Testimony: Sustaining Progress Made in Eligibility System Will Require Additional Resources for Caseload Growth, Implementation of Health Care Reform

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Celia Cole /(512) 320-0222 x110

September 22, 2010

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We commend Executive Commissioner Suehs and the Health and Human Services Commission for the significant progress HHSC has made in improving the performance of the eligibility and enrollment system over the last year. This progress is the result of the infusion of 850 additional workers and a set of policy and procedural changes designed to improve worker productivity. However, sustaining these improvements will be impossible unless the Legislature gives HHSC the staffing and other resources its needs to handle growing caseloads and the implementation of national health care reform in 2014. HHSC’s LAR exceptional items related to staff retention and hiring (#6 and #7) outline these essential needs. Without these resources, the performance of the eligibility system will deteriorate, and Texas will lose out on billions of federal funds that are critical to the health and well-being of our state’s residents and economy.