Austin, Texas
May 16, 2011

Honorable Jane Nelson, Chair, Senate Committee on Health & Human Services
John S O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB2610 by Guillen (Relating to facilitating access to certain public assistance benefits programs and health care providers and services through a community-based navigator program and through promotoras and community health workers.), As Engrossed

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

The bill would require the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), if it determines that such a program can be established and operated using existing resources and without disrupting other commission functions, to establish a statewide community-based navigator program to recruit, train, and certify volunteers as navigators to assist individuals applying or seeking to apply online for public assistance benefits through the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS).

The bill would require the executive commissioner to adopt standards to implement the navigator program. The bill would also require HHSC to develop and administer a training program for the volunteer navigators. The bill would require HHSC to maintain and publish on its Internet website a list of certified navigators.

The bill would amend Chapter 48 of the Health and Safety Code to direct the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to establish a statewide Promotora and Community Health Worker Training and Certification Advisory Committee. The bill would also direct DSHS to study the desirability and feasibility of employing promotoras and community health workers, explore funding and reimbursement methods, and develop recommendations regarding maximizing employment of promotoras and expanding funding and reimbursement for promotoras. The bill would require DSHS to submit the report to the legislature on or before December 1, 2012.

The bill would take effect September 1, 2011.

According to the agency, HHSC is currently offering training to community-based organizations and working toward implementing web-based training for these purposes. This analysis assumes no additional costs for the agency related to the navigator program development or training. HHSC and DSHS indicate establishing the promotora program advisory committee and conducting a study regarding promotoras and community health workers could be accomplished utilizing existing resources.

Local Government Impact

No significant fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.

Source Agencies:
529 Health and Human Services Commission
LBB Staff: