At a time with such great national uncertainty about health care, it’s critical that Texas’ elected officials fight for quality, affordable coverage for every Texan. We need healthy communities — which includes safe homes for children in need — that can provide support for all men, women and children of Texas.
Throughout the 85th Legislative Session, Texas House Democrats fought for a healthier Texas. From CPS reform and reversing acute therapy cuts to fighting to improve women’s health care and the maternal mortality crisis, the best interests of Texas’ children and families were always the first priority.
Here’s a sample of some of the legislation championed by Texas House Democrats in 2017:
Plan for Streptococcus Pneumoniae Prevention
This bill directs the Department of State Health Services to implement a plan to to prevent the contraction of Streptococcus pneumoniae, which can cause pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and meningitis, and can be deadly, particularly for populations with lowered immune systems, like children and the elderly.
Insurance Coverage of Better Mammogram Technology
This bill ensures that insurance plans cover digital mammography and breast tomosynthesis if they cover low-dose mammography. These forms of mammography are more accurate in detecting breast cancer, particularly for women who have dense breast tissue. Insurance plans covering these forms of mammography will help in early detection of breast abnormalities and ensure women have access to the best technologies for their health.
Mental Health Screenings for Children
This bill requires that children between the ages of 12 and 19 enrolled in Medicaid receive at least one mental health screening. Mental illness detection and intervention is crucial during this particularly volatile time in a young person’s life. This legislation will help ensure that no child enrolled in Medicaid has a mental health crisis that goes undetected and untreated.
This bill directs HHSC to adopt a quality measure of very low viral loads in persons with HIV who are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. Adopting this quality measure will significantly reduce the spread of HIV among Texans.
Proper Care for Alzheimer’s Patients
This bill requires that long-term care facilities have some staff members trained specifically in caring for patients with Alzheimer’s. Patients with Alzheimer’s are a particularly vulnerable population within long-term care facilities, so it is important that there is staff to care for their unique needs.
Prevention of the Spread of Zika Virus
This bill allows for DSHS to release certain medical and epidemiological information about patients with Zika to the federal government. This information-sharing is vital to preventing the spread of the disease.
Pharmacy Benefits for Medicaid MCOs
This bill extends the requirement that Medicaid MCOs maintain an outpatient pharmacy benefit plan for their enrolled recipients that exclusively employs the vendor drug program formulary, to adhere to the preferred drug list adopted by HHSC, and to adhere to the prior authorization procedures and requirements of the vendor drug program. This will ensure that Medicaid enrollees continue to receive the medications that their physicians know are best for them.