Whether racial animus led Victoria's Citizens Medical Center to close its cardiology unit to non-staff doctors — effectively revoking the privileges of Drs. Harish Chandna, Ajay Gaalla and Dakshesh Kumar Parikh to practice there — is the subject of fierce debate and a discrimination lawsuit filed by the three doctors in federal district court in the Southern District of Texas. The dispute has divided Victoria’s close-knit medical community.

Has Texas Patient Privacy Bill Hit a Snag?

State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst’s bill to further protect Texans’ private medical information looks stuck; it’s been three weeks since it passed out of committee, and it hasn’t yet been set for a House vote. Opponents say the measure adds “duplicative and possibly conflicting requirements” to existing federal law. And insiders question whether it’s got a shot in the Senate, which has already passed a slightly less restrictive medical privacy bill.