Tribpedia: Health And Human Services Commission

Limited Contracting Fixes Moving Forward

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.

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.

 

Terrell State Hospital is one of 10 state psychiatric hospitals.
Terrell State Hospital is one of 10 state psychiatric hospitals.

Failed Hospital Deal Reveals Ties to Janek

Three years ago, a company called Geo Care Inc. gave HHSC chief Kyle Janek a blueprint for privatizing state hospitals. The only contract awarded — privatizing Terrell State Hospital — ended up going to that same company.

 

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 Commissioner Kyle Janek

Two reports have criticized Health Commissioner Kyle Janek’s leadership. Three state lawmakers have called for his resignation. And a contract awarded to a 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 multimillion-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 Deal

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.

Former HHSC Inspector General Doug Wilson, left, and his former second-in-command, Jack Stick.
Former HHSC Inspector General Doug Wilson, left, and his former second-in-command, Jack Stick.

Was 21CT Contract Built on Lie to Federal Agency?

When the Texas Health and Human Services Commission asked the federal government for $18 million to foot most of the bill for new Medicaid fraud tracking software, it assured Washington counterparts the deal had been competitively bid. That was not true.

The day before Greg Abbott was sworn in as governor, he met with his predecessor, Gov. Rick Perry, who marked the 1925 Pat Neff Bible on Jan. 19, 2015, and passed it on to Abbott.
The day before Greg Abbott was sworn in as governor, he met with his predecessor, Gov. Rick Perry, who marked the 1925 Pat Neff Bible on Jan. 19, 2015, and passed it on to Abbott.

Analysis: It's a Mess, but It's Someone Else's Mess

Government misadventures, like the current contracting scandals in Texas, don't make voters happy. But they don't necessarily hurt the people in office — especially when it's easy to hang the blame on the officeholders they replaced.

Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, wraps up the Sunset Advisory Commission hearing on Jan. 14, 2015.
Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, wraps up the Sunset Advisory Commission hearing on Jan. 14, 2015.

Echoes of Fights Past in Health Consolidation

Twelve years after a major mash-up of state health agencies, the Sunset Commission and several lawmakers say it's time to finish the job and merge the remaining five systems into one. Some veteran Capitol observers say they're feeling déjà vu.

Irene Williams, the CEO of 21CT, and Jack Stick, who recently resigned as the top lawyer for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Irene Williams, the CEO of 21CT, and Jack Stick, who recently resigned as the top lawyer for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

The HHSC-21CT Contract Investigations: How Did It Get to This Point?

A now-canceled deal between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and a software maker is the subject of scrutiny and is also causing greater talk of state contract reforms. Here's a look back at the deal and what led to the current investigations.