Magazine article Policy & Practice

Our Do'ers Profile

Magazine article Policy & Practice

Our Do'ers Profile

Article excerpt

In Our Do'ers Profile, we highlight some of the hardworking and talented individuals in public human services. This issue features Jim Hine, commissioner of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

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Name: Jim Hine

Title: Commissioner

Years of Service: 35 years in Texas state government. For the last 10 years, I've served as commissioner or chief executive officer for three state agencies: Aging and Disability Services, Human Services, and Protective and Regulatory Services. Before that, I had a 25-year career with the Texas Employment Commission, serving as internal auditor, chief financial officer, director of finance and administrative support, and deputy administrator.

Rewards of the Job: Speaking for those who can't always speak for themselves. I call that protecting the unprotected: the elderly and disabled, abused and neglected children and adults, or those where life has forced them onto temporary government assistance in Food Stamps, TANF, or unemployment.

Accomplishments Most Proud Of: Working with a talented team to stabilize and improve the Child Protective System in Texas, for which I received the Commissioner's Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Outstanding Leadership and Service in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

I also take pride in receiving the Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship in recognition of efforts to strive for innovative government that improves the lives of Texans. The award reflects the name of our former lieutenant governor widely known for his bipartisanship support and dedication to public service. It represents recognition for how that has been achieved--through innovative government.

Thoughts About the State of the Medicaid Program: You can't talk about Medicaid in isolation without addressing Medicare. Ask any residential provider in long-term care and they will be quick to tell you that significant rate changes or policy shifts in one program will affect the demand and cost of care in the other program.

The Medicare program was designed for elder care. Medicaid was to be the health insurance program for the poor. Yet, elder care is now the primary driver in cost increases to Medicaid. People are finding innovative ways to access Medicaid through Miller Trusts, Medicaid Spend-Down and other innovative legal approaches that open access to the elderly for the lower costs of Medicaid services and prescription drug benefits. …

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