Texas Health and Human Services has a Web site to help Texans locate information about health and human services now that several Texas governmental departments have been absorbed or merged. Details from the HHS Web site:
The mission of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is to provide the leadership and direction and foster the spirit of innovation needed to achieve an efficient and effective health and human services system for Texans.
Currently, the state’s health and human services agencies spend nearly $20 billion per year to administer more than 200 programs, employ 46,000 state workers, and operate from more than 1,000 locations across the state.
In 2003, the Texas Legislature mandated an unprecedented transformation of the state’s health and human services system to create an integrated, effective and accessible health and human services enterprise that protects public health and brings high-quality services and support to Texans in need. The transformation will blend 12 agencies into five to create a system that is client-centered, efficient in its use of public resources and focused on results and accountability.
“I’m convinced that we can do a better job for less money, and I believe our efforts are already improving services, streamlining administrative operations and increasing accountability,” Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins said. “We are looking beyond agency lines to develop a service-delivery system focused on clients and more responsive to local needs.”
The new state system includes four new departments, which will operate under the oversight of the Health and Human Services Commission. This consolidated organizational structure is expected to enhance delivery of services, improve efficiency, and generate cost savings for Texas.
The four new departments are:
- The Department of Family and Protective Services includes the programs previously administered by the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. DFPS began services Feb. 1, 2004.
- The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services combines the programs of the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, Commission for the Blind, Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Interagency Council on Early Childhood Intervention. DARS began services March 1, 2004.
- The Department of Aging and Disability Services consolidates mental retardation and state school programs of the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, community care and nursing home services programs of the Department of Human Services, and aging services programs of the Texas Department of Aging. DADS is scheduled to begin services Sept. 1, 2004.
- The Department of State Health Services includes the programs provided by the Texas Department of Health, the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and the Health Care Information Council, plus mental-health community services and state hospital programs operated by the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. DSHS is scheduled to begin services Sept. 1, 2004.
In addition, the Health and Human Services Commission will expand its role to coordinate administrative functions across the system, provide eligibility determination for health and human services programs, and administer Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.