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Agency: Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
Procurement Number: HHS0000065 (previously 529-17-0131)
Procurement Name: Youth Empowerment Services
Program Name: YES Waiver Program
Release Date: April 3, 2017
Closing Date: August 31, 2019

Executive Summary

HHSC received approval from the federal government to implement a 1915(c) Medicaid Waiver in February, 2009. The YES Waiver allows more flexibility in the funding of intensive community-based services and supports for children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances (SED) and their families. HHSC worked to develop the YES Waiver and sought input throughout the process from a broad array of stakeholders.

Texas strives to provide a continuum of appropriate services and supports for families with children and adolescents who have severe mental illness. There are some instances in which parents have turned to state custody for care when they feel they have reached or exceeded their financial, emotional or health care support resources and are unable to cover the costs of mental health treatment for their child or adolescent. The 78th and 79th Texas Legislatures directed HHSC to "develop and implement a plan to prevent custody relinquishment of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances," and authorized the request of any necessary waivers from the federal government.

HHSC developed a draft program model and analyzed data to determine that the approved YES Waiver meets federal cost neutrality requirements and can be implemented and operated within the current state Medicaid budget. The YES Waiver is designed to reduce Medicaid psychiatric hospital expenses for children with SED by providing community-based services.