On September 1, the first phase of the consolidation of the Texas Health and Human Services system became operational.
SB 200, the Health and Human Services Commission sunset bill passed last legislative session called for transferring the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), client services at the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and the Department of State Health Services (DSHS); and certain administrative services to HHSC on September 1, 2016.
The task is, of course, enormous and for those interested we wanted to provide some resources related to the transformation.
- Here is a message from now-HHS Executive Commissioner Charles Smith to staff about changes that took place on September 1.
2. Here are some explanations regarding the transformation from the new HHS website here.
What is Transformation?
In 2015 Sunset legislation, Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) began a transformation effort to produce a more efficient, effective, and responsive system. In September of 2016 the first phase of that effort became operational.
The restructured HHS system:
- Is easier to navigate for people seeking information, benefits or services;
- Aligns with HHS’ mission, business and statutory responsibilities;
- Breaks down operational silos to create greater program integration;
- Creates clear lines of accountability within the organization; and
- Develops clearly defined and objective performance metrics for all organizational areas.
These changes affected the following agencies:
- Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS)
- Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
- Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
- Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
- Transition Legislative Oversight Committee Presentation, May 18, 2016 (PDF)
- Transition Legislative Oversight Committee Presentation, March 31, 2016 (PDF)
- Transition Legislative Oversight Committee Presentation, January 25, 2016 (PPT)
- Public Hearing Presentation, December 2, 2015 (PPT)
HHS Advisory Committees
As part of the process called for in S.B. 200, approved by the 84th Texas Legislature, Texas Health and Human Services agencies produced a list of advisory committees to be reestablished in rule, committees that will not be continued, or those whose functions will be assumed by a new advisory committee. You can find an explanation of the review process, at the Texas Register(link is external) website.
A more consistent advisory committee oversight process is being established within the HHS system. The intent is to make sure that each advisory committee is consistently meeting its prescribed purpose, that recommendations and relevant stakeholder feedback are being received from each committee, and that the membership of each committee is reviewed and updated every two years. Further, this oversight process will help identify any new or emerging issues that call for collection of stakeholder input through an advisory committee structure. Learn more about the HHS advisory committees.
- Final Transition Plan (PDF)
- Final Transition Plan – Accessible Version (PDF)
- Final Transition Plan – Spanish (PDF)
The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, composed of legislators and public members, periodically evaluates state agencies to determine if the agency is still needed and to explore ways to ensure that the agency’s funds are well spent. Based on the recommendations of the Sunset Commission, the Texas Legislature decides whether an agency continues to operate into the future.
During 2014-2015, Texas health and human services agencies went through the Sunset review process. Below are links to some key documents and reports produced during that process:
- HHSC and the health and human services system
- Department of Aging and Disability Services
- Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
- Department of Family and Protective Services
- Department of State Health Services
- HHSC Formal Response to Sunset Staff Report on the Health and Human Service Commission and System Issues (PDF)(link is external)
- Sunset legislation summaries(link is external)
- Sunset materials regarding NorthSTAR(link is external)