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Tuesday, October 7, 1997     (512) 463-0300
Photo: Senator Judith Zaffirini outlines the charges for committee members
Senator Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, chair of the Senate Interim Committee on Health and Human Services, outlines the charges for committee members.

The Texas State Senate News

AUSTIN - The Senate Interim Committee on Health and Human Services met in an organizational meeting Tuesday, October 7, at the Texas Capitol. Senator Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, chair of the committee, led the committee's actions including invited testimony regarding charges laid out by the Lieutenant Governor. Serving on the committee are Senators John Carona of Dallas, Chris Harris of Arlington, Jon Lindsay of Houston, and Frank Madla of San Antonio.

The committee members were brought up to date on Medicaid and welfare fraud issues, federal welfare reform, minors' access to tobacco implementations, and federal tobacco settlement discussions. The members were briefed on current demographic trends of Texas that will impact the health and human services delivery system in the future. The committee also discussed issues relating to the improved patient billing system by Texas hospitals and health care providers to ensure accuracy, clarity and timeliness.

Briefing the committee were representatives from the following agencies:

- Texas Department of Human Services
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission
- Office of the Comptroller
- Office of the Attorney General
- Texas Workforce Commission
- United States Department of Health and Human Services
- Texas Office of State and Federal Relations
- Texas Department of Health
- Texas A&M University, State Data Center
- Texas Department of Insurance
- Texas Board of Medical Examiners

Also meeting on Tuesday was the Long-Term Care Legislative Oversight Committee comprised of senators, representatives, and public members. Representing the Senate are Senator Judith Zaffirini of Laredo who serves as the committee's chair and Senator Jane Nelson of Flower Mound.

Created to ensure the implementation of Senate Bill 190, the committee is responsible for looking into significant problems in the nursing home system, its effective and efficient management, and to ensure its continued long-term care service available to Texans. The organizational meeting and briefing brought the members up to date on these issues through invited testimony from representatives of the Texas Department of Human Services, the American Association of Retired Persons, the Texas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, the Texas Association of Nursing Home Residents, and the Texas Health Care Association.

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