The Weekly Insight: September 11-15

18th Sep 2017

Texas Insight’s Reports between September 11 and September 15

  • HHSC: Texas Council on Consumer Direction: The purpose of the Council is to advise HHSC on the development, implementation, expansion, and delivery of services through consumer direction, in all programs offering long-term services and supports that enhance a consumer’s ability to have freedom and exercise control and authority over the consumer’s choices, regardless of age or disability.
  • Title X (Public Health Service Act) Family Planning Program: The federal government provides grants for family planning services through the Family Planning Program, Title X of the Public Health Service Act. Enacted in 1970, it is the only domestic federal program devoted solely to family planning and related preventive health services.
  • Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant: Background and Funding: The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant is a federal-state partnership program that aims to improve the health of low-income pregnant women, mothers, and children. In addition, the program aims to connect low-income families with other services and programs, such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • Individual Assistance Factors for a Major Disaster Declaration: When the President declares a major disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, the President’s action contains a designation for the types of assistance being provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This can include Public Assistance (PA) for the repair of infrastructure; Individual Assistance (IA) for aid to individuals and households; and Mitigation Assistance (MA) for grants to lessen the effects of future disaster incidents.
  • Blog Post: A Tale of Two Storms: Transformation of the e-Health Ecosystem between Katrina and Harvey: The current use of e-health tools and services within the healthcare industry – including the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by physicians and hospitals, the development of electronic health information exchange (HIE) networks, and the maturation of the telemedicine market – clearly contributed positively to the quality of, and access to health care services for individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey.  While the adoption of some of these tools and services is being driven by a combination of strong market forces and public policy, electronic HIE networks have not consistently identified sustainable business models despite their benefits.  Electronic HIE networks should be considered a critical part of a state’s and region’s emergency preparedness and response infrastructure, and should receive corresponding public financial support.


Federal Healthcare Policy News:

  • Deal Struck to Extend Financing for Children’s Health Program: The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the top Democrat on the panel announced on Tuesday night that they had reached agreement on a plan to prevent the imminent exhaustion of federal funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • Congress Rejects Trump Proposals to Cut Health Research Funds: Back in March, when President Trump released the first draft of his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, he asked lawmakers for deep cuts to one of their favorite institutions, the National Institutes of Health — part of a broad reordering of priorities, away from science and social spending, toward defense and border security. Six months later, Congress has not only rejected the president’s N.I.H. proposal; lawmakers from both parties have joined forces to increase spending on biomedical research.
  • Medicare for All or State Control: Health Care Plans go to Extremes: In one Senate office building, some of the leading lights of the Democratic Party gathered Wednesday to embrace what was once a proposal only of the far left: a huge expansion of Medicare, large enough to open the popular, government-run health program to all Americans. In another Senate office building, a smaller but equally adamant group of Republican senators stood together to take one last stab at dismantling the Affordable Care Act. They proposed instead to send each state a lump sum of federal money, along with sweeping new discretion over how to use it. The proposals appeared to have only one thing in common: Neither is likely to be enacted any time soon.
  • Graham, Cassidy unveil last-ditch Obamacare Repeal Bill: Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller and Ron Johnson on Wednesday released an Obamacare repeal bill, framing it as the last, best hope to fulfill the GOP’s promise to undo the health law.