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Senator Jane Nelson: District 12
Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2013
Contact: Megan Hanson
512-463-0112
MEDICAID QUALITY INITIATIVE ADVANCES

AUSTIN — The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services today unanimously approved SB 7 by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to redesign the Medicaid long-term care system for individuals with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as Texans 60 and over. The bill now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

"We cannot continue to fund the same inefficient, unsustainable Medicaid system and expect a different result, especially given the significant increases in our populations of seniors and individuals with developmental disabilities - who are living longer, healthier lives than ever before," said Senator Nelson. "SB 7 ensures that those currently being served continue to be served - but in a more efficient, coordinated manner. It also lays the groundwork to extend services to those currently waiting for them."

SB 7 redesigns the Medicaid long-term services and supports system by:

  • Providing basic attendant and habilitation services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities currently waiting for services;
  • Directing the Health and Human Services Commission to implement a new functional assessment tool that will more accurately assess service needs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  • Ensuring that all individuals with disabilities eligible for acute care services receive those services in a coordinated manner through a managed care plan;
  • Establishing a long-term plan for piloting and delivering services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through managed care;
  • Expanding STAR+PLUS to the Medicaid Rural Service Area;
  • Transitioning nursing facility services into STAR+PLUS;
  • Allowing for the development of additional housing supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  • Establishing behavioral intervention teams to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities avoid institutionalization; and
  • Expanding on quality-based payment initiatives, including for managed care organizations and providers of long-term services and supports.

By improving services for Texans with disabilities, the Legislative Budget Board assumes a reduction in acute care costs. That savings, along with a budget strategy being pursued by Senator Nelson to add $45 million to the base budget, will help bring services to an estimated 12,000 Texans currently waiting for them.

Yesterday, the committee also unanimously approved SB 126 to require the Department of State Health Services to create a public reporting system to allow the public to view and compare performance and outcome measures among community mental health and substance abuse providers. "We invest a significant amount of taxpayer dollars in our community mental health and substance abuse programs, and it is imperative that the public can see how these resources are used and what outcomes are resulting from our investment," said Senator Nelson.

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.

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