HB 2656

84(R) - 2015
House Human Services
House Human Services
Health & Human Services

Companion Bill

SB 1880

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Richard Raymond

Bill Caption

Relating to the authority of the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate abuse, neglect, or exploitation of individuals receiving services from certain providers.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB 2656, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($3,316,068) through the biennium ending August 31, 2017. The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.

Under the provisions of the bill, DFPS' authority to investigate allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation would be expanded to new populations. Based on data obtained the from the Department on Aging and Disability Services and the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), DFPS estimated a new population 516,315 and that 0.4% (or 1,962) would need to be investigated each year. Assuming that 1.0 FTE completes an average of 88 investigations per fiscal year, an additional 22.3 FTEs (1,962/88 = 22.3 FTEs) would be needed for investigations. DFPS indicated that 5.0 FTEs from the Adult Protective Services (APS) In Home investigations program could move to the APS Facility investigations program, lessening the need for new caseworkers to 17.3, plus an additional 10.7 supporting FTEs. That includes 0.6 FTEs at HHSC for enterprise support. The total costs for these FTEs is estimated to be $1,937,308 in fiscal year 2016 and $2,083,061 in fiscal year 2017 and each year after.

No significant fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

The bill would amend the Human Resources Code, Family Code, and Health and Safety Code by removing the exemption for investigations in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and similar facilities by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), if a provider is alleged to have committed abuse, neglect, or exploitation (ANE). DFPS would be required to investigate allegations of ANE of an individual receiving services from a provider who provides home and community-based services under a home and community-based services waiver program, if the person alleged or suspected to have committed the abuse, neglect, or exploitation is a provider, even if the individual does not receive services under the waiver. These investigations would be exempted from the requirements of investigations of home and community support service agencies.

If another state agency has authority to license a provider and investigate reports of ANE of an individual by that provider, DFPS would be prohibited from investigating the report. The bill includes certain requirements for the provider investigations. The bill would also require DFPS to investigate reports of ANE of a child receiving services from an officer, employee, agent, contractor, or subcontractor of a home and community support services agency, if the party is or may be the person alleged to have committed the ANE. If the child is living in a residence owned, operated, or controlled by the provider who provides home and community-based services under a home and community-based services waiver program, DFPS would be required to provide protective services to the child, including emergency protective services, if necessary.

Vote Recommendation Notes

The purpose of the legislation is to authorize Adult Protective Services (APS) within DFPS to investigate abuse, neglect, and exploitation allegations against managed care organizations and their providers. Current law authorizes APS to investigate ANE of elderly persons and persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in certain settings. However, as more services for the elderly and mentally disabled move into managed care, there is a need to clarify that APS can investigate ANE allegations against managed care providers. 

The bill would not expand government regulation; rather it ensures regulation is consistent across government providers. The bill would also ensure the state is compliant with federal requirements from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

In this case, the expanded investigatory authority would apply to investigating complaints of abuse, neglect, and exploitation by businesses contracting with the state to provide taxpayer-funded services to the elderly and disabled. The state clearly has a responsibility to ensure that businesses it contracts with are not abusing the people in their care.

Still, implementing the provisions of this legislation would be costly according to the fiscal note and it is unclear whether the new authority proposed under this legislation is necessary given that law enforcement agencies can already investigate claims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. For these reasons we are neutral on HB 2656.