Selected House Interim Charges
This list includes those with potential relevance to the HSC:
Rep.Talmadge Heflin, Houston, Chair
- Analyze the structure of the General Appropriations Act; including the “building blocks” concept, methods to provide greater transparency within agency bill patterns, standards for capital budgets and the number and effectiveness of performance measures. (Joint study with Senate Finance.)
- Actively monitor the performance of state agencies and institutions, including operating budgets and plans to carry out legislative initiatives, caseload projections, performance measure attainment and other matters affecting the fiscal condition of the agencies and the state.
- Examine the number of general revenue dedicated accounts and accounts held outside the state treasury. This evaluation should consider account balances, revenue sources and historical uses of funds.
- Evaluate the use of contracts by state agencies and institutions for professional services, consulting, construction, major information systems, etc.
- Review the history of the state’s use of bonds and other instruments of debt financing. Examine the Bond Review Board’s debt service guidelines.
- Evaluate all current funding streams for graduate medical education for financial viability and educational effectiveness in light of changes in Medicaid, managed care and other cost factors, including the impact of uncompensated care. This evaluation shall include a review of the role of the state’s teaching hospitals in the provision of indigent health care and the role of graduate medical education in addressing health care needs of under-served regions of the state.
Border and International Affairs
Rep. Norma Chavez, El Paso, Chair
- Identify specific areas of government effort that are lacking in coordination and develop strategies to improve communications between agencies of state government, the state and the federal government and between the Texas and Mexico governments.
- Assess the feasibility of collaborative scientific and technological research projects between Texas and Mexico universities.
- Identify areas of health care need that specifically affect the border region or that disproportionately affect the border region, and develop strategies to improve conditions and reduce demand on the health care system.
- Assess job training and retraining efforts in border areas and identify needs and solutions specific to this region of the state.
Business and Industry
Rep. Helen Giddings, De Soto, Chair
- Study ways to reduce specific cost drivers under the workers’ compensation system related to provider, surgical and physical therapy services or care and the reduction of return-to-work time periods.
- Study the cost effectiveness of the state workers’ compensation system including:
- a) Economic benefits, if any, in inclusion of the UT System, A&M University System, Texas Department of Transportation and Employees Retirement System under the State Office of Risk Management programs;
- b) Costs or savings to the state by allowing state agencies, to self-insure; and
- c) The creation of workers’ compensation provider networks for state employees.
- Study the potential impact on the cost and quality of medical care through employer and/or insurance carrier selection of initial treating doctor and change of doctor in the workers’ compensation system.
Defense Affairs and State-Federal Relations
Rep. Frank Corte, San Antonio, Chair
- Examine ways that Texas and other states assist local communities that are affected by military base closures. Include opportunities for Texas to benefit from Base Realignment and Closure Commission actions.
- Monitor the development of Homeland Security Strategy as set forth in HB 9, 78th Legislature, under the Office of the Governor and identify ways to bring homeland security missions to Texas.
Rep. Jim Keffer, Eastland, Chair
- Evaluate the state’s role in serving economic development interests in rural Texas after the passage of SB 275, 78thLegislature, and other economic development legislation from the 78th Legislature.
Healthcare ExpendituresRep. Dianne White Delisi, Temple, Chair
- Monitor the implementation of the Driver Responsibility Act in respect to the collection of associated surcharges for trauma care. Specifically evaluate the funding and distribution of funds to trauma care facilities.
- Study the effects of “crowd out” in the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid Program to determine accurate data and to ascertain if additional policy changes are needed to prevent “crowd out” of private insurance and escalating public insurance costs.
- Evaluate the funding source of the Medicaid Disproportionate share Hospital (DSH) Program and the criteria that a hospital must meet to participate in the DSH program in comparison to the balance and fairness of other state and federal funding streams.
- Continue to identify and seek new models for the provision of health care benefits within the Employee Retirement System and the Teacher Retirement System.
Rep. Geanie Morrison, Victoria, Chair
- Review the efficiency of Texas’ financial assistance programs and the methods used to disseminate financial assistant information.
- Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of legislation passed in the 78th Legislature.
Rep. John Smithee, Amarillo, Chair
- Monitor the implementation and effect of SB 418, 78th Legislature, regarding prompt pay.
- Monitor the implementation and effect of SB 10 and SB 541, 78th Legislature, in relationship to the costs and availability of health insurance coverage.
Pensions and Investments
Rep. Allen Ritter, Niederland, Chair
- Study the risks, benefits and impact associated with the “retire in place” practice as it relates to the Employees Retirement System, Teacher Retirement System, County and District Retirement System and Municipal Retirement System.
Rep. Jaime Capelo, Corpus Christi, Chair
- Study the need to regulate products containing dietary supplement ephedra. Include a review of other state actions.
- Examine the demographics and costs of diabetes in Texas. Assess the impact diabetes will have on Texas’ population, budget and health care system in the future and recommend appropriate policy changes.
- Investigate the practice of allowing corneal tissue to be taken and used for transplantation without prior consent. Recommend appropriate state policy changes.
- Collect, review and report on the statistics and statewide impact of drug and alcohol abuse by pregnant women on the unborn.
- Review the current operations of the Texas Immunization and Kidney Health Care programs. The review should determine if the operational and administrative changes made to the Medicaid Vendor Drug Program will continue to meet the needs of Texans who do not qualify for Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, or private insurance and recommend any necessary changes.