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January 27, 1998     (512) 463-0300

Senate Interim Committee on Home Health and Assisted Living Facilities Meets in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH - The Senate Interim Committee on Home Health and Assisted Living held a public hearing Tuesday, January 27, at the Fort Worth Botanical Garden Lecture Hall. The hearing required two overflow rooms to enable the public to observe proceedings via audio and video feeds. Members of the committee include Senators Mike Moncrief of Fort Worth serving as Chair, Drew Nixon of Carthage, Gonzalo Barrientos of Austin, Jane Nelson of Flower Mound, and Mario Gallegos of Houston. Fort Worth State Representative Bill Carter joined the panel for the hearing.

The committee is charged with evaluating the state's framework for personal care and assisted living facilities including licensing, rates, and methodology for home health care and rehabilitation service industries and to ensure quality care and protection. In addition, the committee wants to streamline the way people get information about home health agencies.

"It's a quagmire now", said Moncrief. "There's mass confusion with all the 1-800 numbers, with all the various agencies involved in licensing and permitting, and the families remain befuddled and confused." The committee will recommend any necessary legislation to the 76th Legislature which convenes in January 1999.

The hearing included three panels of local area providers. The first group presented the Tarrant County perspective, the second group discussed the survey and complaint process of personal care facilities, and the third panel addressed the survey and complaint process of home and community support service agencies. The hearing concluded with public testimony from over 60 individuals.

The next public hearing will be held February 17 in the Houston City Council Chambers.

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