An Exploratory Study of The Transformation Underway in Texas’ Health and Human Services Delivery System
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This study is a preliminary assessment of the consolidation practices employed by the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in Texas. The purpose of the research study is threefold. The first purpose is to explain nine key practices  that were consistently found at the center of successful mergers by a cross section of experts from the public and private sectors. These nine practices comprise the "practical ideal type categories"  used as the conceptual framework for this study. The second purpose is to assess how closely the consolidation practices used by the HHSC come to these nine guiding practices. The third purpose of this report is to make recommendations (if appropriate) on how the consolidation process could be improved. To satisfy the research purposes, data was collected via documentary analysis, focused interviews, and participant observation. Study results show that elements of the nine key practices identified by the GAO are sprinkled throughout HHSC's framework for consolidating the health and human service delivery system at the meta-level. Transformational tasks such as mission, goals, values, structure and communication appear to have been completed and the task of performance management would appear to have the most opportunity for improvement. Recommendations on how the consolidation process could be improved include (1) Assigning the human resource departments of the health and human services enterprise a more active role in HHSC's consolidation, (2) Ensuring that cross-pollination occurs between HHSC's Transition Plan and HHSC's Strategic Plan, (3) Continue to involve employees in the consolidation process, and (4) Evaluate whether the current communications from leadership in relation to the consolidation is consistent with the communication objectives stated in the Transition Plan.