Texas’ top health official told lawmakers Wednesday that they should combine the state’s five health departments into one “mega-agency.”
A single, consolidated health commission would better serve the state’s most vulnerable populations, Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek told the Sunset Advisory Commission, which evaluates the efficiency of state agencies.
The state’s fragmented health system has “gotten sloppy,” forcing the agencies “to do some things that to the public look rather strange,” Janek said.
The massive Health and Human Services Commission administers Medicaid, a joint state-federal health care program for the poor. It also oversees four smaller agencies that assist groups like foster children and the elderly. Sometimes, Janek said, the various agencies have had to draw up special contracts just to work with one another on issues related to Medicaid.