HBA-NLM H.B. 1400 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1400 By: Gray Human Services 3/14/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Texas Commission for the Blind (commission) was created in 1931 and provides services to persons with visual impairments to ensure active and independent participation in society. The Vocational Rehabilitation program, which accounts for 80 percent of the commission's expenditure, assists clients in seeking and maintaining employment. The Business Enterprises Program is a federally authorized program to provide management opportunities in the food services industry for visually impaired clients. The commission also provides services through the Independent Living Program, and the Children's Program. Counseling and guidance, independent living skills, vocational training, physical restoration and adaptive technology devices are among the services provided by the commission through various programs. The commission also operates the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center, a 24-hour residential program that provides a comprehensive array of services and training in vocational and independent living skills to visually impaired clients. The commission is subject to the Texas Sunset Act and will be abolished on September 1, 1999, unless continued in existence by the legislature. H.B. 1400 continues the existence of the commission by establishing a new expiration date of September 1, 2007 and makes statutory modifications recommended by the Sunset Advisory Commission. In addition, this bill increases monitoring and management of service delivery at the counselor and caseworker level and modifies contract performance measures and monitoring to ensure the quality of services for clients. This bill requires the commission to develop a rate-setting method for purchasing medical services that is open to the public, and that ensures the best value for quality and price. This bill creates provisions to provide for the maximization of Medicaid reimbursements. H.B. 1400 also requires the commission to include in its contracts with service providers provisions relating to clearly defined and measurable program performance standards that directly relate to the service provided, clearly defined penalties for nonperformance of a contract term, and clearly specified accounting, reporting, and auditing requirements applicable to money received under the contract. This bill also includes client training and equipment maintenance in contracts for adaptive technologies. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Commission for the Blind in SECTION 5 (Sections 91.022, 91.028, and 91.029, Human Resources Code) of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Sections 91.001 and 91.011, Human Resources Code, as follows: Sec. 91.001. SUNSET PROVISION. Changes the expiration date of this chapter from September 1, 1999, to September 1, 2007. Sec. 91.011. TEXAS COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND. (a) Updates references to the Texas Board of Human Services (board) to refer to the Texas Commission for the Blind (commission) and makes a nonsubstantive change. (b) Prohibits a person from being a member of the commission and a commission employee in a "bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity," as that phrase is used for purposes of establishing an exemption to the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments, if the person or the person's spouse is an officer, employee, or paid consultant, or the person's spouse is a manager of a Texas trade association in the field of service provision to persons with visual impairments or in a related field. Redefines "Texas trade association" and deletes existing definition. (c) Provides that a person is prohibited from being a member of the commission or acting as the general counsel to the commission, if a person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305 (Registration of Lobbyist), Government Code, because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the commission. Makes nonsubstantive changes. (d)-(h) Redesignated from existing Subsections (c)-(g). SECTION 2. Amends Section 91.015(c), Human Resources Code, to update references to the agency head to refer to the executive director, to the chairman to refer to the presiding officer, and to the chairman of the commission to refer to the presiding officer. Requires the executive director to notify the presiding officer of the commission of a potential ground for removal if the executive director has such knowledge. Requires the presiding officer to notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists. Requires the executive director, if the potential ground for removal involves the presiding officer, to notify the next highest ranking officer of the commission, who is then required to notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists. Makes a nonsubstantive change. SECTION 3. Amends Sections 91.016(c) and (d), Human Resources Code, as follows: (c) Requires the executive director or the executive director's designee, rather than the commission, to provide members and employees of the commission the necessary information set forth in this subsection. Makes a nonsubstantive change. (d) Requires the commission to develop and implement policies which clearly separate the policymaking responsibilities of the commission and the management responsibilities of the executive director and the staff of the commission. Deletes language referencing the agency and the governing body thereof. SECTION 4. Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 91, Human Resources Code, by amending Sections 91.017 and 91.018 and by adding Section 91.020, as follows: Sec. 91.017. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY POLICY STATEMENT. (a) Provides that a policy statement must include: (1) personnel policies, including policies relating to recruitment, evaluation, selection, training, and promotion of personnel, that show the intent of the commission to avoid the unlawful employment practices described by Chapter 21 (Employment Discrimination), Labor Code; and (2) an analysis of the extent to which the composition of the commission's personnel is in accordance with state and federal law and a description of reasonable methods to achieve compliance with state and federal law. Deletes the existing language regarding a plan to assure implementation of a program of equal employment opportunity. Makes nonsubstantive changes. (b) Provides that the policy statement must be updated annually, be reviewed by the state Commission on Human Rights for compliance with Subsection (a)(1), and be filed with the governor's office. Sec. 91.018. RELATIONS WITH PUBLIC. (c) Requires the commission to maintain a file on each written complaint filed with the commission, except as required by federal regulations for resolving complaints from people receiving service from the commission. Provides that the file must include: (1) the name of the person who filed the complaint; (2) the date the complaint is received by the commission; (3) the subject matter of the complaint; (4) the name of each person contacted in relation to the complaint; (5) a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the complaint; and (6) an explanation of the reason the file was closed if the agency closed the file without taking action other than to investigate the complaint. Deletes the requirement for the commission to keep an information file relating to a licensee or entity regulated by the commission. Makes nonsubstantive changes. (d) Requires the commission to provide notification of the status of the complaint to the person filing the complaint and each person who is a subject of the complaint, at least quarterly until final disposition of the complaint. Deletes existing text relating to a complaint regarding a licensee or entity regulated by the commission. Makes nonsubstantive changes. (e) Requires the commission to provide to the person filing the complaint and to each person who is subject of the complaint a copy of the commission's policies and procedures relating to complaint investigation and resolution. (g) Redesignated from existing Subsection (f). Sec. 91.020. TRAINING OF COMMISSION MEMBERS. (a) Prohibits a person who is appointed and qualifies for office as a member of the commission from voting, deliberating, or being counted as a member in attendance at a meeting of the commission until the person completes a training program that complies with this section. (b) Specifies that the training program must provide the person with information regarding the legislation that created the commission, the programs operated by the commission, the role and functions of the commission, the rules of the commission with an emphasis on the rules that relate to disciplinary and investigatory authority, the current budget for the commission, the results of the most recent formal audit of the commission, the requirements of: _the open meetings law, Chapter 551, Government Code; _the public information law, Chapter 552, Government Code; _the administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code; _and other laws relating to public officials, including conflict of interest laws; and any applicable ethics policies adopted by the commission or the Texas Ethics Commission. (c) Provides that a person appointed to the commission is entitled to reimbursement, as provided by the General Appropriations Act, for the travel expenses incurred in attending the training program regardless of whether the attendance at the program occurs before or after the person qualifies for office. SECTION 5. Amends Subchapter C, Chapter 91, Human Resources Code, by amending Section 91.028 and by adding Sections 91.022, 91.029, 91.030, and 91.031, as follows: Sec. 91.022. SERVICE DELIVERY. (a) Requires the commission to establish and maintain, by rule, guidelines for the delivery of services by the commission. Provides that the guidelines must be consistent with state and federal law and regulations and must include rules relating to the oversight and monitoring of service delivery, guidance to counselors on service delivery procedures, case management benchmarks establishing reasonable time frames for service delivery, and financial planning information for the commission. (b) Requires the commission to establish written procedures relating to the evaluation of services delivered by the commission to provide guidance to counselors and commission employees. Provides that the procedures must include methods to evaluate client progress, service delivery effectiveness, and counselor performance. Sec. 91.028. SERVICES FOR VISUALLY HANDICAPPED CHILDREN. (a) Created from existing text to authorize the commission to provide services to visually handicapped children to supplement services provided by other state agencies if the commission determines that the provision of the services is appropriate and will assist the children in achieving self-sufficiency. (b) Requires the commission, by rule, to establish the income level for verification of eligibility of a Medicaid client applying for services under Subsection (a). (c) Requires the commission to verify the Medicaid eligibility of a client applying for services under Subsection (a) whose income level is equal to or less than the income level established by the commission under Subsection (b). (d) Requires the commission to verify the Medicaid eligibility of a client who is required by the commission to apply for Medicaid within 90 days of the date the application for services from the commission is made. (e) Requires an employee of the commission, in verifying Medicaid eligibility, to examine appropriate state or private Medicaid eligibility databases and to record on each client's application for services whether Medicaid eligibility was verified, the source of the verification, and the date of the verification. Sec. 91.029. RATES FOR MEDICAL SERVICES. (a) Requires the commission to adopt rules and standards governing the determination of rates, including a schedule for periodic reevaluation of the rates that the commission will pay for medical services provided under this chapter. (b) Requires the commission to adopt rules to establish a schedule of rates based on the rules and standards adopted under Subsection (a). Requires the commission, in adopting the rate schedule, to compare the proposed rate schedule to other cost-based rates for medical services and to document the reason that any rate exceeds those rates for the same services, including Medicaid and Medicare rates. Sec. 91.030. CONTRACTS FOR SERVICE. Requires the commission to include in its contracts with service providers provisions relating to clearly defined and measurable program performance standards that directly relate to the service provided, clearly defined penalties for nonperformance of a contract term, and clearly specified accounting, reporting, and auditing requirements applicable to money received under the contract. Requires the commission to monitor a service provider's performance under a contract for service. Requires the commission, in monitoring performance, to use a risk-assessment methodology to institute statewide monitoring of contract compliance of service providers, and to evaluate service providers based on clearly defined and measurable program performance objectives. Sec. 91.031. CONTRACTS FOR ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY. Requires the commission to include in a contract with a supplier of adaptive technology equipment provisions that require the supplier to provide training for clients receiving the equipment and to maintain the equipment. SECTION 6. Makes application of this Act prospective. SECTION 7. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 8. Emergency clause.