H.B. 1898

By: Jetton

Youth Health & Safety, Select

Committee Report (Unamended)






Texas children and youth face mental health struggles due in part to gaps in the continuum of children's mental health care. While the legislature has made strong investments in prevention and early intervention, a larger focus on the full continuum of care, including inpatient mental health services, is needed to address these serious and all too often deadly issues. Additionally, children's hospitals are experiencing a staggering increase in the number of children with mental health issues, and a delay in care can have dire consequences. When long delays occur in accessing care, children and adolescents come to children's hospitals' emergency departments in crisis. H.B. 1898 seeks to address these issues by establishing a grant program to fund mental and behavioral health services provided by certain children's hospitals.




It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly create a criminal offense, increase the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses, or change the eligibility of a person for community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.




It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.




H.B. 1898 amends the Government Code to require the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to establish a grant program under which it provides grants to children's hospitals designated by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as exempt from payment under the inpatient prospective payment system under Medicare for the purpose of supporting and expanding the provision of mental and behavioral health services to children in Texas. This requirement applies only to the extent funds are appropriated to HHSC for that purpose. The bill does the following with respect to the grant program:

         authorizes an awarded grant to be for planning, development, capital improvement, or transitional operating support;

         authorizes a children's hospital to apply for a grant in the form and manner prescribed by HHSC;

         restricts the use of a grant to increasing the recipient's capacity to provide mental and behavioral health care services to children in Texas;

         requires HHSC to monitor and evaluate the use of money awarded under the program to ensure compliance with the bill's provisions; and

         requires HHSC, not later than December 1 of each even-numbered year, to submit a biennial report to the legislature on the performance of the grant program during the preceding two state fiscal years that includes the name of each grant recipient awarded a grant and the amount of the recipient's award during those fiscal years.




September 1, 2023.