Texas Council helps shape a wide range of healthcare laws, regulations and policies affecting the Community Center system of care.

Texas Council efforts focus on:

  • Increasing access to quality services
  • Supporting funding for Medicaid and CHIP services
  • Legislative advocacy on behalf of Community Centers

Improving Access and Quality of Care

Texas Council and the Community Centers take a holistic approach to mental health, intellectual and developmental disability (IDD), and substance abuse services, recognizing that access to quality social support is essential to a person’s overall health.

In an effort to promote system change, Texas Council hosts and facilitates the Health Opportunities Workgroup (HOW), a group composed of Executive Directors, Chief Financial Officers, Medical Directors, and other subject matter experts from across the Community Center system.  The HOW identifies and develops forward-thinking policy and practice initiatives that support operational excellence within Community Centers and promote outcome-oriented service delivery.  Recent initiatives include:

  • Offering strategies to address significant changes in federal Medicaid funding
  • Creating a framework for integration of substance use services into mental health treatment
  • Developing guidance to assist Community Centers to respond to local mental health needs in the wake of a mass casualty incident

Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program Services

Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are vital public programs that help people access healthcare services.  Through Medicaid and CHIP, Centers are able to provide and coordinate affordable services for a much wider population, including people with disabilities.

Texas Council is a recognized leader on Medicaid and CHIP program design and implementation.  We conduct legislative advocacy and policy work related to access to care, sustainable provider rates, and quality of care.

Texas Council also plays a key role in the biggest issue facing the Medicaid system today: the transition of the 1115 Medicaid Transformation Waiver.  We are an influential voice on questions of how to sustain the accomplishments that this innovative, temporary opportunity afforded Texans with serious mental illness, especially those without access to health insurance.

Legislative Advocacy

Texas Council contributes to the development of healthcare laws and policies at state and federal levels that touch community-based providers of mental health and other disability services beyond our system and the state of Texas.

Texas Council and Community Center representatives participate directly in a wide range of stakeholder activities, including various advisory committees that allow us the opportunity to contribute to design and implementation of the most significant healthcare initiatives in our state.

We are also a leading voice on service design for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), playing a key role in many rounds of legislation that implement and refine a potential transition of IDD long-term services and supports from a traditional Medicaid model to a managed care model.  Our contributions recognize the distinct needs and capabilities of people with IDD, emphasize the importance of choice in a person’s life, and encourage involvement of social supports at the level closest to the person.

Managed Care

Texas Council works at a legislative and policy level on behalf of Community Centers toward a Medicaid managed care model that works for providers and people who access care.

Texas Council efforts include:

  • Representing the Community Center system in statewide stakeholder committees and workgroups
  • Developing key technical assistance resources for Community Center use
  • Hosting events to inform members on current topics and promote relationships between Centers and MCOs

Over 95% of Texans who receive Medicaid-funded healthcare receive those services through state-contracted managed care organizations (MCOs).

Community Centers contract with MCOs as direct providers of mental health services. In their role as Local IDD Authorities, Centers contract with the state agency (Texas Health and Human Services Commission) to conduct assessments, service planning, and monitoring functions for IDD waiver services and certain services administered through managed care.

A current map of Texas Managed Care Service Areas is available here.