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Senate Committee on Health and Human Services - 83rd R.S. (2013)

Committee Members
Jane Nelson, Chair
Charles Schwertner, Chair
Bob Deuell, Vice Chair
Joan Huffman
Robert Nichols
Charles Schwertner
Larry Taylor
Carlos Uresti
Royce West
Judith Zaffirini
Charges
• Review the Department of Family and Protective Services’ efforts to reduce child fatalities. Review the process by which the Department of Family and Protective Services collects and uses data to evaluate agency performance and improve outcomes for children in the Child Protective Services system. Make recommendations to ensure the process effectively uses data to strategically improve caseworker performance, and identify and improve upon deficiencies within the system and improve overall outcomes for children and reduce child fatalities.
• Monitor the implementation of programs that were created or expanded by the 83rd Legislature to improve mental health and substance abuse services and assess these efforts' contribution to improved outcomes such as reduced recidivism in state hospitals, diversion from emergency rooms and county jails, and access to permanent supportive housing. Identify and address gaps in the current mental health and substance abuse system and make recommendations to better coordinate services across agencies and programs.
• Build on previous legislative achievements in women's healthcare by examining women’s access to preventative health care, pregnancy services, and post-partum care, and exploring ways to expand access and improve quality, particularly in rural and underserved areas of the state. Monitor the implementation of women's health programs in Texas. Assess these programs' impact on outcomes such as improving access to preventative services, reducing unplanned pregnancies, and achieving cost savings. Recommend ways to better coordinate the various programs in a manner that increases the number of women served, ensures adequate provider capacity statewide, and maximizes efficiencies to the state.
• Identify cost-effective alternatives to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act to better connect low income individuals to health care services through private market-based solutions, including Medicaid block grants and waivers. Recommendations should strive to encourage cost sharing, promote personal responsibility, reduce uncompensated care costs, contain increasing health care costs, improve access to care, address access to emergency department care issues in rural areas, promote the use of existing private coverage or employee sponsored coverage, reduce non-­?emergency use of emergency departments, and reduce the need for federal approval to the state Medicaid plan.
• Evaluate the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program structure. Make recommendations to improve the program's operations and ensure the program achieves outcomes that allow TANF recipients to find employment and achieve self-sufficiency. Recommendations should seek to ensure Texas is using the most effective work-related requirements and drug testing protocols.
• Evaluate the current state of prescription drug abuse and strategies for reducing prescription drug abuse in Texas. Make recommendations on how these policies can be improved or modified to enhance the State of Texas’ handling of services, treatments and education related to prescription drug abuse and to reduce the overall prevalence of prescription drug abuse.
• Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation, including but not limited to:
  • Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of Medicaid long-term care services and supports, including the redesign of services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at reducing fraud, waste, and abuse in Texas Medicaid and other health and human services programs.
  • Dental Board Reforms: Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at improving the State Board of Dental Examiners' ability to protect public safety, including strengthening the Board's authority and enforcement powers, improving the complaint review and resolution processes, and increasing staffing to improve the Board's ability to respond to complaints and potential fraudulent activity. Determine whether there are additional changes necessary to ensure that the Board is able to regulate the practice of dentistry and ensure public safety.
  • Cancer Prevention and Research Institute: Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at restructuring the governance structure, eliminating conflicts of interest, and increasing transparency at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

Note:
Senator Charles Schwertner appointed Chair, 7/23/2014 (Appointment letter, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, 7/23/2014).

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