In September 2016, Texas began transforming how it delivers health and human services to qualified Texans. The new accountable, restructured system will:
- Make is easier for people to find out about the services or benefits for which they may qualify.
- Better integrate programs by removing bureaucratic silos and grouping similar programs and services together.
- Create clear lines of accountability within the organization.
- Develop well defined and objective performance metrics for all organizational areas.
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 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 appropriately defined and managed.
- Financial, managerial and operational information is accurate, reliable, adequately protected and available when needed.
- Information and decision-making are effectively coordinated and communicated.
- Resources are acquired economically, used efficiently, and protected adequately.
- Legislative and regulatory issues are recognized and addressed appropriately.
- Employee’s 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 more of every tax dollar appropriated for the delivery of health and human services in Texas actually is spent on those services.
OIG 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 DADS programs and services transferred to HHS in September 2016; the remainder will do so in September 2017. The agency's remaining areas of responsibility are:
- Trust Fund Monitoring
- Educational Services for Regulatory
- State Long-term Care Ombudsman
- Regulatory Services
- State Supported Living Centers
- Office of the Independent Ombudsman for SSLCs
- Consumer Rights and Services Complaint Intake
DFPS employees do their best to ensure children and older adults live free of abuse, neglect and exploitation. They do this by focusing on these areas:
- Investigating abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults and people with disabilities.
- Investigating abuse and neglect of children.
- Placing children in foster care and helping foster children transition to adulthood.
- Seeing that eligible children are adopted.
- Licensing child care operations and investigating complaints.
- Promoting programs that prevent abuse, neglect and juvenile delinquency.
- Receiving statewide reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Many of the direct client services that were performed by DSHS, such as services for women and people with special health care needs, were transferred to HHS 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, 2016. DARS services were transferred either to Texas Health and Human Services or the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
The following programs transferred to HHS: Autism, Blind Children, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Independent Living Services, Disability Determination, and Early Childhood Intervention. Vocational rehabilitation and related programs transferred to TWC.