News Release

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Dr. Courtney N. Phillips
HHS Executive Commissioner
Date:October 16, 2019
Contact:
Christine Mann, 512-424-6951

HHS Unveils Blueprint for a Healthy Texas

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services today unveiled its inaugural business plan, Blueprint for a Healthy Texas, which spells out specific, measurable initiatives to improve the lives of the millions of Texans who rely on HHS services.

"This plan reflects our deep commitment to greater transparency, efficiency and accountability to the people we serve and other vital stakeholders," said Texas HHS Executive Commissioner Dr. Courtney N. Phillips. "Whether it is increasing the number of women accessing prenatal care, making child care safer or reducing call wait times to access services, this plan details our efforts to continually improve, as well as the concrete measures we will use to hold ourselves accountable along the way."

As a guide for long-term improvement, the 12 initiatives and 72 goals outlined in the plan focus on how the system's two agencies—the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of State Health Services—will improve operations, customer service and workplace culture.

Among the initiatives, HHS is working to improve health outcomes for women, mothers and children by enhancing access to long-acting reversible contraception, increasing prenatal and well-child visits, and addressing disparities in breastfeeding and breast cancer.

"Every woman needs access to preventive care and family planning services, including contraception, which is why improving access to long-acting reversible contraception is such an important goal," said Evelyn Delgado, president and executive director of Healthy Futures of Texas. "HHS' specific goals toward improving health care for Texas women and children is a positive step, and we look forward to working together to achieve results."

FY 2020 initiatives also address: behavioral health; regulatory health and safety; Medicaid managed care; services and supports; advocacy for people in long-term care; supplemental and directed payment programs; HHS workplace culture and recruitment, procurement and contracting; quality control; and technology and innovation.

HHS is committed to connecting people to the services and supports they need. One of the goals in this initiative is to develop and implement a pilot program, Texas Works Path to Success, to reduce the impact of situational and generational poverty and address barriers that prevent Texans from being self-sufficient.

In partnership with Goodwill Industries of Houston and the United States Department of Agriculture, the pilot will help high school seniors and able-bodied adults in an impoverished area of Harris County increase economic self-reliance.

"Goodwill Houston is excited to work with HHS to design and launch the innovative Texas Works Path to Success Program to create career pathway opportunities that truly break the cycle of generational poverty," said Alma Duldulao-Ybarra, vice president of Workforce Development at Goodwill Houston.

Another initiative focuses on improving accountability and sustainability of supplemental and directed payment programs to achieve positive outcomes. Each fiscal year, HHS oversees billions of Medicaid dollars distributed to providers through these programs. As the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment funding is phased out in late 2021, our goal is to continue to work with partners to develop new programs, policies and strategies to build on DSRIP successes and improve the delivery of health care services.

"This plan helps pave the way for greater transparency and measurable improvements across Texas HHS," said Ted Shaw, president and CEO of the Texas Hospital Association. "Prioritizing supplemental payment programs that help hospitals provide essential services for people in Texas is critically important. We look forward to collaborating to sustain and improve these programs."

Blueprint for a Healthy Texas is more than a framework that prioritizes and guides HHS work throughout the next fiscal year. Rather, it sets forth strategies for how agency divisions will accomplish each initiative's respective goals. Next year's plan will report how HHS measured on all FY 2020 initiatives and will include goals for FY 2021 and beyond.

To read the plan visit hhs.texas.gov/business-plan.

About Texas HHS
Texas Health and Human Services, which includes the Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of State Health Services, employs more than 41,000 team members, operates a $78.5 billion biennial budget and manages more than 220 programs ranging from health care, food benefits, cash assistance, state inpatient psychiatric hospitals, regulation of child care, nursing and health care facilities, public health tracking and data collection, vital records, food safety and newborn screening.