Texas Health and Human Services as a government body develops “rules” to implement laws passed by state and federal legislators. Their website states that “to be good stewards of the public trust, HHS takes into account stakeholder input when rules are being written or updated to ensure interested parties have a chance to contribute to the process.”
Unfortunately, stakeholders such as individual providers rarely become aware of proposed rules or changes to rules that might affect them. So we are taking this opportunity to make providers aware that they can be notified of such matters directly by HHS and that they can participate and comment directly on such things.
While deciphering what the actual text of the rule or rule change might mean may take the skill of a paralegal, at least one won’t be caught out in the dark that something is going on that might affect them.
Signup for email notifications about rules here.
From the HHS webpage which contains current list of draft and proposed rules:
How Can I Participate in the Process?
Engaging the public and stakeholders is an important element of the HHS rulemaking process. HHS provides informal and formal opportunities for the public and stakeholders to participate in the process.
Interested parties can participate by:
- offering informal comments.
- commenting on proposed rules published in the Texas Register.
- providing input to an advisory committee.
- attending an HHSC Executive Council meeting.
Informal opportunities to comment occur before a rule is published in the Texas Register. HHS staff may solicit informal public and stakeholder input by:
- inviting stakeholders to submit comments on potential rule changes during rule development.
- sharing a draft rule with stakeholders for review.
- using existing HHS advisory committees to comment on rules.
Some rules may require approval of an advisory committee before being proposed in the Texas Register. For more information about HHS advisory committees, please visit the advisory committee web page.
HHSC Executive Council
Formal Comments via the Texas Register
To let the public know about a rulemaking action – such as new, amended or repealed rules – HHS publishes a notice in the Texas Register, a publication of the Texas Secretary of State. Interested parties then can review and comment on the proposed rule. The Secretary of State publishes a new issue of the Texas Register each Friday.
The Administrative Procedure Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001) requires the notice published in the Texas Register to include a brief explanation of the proposed rule and a request for comments from any interested person. The notice also includes instructions for submitting comments regarding the rule to the agency, including the date by which comments must be submitted. Agencies must give interested persons “a reasonable opportunity” to submit comments. The public comment period begins on the day after the notice of a proposed rule is published in the Texas Register and lasts for a minimum of 30 calendar days.
How to Submit Comments
The Health and Human Services Rules Coordination Office coordinates the rulemaking process and assists health and human services staff involved in developing and publishing rules. For more information about how to submit comments or questions about HHS rulemaking, please email the Rules Coordination Office.
Tips for Submitting Public Comments
HHSC knows that our stakeholders spend a lot of time and energy thoughtfully considering proposed rules and policies, so we want to make sure that we are able to fully understand and consider each comment submitted. With that in mind, here are some tips for submitting comments.
What Happens Once A Rule Is Adopted?
After a rule is adopted by the Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission, the adopted rule is published in the Texas Register. Once effective, rules are codified into the Texas Administrative Code, which is maintained by the Secretary of State.
To be notified when rules are adopted in the Texas Register, visit the Secretary of State site to register for email notification at http://sos.state.tx.us/texreg/subinfo.shtml.
Current List of Draft Rules
|Rule Title, Contact Person, and Rule Project Number||Draft Rule – Comment period Start Date||Draft Rule – Comment period ends End Date|
|Early Childhood Intervention
Contact: Lacey Hamilton
Project # 18R018
Current List of Proposed Rules