Texas Moves Forward With Plans to Improve State Hospital System

The Health and Human Services Commission recently announced the release of $47.7 million to begin improving the state’s inpatient psychiatric care system.

The initial $47.7 million is part of $300 million approved by the 85th Texas Legislature to improve the state hospital system in the 2018-2019 biennium. This funding is a significant first step toward transforming the hospitals into state-of-the art campuses focused on recovery.

Texas recently received approval from the Legislative Budget Board and the Office of the Governor to begin using the $47.7 million.

“A strong state psychiatric system is critically important to all Texans. This investment will benefit the state for generations,” HHSC Executive Commissioner Charles Smith said. “With this support from state leadership, we can update our facilities and be sure we are providing Texans with the very best mental health care possible.”

The initial funding will allow Texas to renovate and architecturally plan for the replacement of existing facilities as well as plan and design a new hospital. Projects include:

renovation projects to expand capacity at the Kerrville and San Antonio State Hospitals;

the architectural planning and design of a new hospital and continuum of care campus in Houston;

the architectural planning and design of two new 100-bed units at Rusk State Hospital;

the planning for the total replacement of Austin and San Antonio State Hospitals.

Remaining funds will be requested and distributed throughout the course of the biennium.

With this funding and a focus on collaborative partnerships, expanded capacity, and better engagement between state hospitals and the larger continuum of care, HHSC seeks to ensure quality care; highlight services; and relieve pressure on jails, emergency rooms, homeless shelters, and other places not meant to provide intensive mental health services.

Additional information is available at https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/process-improvement/changes-state-hospital-system.

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