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hit to the budget for 2012–13. Dr. Stan- ley says none have had to close, but she describes the current operational status as “lean.” For 2010–11, CSEC funding to support Texas Poison Control Network operations totaled $15.6 million. In con- trast, poison control centers received $10.8 million for 2012–13. Federal dollars make up about 20 per-


cent of the network’s budget. For fiscal year 2011, the centers received $2 mil- lion in federal funding. Dr. Stanley says the Health Resources and Services Ad- ministration (HRSA) hasn’t yet awarded funds for fiscal year 2012 but has indi- cated funds will total about $2 million for the state’s poison control centers. In response to recommendations


received during the 82nd legislative session and to adapt to lower levels of funding, Dr. Stanley says CSEC and the Texas Poison Control Network developed a plan to make poison control program operations more efficient. Among the measures, poison control


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centers instituted network-wide staff scheduling, and a statewide health care facilities database is being developed to allow the centers to receive and respond to calls from anywhere in Texas. Instead of each center operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the centers sched- ule SPIs to match the volume of calls received over time and use a rollover phone system to manage calls. “The service continues to be provided


but at lower operating costs. Network scheduling is an effective way to manage staff across the centers and maximize their efficiency. Regional calls still pri- marily go to the regional poison control center where special expertise may exist. During the 2011 legislative session,


lawmakers introduced legislation to save money by transforming Texas’ poison control infrastructure. House Bill 1015, filed by Rep. Linda Harper-Brown (R- Irving) to consolidate the regional poi- son control centers into one Texas Poison Control Center, did not make it out of the House Committee on Public Health. In a letter opposing the bill, TMA


wrote that “one center for the entire state simply cannot serve the entire state of Texas and provide the same type of cost savings to the patient and the state.”


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