As in the original (2001) and the four revised Promoting Independence Plans (Plan), the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is committed to a continuing relationship with the Promoting Independence Advisory Committee (Committee) and all of its stakeholders who participate on many health and human services workgroups and advisory committees. HHSC Executive Commissioner Suehs will continue to determine the number of members of the Committee and appoint members who represent the health and human services agencies, individual and family advocacy groups, related workgroups, and service providers.
With the support of the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), the Committee will continue to monitor the progress in implementing the existing and previous Plans and make recommendations to HHSC in order to ensure community options for individuals with disabilities.
HHSC is committed to meeting the spirit and goals of the Promoting Independence Initiative (Initiative), the Plan, and the United States Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision. The state is in an ongoing process to offer community options in order that individuals may choose to live in the most integrated setting. The primary philosophy of the Initiative is that each individual exercise the principles of self-determination in choosing where they want to live to receive their long-term services and supports.
The state has made significant progress in offering Texans community-based alternatives to institutional placement with a significant increase in legislative appropriations during the past three legislative sessions. The challenge for the 82nd Legislative Session and those working in the area of long-term services and supports is how does the state meet its obligation under the Olmstead and yet, meet the realities of the current national fiscal situation.
Even with all the funding and policy commitments, there remains a large number of individuals who still do not have a community choice and remain on an interest list for Medicaid waiver services.  HHSC and all its operating agencies have included Exceptional Items with their Legislative Appropriations Requests for additional funding to meet the goals of the Initiative. In addition, HHSC has detailed the costs of increasing reimbursement to long-term services and supports’ providers and direct service workers in its Health and Human Services System Consolidated Budget Fiscal Years 2012-2013. HHSC is also recommending in this 2010 Revised Plan twenty-four new funding/policy directives (contingent upon legislative funding and/or policy direction) under the major categories of:
- Do Not Harm
- Realize Efficiencies in the Current System
- Recommendations to Increase Community Options
HHSC would like to thank the Governor’s Office and the Legislature for their ongoing commitment to the Initiative. Their foresight and willingness to support long-term services and supports systems change has made Texas’ response to the Olmstead decision one of the leaders in the nation. This commitment was acknowledged with the Council of State Governments’ 2006 Innovation Award for its Money Follows the Person (MFP) policy and inclusion of Texas’ MFP policy as the basis for the federal MFP program (Deficit Reduction Act of 2005; Section 6071).
HHSC would like to thank all members of the Committee and state agency staff, who have dedicated their time, resources, knowledge, abilities, and work in the development of this 2010 Revised Promoting Independence Plan and the Promoting Independence Initiative. HHSC would also like to thank those members of the public who responded to its invitation for comment at each Committee meeting.
The health and human services agencies will continue to further its work with individuals, advocates, providers, and agencies to improve the system of services and supports for individuals with disabilities. With everyone working towards the same goal, especially in this upcoming biennium, we will continue to make a difference, make the principles of self-determination a reality, and provide the choice to live in the most integrated setting.
- As of August 31, 2010, there are 108,433 individuals (unduplicated count) on the Interest List: Interest List data made by found on the DADS website at: http://www.dads.state.tx.us/services/interestlist/index.html.
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May 24, 2011