In September 2016, Texas began transforming how it delivers health and human services to qualified Texans, with a goal of making the Health and Human Services System more efficient and effective. Sept. 1, 2017, marked another major milestone in this transformation.
The new accountable, restructured system:
- Makes it easier for people to find out about the services or benefits for which they may qualify.
- Better integrates programs by removing bureaucratic silos and grouping similar programs and services together.
- Creates clear lines of accountability within the organization.
- Includes well-defined and objective performance metrics for all organizational areas.
Texas Health and Human Services now consists of 2 agencies: the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Experienced HHSC employees deliver benefits and services, including:
- Medicaid for families and children
- Long-term care for people who are older or who have disabilities
- SNAP food benefits and TANF cash assistance for families
- Behavioral health services
- Services to help keep people who are older or who have disabilities in their homes and communities
- Services for women and other people with special health needs
The agency also oversees regulatory functions including:
- Licensing and credentialing long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living
- Licensing child care providers
- Managing the day-to-day operations of state supported living centers and state hospitals
The Internal Audit Division provides independent, objective assurance and consulting services that add value and improve operations. Internal Audit employees are dedicated to serving the people of Texas by ensuring HHS agencies’:
- Goals, objectives and strategies are met.
- Risks are defined and managed.
- Financial, managerial and operational information is accurate, reliable, protected and available when needed.
- Information and decision-making are effectively coordinated and communicated.
- Resources are acquired economically, used efficiently, and protected.
- Legislative and regulatory issues are recognized and addressed.
- Employees’ actions are in compliance with policies, standards, procedures, and applicable laws and regulations.
- Quality and continuous improvement, accountability, and transparency are fostered in management’s control process.
The Office of Inspector General ensures that tax dollars appropriated for the delivery of health and human services in Texas are spent on those services.
Employees use their experience to detect, prevent and deter fraud, waste and abuse by investigating, auditing and inspecting how federal and state taxpayer dollars are spent. This scrutiny applies not only to companies the state pays to provide services, but also to state employees.
Many of the direct client services that were performed by DSHS, such as services for women and children, and people with special health care needs, were transferred to HHSC in September 2016. DSHS now focuses on providing these functions:
- Vital statistics, such as birth and death records
- Compiling and disseminating health data on more than 25 topics
- Chronic and infectious disease prevention and laboratory testing
- Licensing and regulating facilities on topics from asbestos to mobile food establishments to youth camps
The 84th Texas Legislature, 2015, abolished this agency effective Sept. 1, 2017. DADS services were transferred to HHSC.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
House Bill 5, 85th Regular Legislative Session, 2017, established DFPS as an agency independent of Texas Health and Human Services effective Sept. 1, 2017. To comply with previous legislation, on Sept. 1, 2017, HHSC assumed responsibility for the child care licensing function previously managed by DFPS.