Health Related »

HB 2180 / SB 995 by Anderson/Averitt - Relating to donees of anatomical gifts. Adds forensic science departments of general academic institutions to the list of approved anatomical gift donees.

HB 2420 by Chavez/Lucio - Relating to the allocation of federal funds directed to be used to support graduate medical education (GME) in connection with the state Medicaid program. Requires the Health and Human Services Commission’s allocation of Medicaid GME funding to recognize growth in residency slots since 1997 in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and other underserved areas.

SB 132 by Nelson/Morrison - Relating to goals and strategies concerning the number of graduates from professional nursing education programs and incentives to recruit and retain professional nursing program faculty. Requires Health Professions Council to work with Coordinating Board and establish for each academic year a target number of nursing graduates needed to meet the state’s nursing needs, and to set goals for increasing the numbers, and levels of funding needed to achieve the goals. Report due to Legislature January 1, 2007. Provides undergraduate tuition exemptions for children under age 25 of graduate degreed nurses who teach at the institution of higher education and provides $500 in tuition exemption for children of professional nursing preceptors. Expands uses for professional nursing shortage reduction grants to include faculty enhancements and coordination of programs between two or more institutions. Allows retired nurses to retain their retirement benefits if they come back to teach in nursing schools, and establishes a professional nursing program faculty member home loan program.

SB 423 by Carona/Delisi - Relating to the issuance of a limited license to practice medicine to certain applicants. Authorizes the Board of Medical Examiners to adopt rules for awarding a limited license to certain eminent physicians who will become faculty at the state’s medical schools (same as provisions in SB 419, Board of Medical Examiners Sunset bill).

SB 424 by Carona/Branch - Relating to the deadline for passing the examination for a license to practice medicine in this state. Extends time for passage of required licensure exams to 2 years after completion of graduate medical training for MD/PhDs. Also extends time frame for passage of licensure exams to 10 years if the applicant is a member of the American Board of Specialties or Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists, or has been practicing under a faculty temporary license for at least 12 months and is recommended to the Board by the chief administrative officer and president of the institution in which the application practiced under the faculty temporary license.

SB 815 by Lucio/Solis - Relating to the long-range plan for the South Texas Health Care System and the provision of tuberculosis and other health care services in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Expands possible locations for new outpatient facilities to include all of Hidalgo and Cameron counties, rather than only McAllen and Brownsville; removes the requirement that the facility be built on current site of South Texas Hospital; and gives the Dept. of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services first option to lease existing South Texas Hospital facility if Dept. of State Health Services decides not to use it.

Section 1 of SB 1227 by Shapiro-West/Morrison - Relating to public and private postsecondary educational institutions, including enrollment in those educational institutions, payment of the costs of attending those educational institutions, and financial aid and other measures to assist students to pay those costs. Section 1 exempts non-general revenue funded state-owned hospital and clinic fees from the definition of “educational and general” funds, eliminating consideration of these fees in determining proportionality of state general revenue and other higher education institution funding in paying employee benefits.

SB 1247 by West/ F. Brown - Relating to admission to the Joint Admission Medical Program. Changes JAMP admission year from freshman to sophomore, authorizes JAMP council to allocate positions among the general academic institutions rather than require allocations to be based on size of general academic institution, requires Council to identify freshman students who may be eligible for the program, and entitles those students to mentoring and tutoring financed from program funds.

SCR 27 by West/Branch. Memorializing Congress to eliminate current caps in funded Medicare resident training slots and related limits on costs per resident used to determine Medicare graduate medical education reimbursement payments.

Health-Related Councils, Task Forces and Workgroups

HB 916 by Woolley/Nelson - Relating to a study of the health care delivery system in certain medically underserved communities and creating the Texas Health Care Policy Council. Establishes Texas Health Care Policy Council within the Governor’s office, to include head or designees of HHSC, DSHS, DADS, TWC, THECB, TDI, ERS, TRS, each health licensing board, and any other agency or higher education institution identified by the governor that purchases or provides health care services. The Council is to study issues identified by Governor and report by Dec. 31 of each even-numbered year. The Council is to ensure collaboration among state agencies on health care purchasing and use of technology, and is to establish a clearinghouse to provide information to communities on innovative local heath care delivery systems, grants, and development of quality measures. HB 966 establishes the Texas Health Workforce Planning Partnership as a standing subcommittee, comprising HHSC, DSHS, TWC, THECB, Health Professions Council, ORCHA, and any other state agency or higher education system that impacts health care workforce planning, to plan for the state’s healthcare workforce needs and identify ways to increase funding for health care.

HB 1068 by Driver/Hinojosa - Relating to the collection and analysis of evidence and testimony based on forensic analysis, crime laboratory accreditation, DNA testing, and the creation and maintenance of DNA records; providing a penalty. Establishes the Texas Forensic Science Commission (4 Governor appointees, 2 of whom are forensic science experts and 2 other specified attorney representatives; 3 Lt. Gov appointees, one each of whom is a UT and A&M faculty member specializing in clinical laboratory medicine, selected from a list of 10 names submitted by the respective chancellor of the UTS and A&M System, and 1 pharmaceutical laboratory research faculty member from Texas Southern; 2 appointed by the Attorney General, one from the UNT HSC Missing Persons DNA database and one from Sam Houston State) The Commission is to monitor and investigate complaints about crime labs. The bill also amends regulatory standards and processes for crime labs and laws regarding collection and use of DNA samples.

HB 2344 by Luna/West - Relating to the Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke. Revises the Department of State Health Services Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke to specify that 11 person membership is to be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, rather than appointed by the Board of Health. Among the required members are: a cardiologist,a neurologist specializing in stroke, a primary care physician, a RN, a dietitian, and two members with expertise in public health policy and research. The Governor is to attempt to appoint female and minority representatives.

HB 2475 by Delisi/Nelson - Relating to a cervical cancer initiative. Requires Department of State Health Services to coordinate with Texas Cancer Council and develop a strategic plan to eliminate mortality from cervical cancer by 2015; authorizes the establishment of workgroups which may include physicians and nurses specializing in cervical cancer, cancer epidemiologists, and representatives of medical schools and schools of public health.

HB 3426 by Chavez/Shapleigh - Relating to the establishment of a binational alcohol and substance abuse task force. Establishes the Binational Alcohol and Substance Abuse task force to consider cross border substance abuse issues. Membership is to include legislators and others, including 3 border physicians and 3 border public members from substance abuse and intervention programs. The Task Force is to report to governor and legislature by Nov. 1 of each even-numbered year; the Task Force is abolished Jan. 1, 2009.

SB 9 by Staples/Corte - Relating to homeland security; providing a penalty. Establishes First Responder Advisory Council to advise the Governor. The Council is to include one representative each of firefighters, law enforcement, private first responders, emergency medical services, and other entities determined by Governor. Makes several other changes regarding agricultural security and inter-operability.

SB 44 by Nelson/Delisi - Relating to the Indigent Health Care Advisory Committee. Requires the Health and Human Services Commissioner to appoint an 11 member advisory committee to evaluate and make recommendations for changes to indigent health care, including consideration of a pilot program to regionalize county indigent and hospital district services.

SB 45 by Nelson/Delisi - Relating to the establishment of an advisory committee on health care information technology. Requires the State Dept. of Health Services Statewide Health Coordinating Council to form an advisory committee on health care information technology to develop a long-range plan for health care information technology. The Committee is to include representatives of the academic community, pharmacies, physicians, health plans, nurses, and hospitals.

SB 261 by Williams/B. Keffer - Relating to the creation of a program to educate the public on the value of health coverage and to increase public awareness of health coverage options. Requires the Department of Insurance (DIR) to create a public awareness campaign regarding health insurance coverage. Requires the Commissioner of Insurance to appoint a task force to make recommendations regarding the program, which is to include a representative of physicians, advanced practice nurses, and medical units of institutions of higher education, among others.

SB 330 by Deuell/McReynolds - Relating to the creation of a stroke committee and the development of a statewide stroke emergency transport plan and stroke facility criteria. Requires the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committee to establish a stroke committee to help it develop a statewide stroke emergency transport plan and stroke facility criteria. The Committee must include: a physician eligible for vascular neurology accreditation by ACGME, a licensed interventional neuroradiologist, a neurosurgeon with stroke experience, a member of the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, a physician recommended by a statewide organization of emergency physicians, a neuroscience registered nurse with stroke expertise, and a volunteer member of a stroke nonprofit agency.

SB 691 by Madla/Wong - Relating to the creation and functions of an arthritis control and prevention program. Requires Department of State Health Services to establish an arthritis prevention and control program and to establish an arthritis advisory committee. Members are to be appointed by the Commissioner of Health and must include people with arthritis, public health educators, medical experts on arthritis, arthritis health care providers, and arthritis organization representatives.

SB 872 by Nelson/Delisi - Relating to a study regarding the impact of niche hospitals on other general hospitals, to certain reports and disclosure requirements regarding niche hospitals, and to the establishment of an advisory panel to conduct a study on the reporting of health care associated infection rates and process measures. Requires the Health Commissioner to establish14-member health care associated infection advisory panel at the Dept. of State Health Services’ regulatory licensing unit to study and recommend definitions and methodologies for collecting and reporting data on infection rates and/or process measures. The Health Commissioner is to file a report with the Legislature by Nov. 1, 2006 for use in legislation and recommend that hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers comply by Sept. 1, 2007. The membership will include: 2 hospital based Board certified infection control practitioners (at least one of whom is rural); 2 Board certified nurse infection control practitioners; 3 Board certified or Board eligible physicians who are active members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology and have expertise in infection control, and at least 2 of whom have active medical staff privileges; 1 hospital and 1 ambulatory surgical center CEO; 3 DSHS employees; and 2 consumers. SB 872 also establishes disclosure, referral, and financial requirements regarding niche hospitals.

SB 1188 / HB 1771 by Nelson/Delisi - Relating to the medical assistance program and other health and human services. Both bills authorize the Commissioner of Health to establish an advisory committee to help design and implement the required Medicaid integrated care management model. SB 1188 makes several additional changes to CHIP and Medicaid, including requiring a new office of community collaboration, requiring steps to maximize federal funds, improvement of and increased public availability of Medicaid data analysis, streamlining administration and improving service delivery, addressing several Medicaid long-term care issues, requiring managed care organizations to reimburse for advanced nurse practitioner services and federally qualified health center services provided after hours, requiring managed care organizations to improve their claim and payment systems, requiring development of a comprehensive Medicaid awareness and education campaign for recipients and providers, establishing an office of medical technology, authorizing a pilot program to reimburse physicians for on-line medical consultations, requiring development of a health care literacy program to reduce emergency room utilization, requiring development of a proposal for payment of higher rates to primary care case managers that take patients with chronic health conditions, requiring evaluation of cost-effectiveness of establishing pilot for a telephone hot line, and requiring analysis of impact of Medicare prescription drug program on Medicaid.

Health Professionals: Sunset Bills

HB 972 by Solomons/Nelson - Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners; providing a criminal penalty. Continues Board of Chiropractors until 2017; makes several regulatory changes, including requiring the Board to adopt rules for chiropractic scope of practice using input from persons that would be most affected by the proposed rule. May use negotiated rulemaking, advisory committees, informal conferences, and other input methods.

HB 1015 by Truitt/Jackson - Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Continues the Board of Psychologists until 2017; makes several changes in regulatory processes. No scope of practice changes.

HB 1025 by Solomons/Shapleigh - Relating to the powers and duties of the Texas Optometry Board and to contact lens prescriptions and the dispensing of contact lenses. Continues the Optometry Board until 2017; makes several changes in regulatory processes, and establishes requirements for contact lens prescription verification.

HB 1155 by Truitt/Shapleigh. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Dietitians - Continues the Board of Examiners of Dieticians until 2017 and makes other changes in regulatory procedures.

HB 1283 by Truitt/Carona. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors; providing an administrative penalty - Continues the Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors until 2017 and makes other changes in regulatory procedures.

HB 1413 by Truitt/Whitmire - Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Continues the Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists until 2017 and makes other changes in regulatory procedures.

HB 1535 by Truitt/Shapleigh - Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Midwifery Board. Continues the Midwifery Board until 2107 and makes other changes in regulatory procedures.

SB 402 by Nelson/Hamric. Relating to the administration and functions of the Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners; providing an administrative penalty - Continues the Board until 2017 and makes other regulatory and procedural changes.

SB 410 by Whitmire/Truitt. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy and to certain duties of pharmacists and pharmacies; providing administrative penalties - Continues the Board until 2017 and makes other regulatory and procedural changes.

SB 419 by Van de Putte/Delisi. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, Texas State Board of Physician Assistant Examiners, and Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners and the regulation of health care professions regulated by those state agencies; providing administrative penalties - Continues the Board until 2017, changes its name to Texas Medical Board, establishes procedures for expert physician review of complaints, authorizes establishment of procedures for issuing limited licenses for certain eminent physicians who will become faculty and for the practice of administrative medicine, authorizes establishment of temporary licenses for active military duty physicians who are faculty at medical schools, makes certain third trimester abortions and abortions on minors without parental consent prohibited practices, and makes several regulatory and procedural changes to the Medical, Physicians Assistants, and Acupuncture Board and to the regulation of surgical assistants.

Health Professionals: Other Legislation

HB 654 by Goolsby/Deuell - Relating to professional liability insurance for volunteer healthcare providers. Allows insurers to sell liability insurance policies to volunteer health care providers for the purpose of providing protections not offered by the Charitable Immunity and Liability Act, such as costs of defense.

HB 655 by Goolsby/Deuell - Relating to certain volunteer health care providers. Requires the Joint Underwriting Association to offer liability insurance to volunteer health care providers: exempts retired physicians whose only practice is with disaster relief organizations from registration permit fee.

HB 1366 by Allen/Janek - Relating to the regulation of nursing. Adds provisions for criminal investigation the authority of the Board of Nurse Examiners and establishes standards for mandatory license suspension or revocation upon certain criminal convictions.

HB 1577 by Nixon/Madla - Relating to the provision of health care services by a physician assistant during a disaster. Authorizes physician assistants to perform health care services without delegation in the event of a disaster, if no physician is available.

HB 1718 by Zedler/Nelson - Relating to the regulation of certain nursing practices, including circulating duties in an operating room. Establishes criteria for nurse first assistants, who must be trained in perioperative nursing, and requires all circulating operating room duties to be performed or supervised by qualified registered nurses.

HB 1924 by Chavez/Shapleigh - Relating to the certification of certain health organizations by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. Authorizes El Paso County Hospital District to directly contract with or employ physicians until 9/1/2007 (authority given to any public hospital district that is a federally qualified health center in a border county of at least 650,000 population).

HB 2158 by Delisi/Nelson - Relating to an exemption from annual registration fees for a retired physician who provides volunteer medical services in a disaster. Exempts retired physicians whose only service is volunteering with a disaster relief agency from registration fee.

HB 2371 by King/Madla - Relating to the use of acupuncturists as health care providers under certain health benefit plans. Prohibits insurance and managed care companies that cover acupuncture from denying payment solely because the service was provided by an acupuncturist.

HB 2678 by Smithee/Seliger - Relating to underwriting of and ratemaking for professional liability insurance for physicians and health care providers. Prohibits liability insurers from using information regarding dismissed lawsuits or participation in Medicaid or CHIP in determining liability insurance rates.

HB 2680 by Branch/Nelson - Relating to services provided by health care practitioners to charities and liability insurance for those practitioners. Allows licensing boards to adopt reduced fees and continuing education requirements for retired health care professionals that only provide charity care, requires charitable organizations to offer liability insurance, and allows Joint Underwriting Association to cover volunteer healthcare providers.

HB 2696 by Anchia/West - Relating to the licensing and regulation of massage therapy and massage establishments and certain services related to massage; providing penalties. Changes required registration for massage therapists to required licensure, and establishes some physical contact prohibitions.

SB 492 by Van de Putte/Delisi - Relating to inspection of and drug compounding by a pharmacy and to distribution of compounded and prepackaged drugs to pharmacies under common ownership. Establishes procedures for distribution and use of compounded and prepackaged drugs.

SB 610 by Nelson/Laubenberg - Relating to the regulation of the practice of dentistry. Makes several procedural changes regarding regulation of dentistry, including adding certain felonies and misdemeanors to the grounds for license suspension, and requiring completion of a course in addition to the currently required exam for dental assistants to obtain an x-ray certification.

SB 1000 by Madla/McReynolds - Relating to regulation of the practice of nursing. Defines vocational nursing and makes several regulatory changes relating to supervision, fees, and disciplinary procedures in regulation of licensed vocational nursing.