Many reports are being prepared that contain recommendations to the Texas Legislature for new state policy and other changes. Information follows on three reports related to people with disabilities.
Texas Children’s Policy Council’s Recommendations for Improving Services for Texas Children with Disabilities
The Texas HHS Children’s Policy Council assists the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in “developing, implementing and monitoring long‐term supports and services programs for children with disabilities and their families.”
The council’s recommendations to the Legislature include
- restoring Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) funding;
- improving access to mental health services to keep families together;
- creating urgent family crisis support;
- instituting behavior intervention teams;
- creating a single entry-point website for services across state agencies;
- supporting statewide adoption of positive behavioral interventions and supports;
- training family partners to help families learn about obtaining supports and advocacy; and
- ensuring staff at Aging and Disability Resource Centers are trained in childhood disabilities.
Download the 2012 Children’s Policy Council Biennial Recommendations Report (PDF) from the Texas HHS Children’s Policy Council webpage.
Consumer Direction Workgroup Biennial Report to the Texas Legislature
The Texas Council on Consumer Direction advises the Health and Human Services Commission regarding the delivery of services through consumer direction in all programs offering long‐term services and supports. This report updates legislators on the activities of the workgroup and makes recommendations to improve and expand consumer direction in long‐term services and supports. Consumer‐directed services offer individuals more freedom, choice and control in determining who provides their services and supports and when services will be delivered. As of May 2012, 11,330 Texans chose consumer‐directed services through Medicaid managed care or home and community-based programs.
Key recommendations include
- postponing further implementation of Electronic Visit Verification in Medicaid waiver and managed care programs until accessibility issues are resolved;
- making workers compensation affordable for individuals using consumer‐directed services;
- expanding consumer directed services to more programs and services including public mental health services and all the Medicaid waiver programs and STAR+PLUS, as well as case management and service coordination; and
- standardizing pay rates.
Download the September 2012 Consumer Direction Workgroup — Biennial Report to the Texas Legislature from the Texas HHS Texas Council on Consumer Direction webpage.
Promoting Independence Advisory Committee Stakeholder Report
This report contains 43 recommendations developed by the non-agency members of the Promoting Independence Advisory Committee, which is an interagency task force on ensuring appropriate care settings for persons with disabilities.
Recommendations related to home and community-based services include
- workforce and provider network stabilization, including an increase in legislative appropriations to raise the base wage for entry-level, direct-support workers;
- expansion of community-based services, options and eligibility;
- increasing affordable, accessible housing for individuals exiting institutions and for low-income people with disabilities in rural communities;
- mental and behavioral health, including more Medicaid options, continuing outpatient competency restoration pilots, establishing behavioral intervention crisis teams, and providing training for families of individuals with challenging behaviors at risk of out-of-home placement;
- children’s long-term services and supports, including requiring Aging and Disability Resource Centers to have expertise on services for children as well as adults, family-based alternatives in Medicaid waiver programs serving children, and changes regarding children in institutions licensed by the Department of Family and Protective Services;
- self-determination training for residents of intermediate care facilities, expanding the local authority Community Living Options Information Process activities to more types of facilities and closing at least two state supported living centers; and
- miscellaneous recommendations on electronic visit verification and AmeriCorps*VISTA placements for individual with disabilities.