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 services or benefits for which they might qualify.
- Better integrates similar programs and services together, and removes bureaucratic silos.
- 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 two agencies: Texas Health and Human Services Commission and 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.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance.
- Behavioral health services.
- Services to help keep people who are older or who have disabilities in their homes and communities.
- Services for women and 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 adds value and improves operations. Internal Audit employees are dedicated to serving Texans 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 contracts, but also to state employees.
Many direct client services performed by DSHS, such as services for women, children and people with special health care needs transferred to HHSC in September 2016. The agency’s mission is to improve the health, safety and well-being of Texans through good stewardship of public resources and a focus on core public health functions.
DSHS is well-positioned to provide statewide leadership to promote safe and healthy communities and population-based strategies to address public health issues.
DSHS serves as the population and public health authority for Texas by:
- Providing vital statistics, such as birth and death records.
- Compiling and disseminating health data on numerous topics.
- Administering chronic and infectious disease prevention and laboratory testing efforts.
- Leading the public health response to disasters, disease threats and outbreaks.
- 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.
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.