Honorable Jane Nelson, Chair, Senate Committee on Health & Human Services
John S. O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
SB1503 by Zaffirini (Relating to behavioral health services for children and establishment of the Children's Behavioral Health Council. ), Committee Report 1st House, Substituted
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This bill would implement recommendations 1 through 4 of the LBB Government Effectiveness and Efficiency Report entitled "Create a Coordinated State Infrastructure to Support Children's Behavioral Health Services."
The bill would amend the Government Code related to behavioral health services for children. The bill provides that a Children's Behavioral Health Council (council), administratively attached to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), is established to provide a coordinated, comprehensive, interagency approach to the development and delivery of behavioral health services to children. The council is composed of one representative from nine identified state agencies appointed by the respective agency’s chief administrative officer and an equal number of public representatives appointed by the governor. The council is required to engage in specific activities related to children’s behavioral health services.
The bill requires the council to design an integrated cross-agency funding structure for the provision of behavioral health services to children, authorizes the council to hire a consultant with nationally recognized system of care expertise to assist with designing the funding structure, and requires the council to submit a report on the designed funding structure to the governor and the Legislative Budget Board no later than December 1, 2008.
The bill requires HHSC, if feasible and cost-effective, to maximize funding for home and community-based services for children with severe emotional disturbances by providing those services, to the greatest extent possible, through a Section 1915(c) waiver program or by amending the state Medicaid plan. HHSC is required to develop a transition plan to assist a child receiving those services.
The bill amends current statute to align with the new requirements. The bill repeals Section 531.421(3), Government Code, relating to the definition of “consortium,” Section 531.422, Government Code, relating to evaluations by community resource coordination groups, Section 531.423, Government Code, relating to a summary report by Texas Integrated Funding Initiative Consortium, and Section 531.424, Government Code, relating to agency implementation of recommendations. The council is required to develop criteria for and implement the expansion of the Texas Integrated Funding Initiative pilot project and develop local mental health care systems rather than the consortium. HHSC and the council, rather than HHSC and the consortium, are required to engage in activities related to the Texas Integrated Funding Initiative pilot project. The bill authorizes HHSC and the council to review and approve proposals for expansion communities, rather than requiring HHSC and the consortium to review proposals and approve participation of not more than six communities to participate in the Texas Integrated Funding Initiative pilot project.
This bill would take effect September 1, 2007.
Creating a coordinated state infrastructure to support local systems of care for children's behavioral health services has the potential to increase the efficient use of existing funds, reduce fragmentation, improve access to and availability of cost-effective community-based services, and reduce long-term spending on institutional care.
It is assumed there would be costs associated with establishment and operation of a Children's Behavioral Health Council. Costs include $150,000 for salary and benefits for 3.0 FTEs and $50,000 to support the statutorily-required activities of the Council in fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
529 Health and Human Services Commission, 537 State Health Services, Department of
JOB, CL, JI, DM