HB 3781

84(R) - 2015
House Public Health
House Public Health

Vote Recommendation

Vote Yes; Amend
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Myra Crownover

Bill Caption

Relating to creation of the Texas Health Improvement Network.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB3781, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($4,400,000) 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.

There could be a fiscal impact to a local health entity that chose to participate in the THIN or a local entity that received funding for a demonstration or pilot project. However, it is assumed that an entity would participate only if sufficient funds were available or it would not result in a negative fiscal impact; therefore, no significant fiscal impact is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

The bill would add Chapter 118 to Subtitle E, Title 2, of the Health and Safety Code to establish the Texas Health Improvement Network (THIN) that would be administratively attached to The University of Texas System. The network would be composed of faculty of general academic and health-related public and private institutions of higher education in Texas with expertise in the following fields: general public health and other medical fields; mental health; nursing; pharmacy; social work; health economics; health policy and law; epidemiology; biostatistics; health informatics; health services research; engineering; and computer science.

The primary goals of the network would include: evaluating and eliminating health disparities, including racial, ethnic, geographic, and income-related or education-related disparities; and conducting health care cost containment and economic analysis of health policy. The network would also support local communities by offering leadership training, data analytics, community health assessments, and grant writing support.

The bill would require the network to establish an advisory council.

Vote Recommendation Notes

At a time when spending on Medicaid has increased to the point where we are spending $30 billion per year, this legislation addresses the issue in a way that has the potential to realize significant cost savings. However, we suggest an amendment to address the cost noted in the fiscal note by requiring that the program be funded through gifts, grants, donations, or funds already appropriated for this purpose and barring funding through new appropriations.

The poor health outcomes for Medicaid are well documented and this program has the potential to improve Medicaid health outcomes. 

We support this legislation.