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LRL Home - Committees - Committees of the 85th Legislature - Committee overviewprinter friendly versionreturn to screen view


Senate Committee on Health and Human Services - 85th R.S. (2017)

Committee Members
Charles Schwertner, Chair
Carlos Uresti, Vice Chair
Dawn Buckingham
Konni Burton
Lois W. Kolkhorst
Borris Miles
Charles Perry
Van Taylor
Kirk Watson
Charges
• Review the state's response to Hurricane Harvey with a focus on public health efforts at the local and state level. The review should include an analysis of the state and local response related to vector control, immunization needs, utilization of health-related volunteers, adequacy of an emergency medical network, evacuation of vulnerable populations from state operated or regulated facilities, and coordination between all levels of government. Recommend any legislative changes necessary to improve public health response and coordination during and after a disaster.
• Evaluate the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the capacity of out-of-home placements and care for youth involved with the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Determine how the state can ensure support is available to provide appropriate care as close to home as possible as facilities and offices are rebuilt.
• Child Welfare: Review the efficacy and quality of services offered to ensure family preservation while in the Family Based Social Services (FESS) stage of service at the Department of Family and Protective Services. Make recommendations to better track quality of services and link payments to providers of these services to outcomes for families and children. Analyze the Department of Family and Protective Services' progress in meeting statutory requirements related to timely visits to children involved in a reported case of abuse or neglect. Make recommendations to further improve the timeliness of these visits. Review services and supports provided to children in Permanent Managing Conservatorship of the state, and the level of preparedness given to youth aging out of state care. Examine the impact of recent legislation related to
these populations, and make recommendations to ensure youth in care are ready for adulthood and to reduce the likelihood of intergenerational perpetuation of child maltreatment. Assess the effectiveness of public and private agency efforts to recruit and retain foster parents. Identify barriers to entry and obstacles that prevent interested families from continuing to provide foster care. Recommend solutions to increase foster recruitment and address non-renewals, especially in first-time foster parents.
• Substance Abuse/Opioids: Review substance use prevention, intervention, and recovery programs operated or funded by the state and make recommendations to enhance services, outreach, and agency coordination. Examine the adequacy of substance use, services for pregnant and postpartum women enrolled in Medicaid or the Healthy Texas Women Program and recommend ways to improve substance use related health outcomes for these women and their newborns. Examine the impact of recent legislative efforts to curb overprescribing and doctor shopping via the prescription monitoring program and recommend ways to expand on current efforts.
• Medicaid Managed Care Quality and Compliance: Review the Health and Human Services Commission's efforts to improve quality and efficiency in the Medicaid program, including pay-for-quality initiatives in Medicaid managed care. Compare alternative payment models and value-based payment arrangements with providers in Medicaid managed care, the Employees Retirement System, and the Teachers Retirement System, and identify areas for cross-collaboration and coordination among these entities. Evaluate the commission's efforts to ensure Medicaid managed care organizations' compliance with contractual obligations and the use of incentives and sanctions to enforce compliance. Assess the commission's progress in implementing competitive bidding practices for Medicaid managed care contracts and other initiatives to ensure the best value for taxpayer dollars used in Medicaid managed care contracts.
• Health Care Cost Transparency: Study efforts by the Department of State Health Services and the Texas Department of Insurance to increase health care cost transparency, including a review of the Texas Health Care Information Collection (THCIC) system, and the Consumer Guide to Healthcare. Recommend ways to make provider and facility fees more accessible to consumers to improve health care cost transparency, increase quality of care, and create a more informed health care consumer base.
• Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, 85th Legislature and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation, including but not limited to:
• Initiatives to increase capacity and reduce waitlists in the mental health system, including the construction of state hospitals and new community grant programs;
• Initiatives to better understand the causes of maternal mortality and morbidity, including the impact of legislation passed during the first special session of the 85th Legislature. Recommend ways to improve health outcomes for pregnant women and methods to better collect data related to maternal mortality and morbidity;
• Initiatives intended to improve child safety, Child Protective Services workforce retention, and development of additional capacity in the foster care system. Make additional recommendations to ensure children with high levels of medical or mental health needs receive timely access to services in the least restrictive setting;
• Efforts to transfer case management of foster children and families to Single Source Continuum Contractors (SSCCs). Monitor the progress of this transition and make recommendations to ensure the process provides continuity of services for children and families and ongoing community engagement;
• Initiatives to strengthen oversight oflong-term care facilities to ensure safety and improve quality for residents and clients of these entities; and
• Abortion complications and other reporting legislation that was passed by the 85th Legislatu re.

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