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House Committee on Public Health - 84th R.S. (2015)

Committee: House Public Health
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Cancer | Communicable diseases | Contraceptives | Diabetes | Disease management | Disease prevention | Emergency communications | Emergency management | Employees Retirement System of Texas | Family planning | Healthy Texas Women | Heart disease | Infant mortality | Kidney disease | Lung diseases | Obesity | Pregnancy | Premature infants | Prenatal care | Public health | Respiratory diseases | Teacher Retirement System of Texas | Telemedicine |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 H349h
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [45 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study and assess the state’s preparedness for public health threats and emergencies including responding to natural disasters and highly infectious diseases. Review current protocols and examine public health resources to determine if they are sufficient. Identify weaknesses within the public health response framework and make recommendations for improvements.
2. Study the impact of chronic disease in Texas and identify the major regional chronic health challenges. Review the types of health data collected by the state related to chronic disease and how the data is utilized to improve health care. Study state programs targeting chronic disease, including the Texas Health Improvement Network, and identify the direct and indirect costs associated with obesity, tobacco, and other related chronic health conditions including impacts to Medicaid, Employees Retirement System, Teacher Retirement System, University of Texas System, and Texas A&M University System. Identify public health interventions for chronic disease and preventative healthcare services that improve health outcomes and reduce cost.
3. Examine the history of telemedicine in Texas and the adequacy of the technological infrastructure for use between Texas healthcare providers. Review the benefits of using telemedicine in rural and underserved areas and current reimbursement practices. Explore opportunities to expand and improve the delivery of healthcare and identify methods to increase awareness by provider groups, including institutions of higher education, and payers of telemedicine activities being reimbursed in Texas.
4. Review programs focused on improving birth outcomes including evaluating the effectiveness and identifying any cost avoidance associated with them. Study barriers pregnant women face enrolling in services and receiving regular prenatal care. Identify factors, including substance abuse, associated with preterm birth and review services available for mothers postpartum.
5. Study the trauma system in the State of Texas including financing, service delivery, planning, and coordination between Emergency Medical Services providers, Trauma Services Area Regional Advisory Councils, The Emergency Medical Task Force, and hospitals. Determine strengths and weaknesses including challenges for rural areas of the state. Make recommendations to reduce any duplicated services, improve the coordination of services, and advance the delivery of trauma services in Texas. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
6. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should: a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens; b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate; c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.

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