The Texas Legislative Guide was designed and developed by Becca Aaronson, Emily Albracht, Daniel Craigmile, Annie Daniel, Ben Hasson and Ryan Murphy for The Texas Tribune. The Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern.
The Sunset Advisory Commission recommended that lawmakers in 2015 consolidate the state’s five health departments into one “mega-agency,” a move the commission said would make Texas’ health bureaucracy less fragmented and more efficient. Kyle Janek, executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), endorsed the recommendation.
But after a contracting scandal rocked HHSC early in the session, lawmakers slowed their roll. Instead, they decided to only partially consolidate the state’s health and human services system.
Senate Bill 200 by state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, combines three of the state’s five health and human services agencies — the Health and Human Services Commission, the Department of Aging and Disability Services, and the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. A recommendation to also consolidate the two other agencies — the Department of State Health Services and the Department of Family and Protective Services — would be left to lawmakers to consider next session.
Updated: May 28, 2015
- Consolidating Texas’ health agencies
- Addressing a physician shortage
- Medicaid expansion or its alternatives
- Reforming end-of-life care
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