2019 Texas Legislature Bill Tracker

EMS Personnel

HB 80 – Rep. Lina Ortega (D-El Paso) and SB 630 – Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso) – The bill would create a study regarding shortages for certain health care professionals. EMS professionals are not currently included because it is limited to doctorates. The bill was signed into law.

HB 354 – Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Corpus Christi) and HB 1383 – Rep. JM Lozano (R-Kingsville) – The bill would exempt certain firefighters and police officers from jury duty. It does not include EMS professionals.  TEMSA is working with the bill’s sponsor. HB 354 stalled in the Senate after passing out of the House.

SB 2231 – Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) and HB 3890 – Rep. Sheryl Cole (D-Austin) – The bill would have provided tuition assistance to paramedics for certain education-related expenses. The bill passed out of the Senate, but it died on the final calendar in the House.

HB 1090 – Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia) – The bill would add emergency response operators and emergency services dispatchers to the list of “first responders.” The bill was signed into law.

HB 1137 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) and SB 1636 – Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) – The bill would direct the state’s Health Professions Council to identify strategies to expand the health care workforce of the state. SB 1636 was signed into law.

HB 1353 – Rep. Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Spring) and SB 752 – Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) – The bill would provide civil liability immunity to certain health care professionals who respond to emergencies. EMS professionals are not included. SB 752 was signed into law by the governor.

HB 1477 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) – The bill would create the Emergency Medical Services Scholarship Program, which would cover certain tuition costs. The bill would also create a new provision to dedicate 10 percent of the permanent fund for EMS and trauma care. Rep. JD Sheffield (R-Gatesville) is expected to carry the budget rider. The bill was voted out of committee and placed on the House’s General Calendar for 05.08.19.

HB 1625 – Rep. Keith Bell (R-Forney) – The bill relates to false reports of misconduct by emergency responders for the purpose of initiating a criminal investigation against the officer or personnel. The bill passed out of the House.

HB 218 – Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) – The bill would prohibit student loan default or breach of a student loan repayment or scholarship as a ground for nonrenewal or other disciplinary action in relation to a professional or occupational license. SB 37, SB 296, HB 258, and HB 466 are similar. SB 37 was signed into law.

HB 1573 – Rep. John Raney (R-Bryan) and SB 719 – Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) – The bill would add EMS professionals to the list of first responders whose murder is defined as eligible for capital punishment. SB 719 was signed into law.

HB 2348 – Rep. Tracy King (D-Batesville) – The bill relates to the prohibition of certain employment discrimination regarding an employee who is a volunteer emergency responder. This includes a cap of 14 days and will require the emergency to meet certain requirements. The bill was vetoed.

HB 2446 – Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Spring) – The bill would add EMS professionals and firefighters to the list of individuals whose personal information would be made private based under Section 552.117(a), Government Code. The bill was signed into law.

HB 3049 – Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) – The bill would make certain Texas licenses easier to access for individuals who recently held out-of-state licenses in the same field. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3890 – Rep. Sheryl Cole (D-Austin) and SB 2231 – Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) – The bill would add paramedics to the list of eligible first responders (firefighters) who are eligible for the tuition exemption. However, it would be limited to paramedics who are pursuing fire science degrees. After passing out of the Senate, SB 2331 died on the final House calendar.

SB 2158 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) – The bill would create a license for tactical medical officers. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

EMS Personnel – Mental Health

HB 751 – Rep. Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd) – The bill would create the Office of First Responder Support within the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas. The bill was heard in a committee hearing, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 2143 – Rep. John Turner (D-Dallas) – The bill relates to the eligibility of a first responder for workers’ compensation benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder. It would recognize PTSD as a cumulative process (as opposed to a one-time event).  The bill was signed into law.

HB 2404 – Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia) – The bill relates to the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute and would create a support coordinator who could travel to agencies to provide stress management to first responders. The bill was voted out of committee, but it was not set for a floor vote.

HB 2969 – Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney) – The bill would prohibit organizations from terminating first responders solely because the employer knows or believes that the first responder has a mental illness. The bill would create exceptions for public safety purposes. The bill passed out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 4147 – Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia) – The bill would require all first responders to complete at least hours of training in basic mental health issues for first responders, the impact of chronic trauma on first responders, signs and symptoms of mental illness, and strategies for first responders to attain wellness and resiliency. The bill was voted out of committee and placed on the House General Calendar for 05.09.19. But it did not make the final calendar.

EMS Personnel – Workers’ Comp

HB 359 – Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) – The bill would add additional restrictions on discharge for employees such as EMS professionals, firefighters and peace officers in relation to their maximum medical improvement. The bill passed out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 2143 – Rep. John Turner (D-Dallas) – The bill relates to the eligibility of a first responder for workers’ compensation benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder. This would relate to a series of events, not a single event. The bill was signed into law.

HB 3492 – Rep. Sheryl Cole (D-Austin) – The bill relates to the eligibility of a first responder for workers’ compensation for mental trauma injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2503 – Rep. Kyle Kacal (R-College Station) – The bill relates to workers’ compensation death benefit eligibility for certain spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty. The bill was signed into law.

SB 1365 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) and HB 2685 – Rep. Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd) – The bill relates to workers’ compensation death benefit eligibility for certain spouses of first responders and other public servants killed in the line of duty. HB 2685 passed out of committee, but it was not set for the House calendar.

HB 1926 – Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Corpus Christi) and SB 1396 – Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) – The bill relates to claims for financial assistance for survivors of certain public employees killed in the line of duty. Neither bill received a committee hearing.

SB 2551 – Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) – The bill relates to cancer claims related to first responder exposure. The bill was signed into law.

EMS Personnel – Vaccines

HB 1256 – Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) – The bill would direct the executive commissioner to develop a process to allow direct access to the immunization registry during a disaster response. An amendment will require a first responder to provide written or electronic consent for the immunization registry to be accessed. The bill was signed into law.

HB 1418 – Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) and SB 829 – Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) – The bill would direct the HHSC commissioner to develop a plan to notify EMS professionals about their immunization history. The bill was signed into law.

SB 830 – Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) – The bill would require each emergency response entity to develop a vaccine policy, which would require first responders to be vaccinated for certain diseases based on various levels of risk. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

EMS – Community Paramedic

HB 3307 – Rep. James White (R-Hillister) – The bill would allow ESDs to do community paramedic work. The bill passed out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

EMS Personnel – Guns

HB 1123 – Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) – The bill would deny an employer (public or private) from making policy to restrict the carrying of a weapon on duty. The bill contains language regarding civil liability and a safe environment. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

Medicaid Bridge Funding & Other LPPFs

HB 2333 – Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) – The bill would create the STAR Safety Net for entities that provide 911 services. HB 2333 was amended to a House bill, but it was stripped in the Senate.

Click here to learn more about STAR Safety Net and the initiative in the 2019 Texas Legislature.

HB 2409 – Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) – The bill would create additional Medicaid funding through supplemental for “public” EMS agencies. The bill addresses the potential elimination of the 1115 waiver. HB 2409 was amended to a House bill, but it was stripped in the Senate.

SB 1050 – Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) and HB 3342 – Rep. JD Sheffield, DO (R-Gatesville) – The bill would create a provider participation program for nursing homes for the purpose of drawing down additional Medicaid funds from the federal government. SB 1050 was heard in committee on 04.24.19, but it did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 4648 – Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) and SB 2448 – Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) – The bill would create an LPPF for Lubbock County. SB 2448 was signed into law.

SB 1099 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) and HB 1142 – Rep. Stan Lambert (R-Abilene) – The bill would create a local provider participation funds (LPPF) hospital program in Taylor County. HB 1142 was signed into law.

SB 1060 – Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and HB 2326 – Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) – The bill would continue the LPPF hospital program in Dallas County. HB 2326 was signed into law.

SB 1061 – Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and HB 2324 – Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) – The bill would continue the LPPF hospital program in Tarrant County. HB 2324 was signed into law.

SB 1545 – Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) and HB 3896 – Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) – The bill would create an LPPF in the San Antonio area. SB 1545 was signed into law.

SB 1350 – Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) and HB 3649 – Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin) – The bill would create an LPPF in the Austin area. SB 1350 was signed into law.

SB 1751 – Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso) and HB 3640 – Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) – The bill would create an LPPF in El Paso. SB 1751 was signed into law.

HB 3679 – Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls) and SB 2286 – Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) – The bill would create an LPPF in Wichita Falls. SB 2286 was signed into law.

SB 2022 – Sen. Boris Miles (D-Houston) and HB 3459 – Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) – The bill would create an LPPF for Harris County. HB 3459 was signed into law by the governor.

SB 2028 – Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Tyler) and HB 3833 – Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview) – The bill would address the LPPF for the Tyler area and hospitals that are not located in the county. The bills have not witnessed movement.

HB 4289 – Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) and SB 2256 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) – The bill would add allow local governments that are not part of hospital districts to mandate LPPFs. HB 4289 was signed into law.

HB 4548 – Rep. John Wray (R-Waxahachie) and SB 2423 – Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) – The bill would create an LPPF for Ellis County. The bill also included an amendment to create an LPPF for Wichita Falls. HB 4548 was signed into law.

SB 2257 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) – The bill would allow entities to create LPPFs in counties that are not served by a hospital district or a public hospital. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 2315 – Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) – The bill would create an LPPF in Nueces County. The bill was signed into law.

HB 651 – Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) – The bill would create an omnibus LPPF bill that would allow counties without existing programs to create LPPFs. The bill was vetoed.

Appropriations and Local Project Grants

HB 1477 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) – The bill would restore LPGs for EMS agencies and create the Emergency Medical Services Scholarship Assistance Program for EMS professionals in rural areas. The bill was voted out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

Click here to learn more about local project grants (LPGs) and TEMSA’s work in the 2019 Texas Legislature.

HB 319 – Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian) – The bill would create a grant program to help fire departments and volunteer departments with the purchase of equipment. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3070 – Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian) – The bill would authorize a VFD to submit a request for emergency assistance from the Rural VFD Assistance Program to repair or replace equipment damaged or lost in responding to a governor-declared state of disaster. It would require the Texas A&M Forest Service to include in the criteria and qualifications for the distribution of VFD assistance funds a department’s need for emergency assistance. The bill also would require that at least ten percent of the program’s funds in a state fiscal year be dedicated to filling such emergency requests. Finally, if the amount of emergency assistance funds requested in a state fiscal year is less than the amount so dedicated, the bill would authorize any remaining funds to be used for other types of requests for assistance. The bill was signed into law.

Medicaid – Transport

Response vs. Transport – TEMSA is working with lawmakers to study the concept of response vs. transport payments for Texas EMS agencies. Click here to learn more.

HB 25 – Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) – The bill would direct Medicaid to provide medical transportation services to pregnant women and their children. The bill was signed into law.

HB 1114 – Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) – The bill is similar to HB 25. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 1576 – Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) and SB 1667 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) – The bill is endorsed by Uber and would define “nonemergency transportation service” for the Medicaid program for the purpose of working with a Medicaid MCO. The Medicaid supplemental bills were amended to HB 1576 in the House. However, they were removed in the Senate. HB 1576 was signed into law.

HB 4556 – Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) – The bill would allow “full-risk transportation brokers,” which are capitated, to have exclusive medical transportation services in a region. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

Medicaid

SB 1207 – Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and HB 3748 – Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) – The bill will address some of the prior authorization issues related to Medicaid managed care plans that were outlined in a series of reports by the Dallas Morning News. SB 1207 was signed into law.

HB 2221 – Rep. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) – The bill would create a single internet portal through which Medicaid providers to submit and receive information. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 2004 – Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) – HB 2004 would stop this misuse of the qui tam process by repealing the provision allowing the private plaintiff to drop the state’s suit without the attorney general’s consent after the initial 180‑day period. Denying the lawyer the ability to drop the state’s suit in exchange for a payment would eliminate the incentive to file frivolous suits against innocent defendants and, on the other hand, would ensure that the state receives the funds it has been defrauded of in cases where the fraud claim has merit. The bill was signed into law.

HB 2349 – Rep. Sergio Munoz (D-Mission) – The bill relates to transparency in the rate-setting for the Medicaid managed care program. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2357 – Rep. Sergio Munoz (D-Mission) – The bill relates to utilization reviews and care coordination under the Medicaid managed care program. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1101 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) – The bill relates to the consolidation of ombudsman programs administered by HHSC. The bill passed out of the Senate, but it did not move in the House.

SB 1105 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) – The bill would create a Medicaid ombudsman program for Medicaid managed care oversight and certain prior authorization rules. The bill came partly as a result of a Dallas Morning News investigation. The bill cleared out of both chambers, but it was abandoned during conference.

HB 2453 – Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) and SB 1139 – Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) – The bill would create several reforms for the Medicaid managed care program. HB 2453 passed out of committee, but it was not set for a House floor vote.

HB 4178 – Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls) and SB 2239 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) – The bill is similar to HB 2453 and would create several Medicaid reforms. HB 4178 passed out of committee, but it was not set for a House floor vote.

 

Air Medical

HB 463 – Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) – The bill would require air medical companies to offer reciprocity in relation to the subscriptions that they sell. The bill was vetoed.

Telemedicine

HB 870 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) and SB 670 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) – The bill would allow physicians to use a telemedicine platform of their choice for Medicaid. SB 670 was signed into law.

HB 3345 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) and SB 1265 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) – The bill would add to the 2017 telemedicine law by mandating that a physician has the right to choose the telemedicine platform of her choice. HB 3345 was signed into law.

HB 871 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) – The bill would allow a county with a population of 30,000 or less to meet the Level IV trauma designation requirement by allowing physicians to utilize telemedicine for certain services. The bill was signed into law.

Driver Responsibility Program

Note: HB 2048 is considered the primary DRP reform bill.

SB 87 – Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) – The bill relates to the DRP.

SB 577 – Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) – The bill relates to the DRP.

HB 550 – Rep. Terry Canales (D-McAllen) – The bill relates to the DRP.

HB 683 – Rep. James White (R-Hillister) and SB 191 – Sen. Boris Miles (D-Houston) – The bills would amend the DRP penalties and direct revenue to the designated trauma facility and emergency medical services account. It would eliminate the existing revenue formula.

HB 1458 – Rep. Doc Anderson (R-Waco) and HB 1487 – Rep. Terry Wilson (R-Georgetown)  – The bills relate to the DRP.

HB 2048 – Rep. John Zerwas, MD (R-Richmond) and SB 918 – Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) – These bills are viewed as the primary DRP vehicles. HB 2048 was signed into law.

HB 2415 – Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) – The bill relates to the DRP.

HB 2475 – Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) – The bill relates to individuals with an indigent status.

SB 1201 – Sen. Borris Miles (D-Houston) – The bill relates to the waiver of certain DRP surcharges in relation to proof of commitment in the armed forces.

Property Tax Reform

HB 2 and SB 2 – The Texas Legislature ultimately created a 3.5 percent property tax increase threshold that will trigger a local election.

EMS – General

HB 791 – Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) – The bill would add certain volunteer fire departments to motor fuel tax exemptions. The bill was signed into law.

HB 1307 – Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-San Antonio) – The bill relates to the creation of a disaster case management system by the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The bill was signed into law.

SB 53 – Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) – The bill relates to a request for 9-1-1 service by text message and the provision of available contact information. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 340 – Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) and HB 1449 – Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) – The bill relates to the creation of a grant program to assist law enforcement agencies with the purchase of opioid antagonists. SB 340 was signed into law.

HB 2400 – Rep. Mando Martinez (D-Weslaco) – The bill would require transparency regarding any disagreements between an EMS agency’s medical director treatment protocol and an affiliated first responder’s medical director treatment protocol. The bill passed out of the House, but it did not receive consideration in the Senate.

HB 3129 – Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville) – The bill would exempt certain vehicles from certain vehicle safety inspections. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3096 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) – The bill would create a pilot program related to carrying AEDs on certain DPS vehicles. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3294 – Rep. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) and SB 1150 – Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) – The bill relates to reimbursing a commissioners court for the reasonable transportation of a body for the purpose of an autopsy. HB 3294 was heard in committee on 04.18.19, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 3485 – Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) – Relating to the billing codes used for the administration of tissue plasminogen activator by ambulance providers under the Medicaid and Medicare programs. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3584 – Rep. Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) – The bill would amend the statute related to the emergency management training of certain officials by requiring training courses on using the 9-1-1 system and Internet websites, including social media, for communicating with the public during and after a disaster. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1668 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) and HB 2794 – Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) – The bill would update the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s new operation. HB 2794 was signed into law.

SB 1673 – Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) – The bill would create a grant program to assist certain counties with employing or contracting for a qualified emergency management coordinator. The bill passed out of the Senate, but it did not move in the House.

SB 2253 – Sen. Borris Miles (D-Houston) – The bill would direct some fees related to tobacco and CBD products to fund the state’s designated trauma facility and EMS account. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 2328 – Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-The Woodlands) – The bill relates to the confidentiality and disclosure of certain information relating to emergency management and governmental functions. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 4196 and HB 4198 – Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) – The bill would add a county maintenance vehicle to the list of authorized emergency vehicles. HB 4198 was voted out of committee, but it was not set for a House vote.

ESDs & Emergency Communication Districts

HB 747 – Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Denton) and SB 235 – Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) – The identical bills would allow a North Texas Community to propose the creation of a fire control, prevention, and EMS district. SB 235 was signed into law.

HB 2461 – Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Denton) and SB 1658 – Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Lewisville) – The bill relates to the territory of and fees imposed by certain emergency communication districts. HB 2461 was signed into law.

HB 3203 – Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview) – The bill would allow specific ESDs in East Texas to divide. The bill was signed into law.

 

GETAC & Trauma

HB 1869 – Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Arlington) – The bill would add a registered nurse that is appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide professional association of emergency nurses to the GETAC advisory council. Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) added an amendment that will add a third-service EMS agency and a paramedic to GETAC. The bill was signed into law.

SB 1149 – Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) – The bill relates to an assessment and strategic review of the trauma hospital system by DSHS. The bill did not pass out of the House.

HB 871 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) – The bill would a hospital located in a county with a population of 30,000 or less to satisfy a Level IV trauma facility designation relating to physicians through the use of telemedicine. The bill was signed into law.

 

 

Facilities – Hospitals

SB 199 – Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown) and SB 1085 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) – The bill would create a number enforcement issues related to hospitals, including a requirement for 10 percent of the hospitals to be inspected every year and a perpetual care fee provision of $5 million at all times. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 170 – Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and HB 2035 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) – The bill would reinforce and clarify into state statute the longstanding policy and practice in Texas to pay rural hospitals their actual and documented cost to treat Medicaid patients. SB 170 was signed into law.

SB 384 – Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Lewisville) – The bill relates to the reporting of HAIs and preventable adverse events at health care facilities. The bill was signed into law.

HB 2086 – Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview) – The bill would require pharmacies and health care facilities to establish a controlled substance disposal program. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 749 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) – The bill would establish a process through which a hospital may appeal to an independent third party regarding the level of care designation assigned to the hospital. This primarily relates to neonatal and maternal care. The bill was signed into law.

HB 2133 – Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) – The bill would make certain hospital inspection and investigation information available to the public. The bill was heard in committee on 04.24.19, but it did not receive a committee vote.

SB 1054 – Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) and HB 4404 – Rep. Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land) – The bill would prohibit health plans from discouraging an insured from using a freestanding emergency medical center. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1159 – Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and HB 2929 – Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) – The bill relates to hospital liens. “For purposes of this chapter, an injured individual is considered admitted to a hospital if the individual is allowed access to any department of the hospital for the provision of any treatment, care, or service to the individual.”  HB 2929 was signed into law.

HB 2927 – Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) – The bill relates to hospital liens.

SB 1444 – Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and HB 3934 – Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls) – The bill would allow rural hospitals to establish a health care collaborative. HB 3934 was signed into law.

HB 871 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) – The bill would a hospital located in a county with a population of 30,000 or less to satisfy a Level IV trauma facility designation relating to physicians through the use of telemedicine. The bill was signed into law.

SB 1482 – Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) – The bill would direct DSHS to post trauma response revenue code data collected on its website. The posted data would be required to include information for the entire state, each public health region, and each hospital. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1621 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) – The bill would create a license for a “limited services rural hospital” in a rural area. The bill was signed into law.

HB 3468 – Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) – The bill would create a “timeshare” ASC within an ASC in which multiple ASCs could operate in the same building (on different days). Every ASC operating within the building would be liable for a licensing violation by any of the other ASCs. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1529 – Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and HB 3301 – Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) – The bill would give the state authority to approve hospital mergers (as opposed to the FTC). The bill involves a San Angelo-area hospital merger. HB 3301 was signed into law.

Facilities – Freestanding Emergency Medical Centers

HB 1112 – Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) – The bill would require freestanding emergency medical centers that have closed to immediately remove their emergency signs. The bill was signed into law.

HB 1278 – Rep. James White (R-Hillister) – The bill would allow freestanding emergency medical centers to perform outpatient services. The bill was voted out of committee, but it was not placed on the House calendar.

SB 850 – Sen. Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas) – The bill would direct HHSC to conduct a study that examines the impact of freestanding emergency medical centers on traditional hospital emergency departments, rural health care, and other segments of the health care industry. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1054 – Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) and HB 4404 – Rep. Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land) – The bill would prohibit health plans from discouraging an insured from using a freestanding emergency medical center. The bill was promoted by the industry. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2041 – Rep. Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Spring) – The bill would add additional disclosure patient requirements relating to insurance for freestanding emergency medical centers. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for his consideration.

SB 1549 – Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown) – The bill would allow the attorney general to prosecute freestanding emergency medical centers that charge an “unconscionable price,” which would be defined as 150 percent of the average charges according to the state’s data. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 1941 – Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) and SB 866 – Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) – The bill would authorize the attorney general’s consumer protection division to bring action against freestanding emergency medical centers (FEMCs) that charge more than 200 percent of the average price offered by similar hospitals and emergency departments in the same region (as defined by the Department of State Health Services’ Chapter 108 Health Care Data Collection program). Senator Watson added an amendment to HB 1941 to ensure that it would not affect satellite emergency departments of hospitals. HB 1941 was signed into law.

Commercial Insurance – In-Network

HB 317 – Rep. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) – The bill relates to the use of clinical decision support software for laboratory benefits. The bill was voted out of committee, but it did not receive a full House vote.

HB 1273 – Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) – The bill would prohibit health plans from denying payment for preauthorized services unless the physician “materially misrepresented the proposed health care services or substantially failed to perform the proposed health care services.” The bill was voted out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

SB 744 – Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and HB 1905 – Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) – In cases featuring HMOs that terminate a contract with a physician, the HMO would be required to provide a written copy of all information on which the HMO wholly or partly based the termination, including the economic profile of the physician. HB 1905 was voted out of committee, but it did not receive a full House vote. HB 1905 was amended to another bill in the House.

HB 1832 – Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) and SB 1282 – Sen. Donna Campbell, MD (R-New Braunfels) – The bill would create a new provision in statute: “It is an unfair method of competition or an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the business of insurance to make health benefit plan coverage for an emergency care claim dependent on a utilization review determination that the patient’s medical condition required emergency care.” HB 1832 was voted out of the House, but it did not make it out of the Senate.

HB 1718 – Rep. Sergio Munoz (D-Mission) – A type of gain-sharing model for consumers, the bill would require health plans to post their average network prices. In turn, consumers could shop around their prices and receive part of the savings as a result of finding a lower cost out-of-network service. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 1914 – Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) – The bill would lower the potential prompt pay penalties available to providers by basing the penalty on the usual, customary, and reasonable (UCR) standard, which is typically lower. The bill is being pushed by freestanding emergency medical centers. The bill was voted out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 2367 – Rep. Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood) – The bill would penalize health plans that drop physicians from their networks for referring to out-of-network facilities by prohibiting the health plan from bidding for a state contract. The bill was voted out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 2387 – Rep. Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood) and SB 1187 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) – The bill would require physicians who offer reviews by commercial health insurance plans to be of a similar specialty. In addition, the legislation would give the Texas Medical Board authority to regulate physician reviewers for health plans because that physician reviewer would be involved in the practice of medicine. HB 2387 ‘s concept was amended to SB 1742.

HB 2327 – Rep. Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood) and SB 1186 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) – The bill would create a “gold standard” for preauthorizations by exempting from physicians from preauthorizations if they have consistently been successful with a certain number of preauthorizations in the past. In addition, the bill would require HMOs to make public their preauthorization standards. HB 2387, which relates to utilization reviews, was amended to HB 2327 on the House floor. HB 2327’s concept was amended to SB 1742.

HB 2408 – Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) and SB 1741 – Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) – The bill would prohibit preauthorization for certain benefits that are mandated under Texas law. These mandates include mammography, mastectomy and breast reconstruction or prosthesis, diabetes management, low bone mass test for osteoporosis prevention, and prostate cancer screenings. HB 2408 was voted out of committee, but it was not set for a vote by the full House.

HB 2520 – Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) – For elective cases at facilities in which an HMO requires preauthorization, the HMO would be required to provide to the patients: the network status of facility-based physicians in the facility and an estimate of the enrollee’s financial responsibility. HB 2520 was voted out of committee, but it was not set for a vote by the full House.

SB 1188 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) and HB 1880 – Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) – The bill would create new network directory requirements for commercial health insurance plans. HB 1880 was voted out of committee, but it was not set for a full House vote.

HB 2631 – Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) and SB 1796 – Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) – The bill would direct health plans to pay a physician for services during the credentialing process. “On agreement to participating provider contract terms by an applicant and managed care plan issuer, and for payment purposes only, the issuer shall treat the applicant as if the applicant is a participating provider in the managed care plan network when the applicant provides services to the managed care plan’s enrollees.” HB 2631 passed out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 2632 – Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) and SB 1795 – Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) – The bill would: “A managed care entity shall provide to each physician and health care provider under contract with the managed care entity notice of any change to a reimbursement amount that will be paid to the physician or health care provider for a good or service provided…” HB 2632 passed out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 2630 – Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) and SB 1742 – Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) – The bill would require health plans to include the network status of facility-based physicians working in each network facility. SB 1742 was signed into law and featured several key amendments.

HB 3041 – Rep. Chris Turner (D-Arlington) – The bill will require a health benefit plan issuer that requires preauthorization as a condition of payment for a medical or health care service to provide a preauthorization renewal process that allows a renewal of an existing preauthorization to be requested at least 60 days before the date the preauthorization expires. The bill requires an issuer that receives a preauthorization renewal request before the existing preauthorization expires to review the request and issue a determination indicating whether the medical or health care service is preauthorized before the existing preauthorization expires, if practicable. The bill establishes the applicability of its provisions. The bill applies only to a health benefit plan that is delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on or after January 1, 2020. The bill was signed into law.

HB 3103 – Rep. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) – The bill would require all insurers authorized to engage in insurance in Texas to “provide the same disclosures in each policy or evidence of coverage issued by the insurer or organization.” The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 3232 – Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) – “A health maintenance organization may not require utilization review, including a preauthorization determination that a health care services is medically necessary and appropriate, of a health care service provided to an enrollee by a participating physician or provider.” The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 3338 – Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) – The bill would direct health plans to clearly put “HMO” or “PPO” on insureds’ health insurance cards. The bill passed out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 3484 – Rep. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) – The bill relates to the conduct of insurers providing PPO plans with respect to physician contracts.

  • The bill would define the retaliatory actions that a health plan may not use because a physician filed a complaint against the insurer or appealed a decision. The new definitions would include terminating participation, refusing to renew a contract, implementing measurable penalties in the contract negotiation process, and engaging in unfair or deceptive contract negotiation practice.
  • The bill would prohibit an insurer from recovering a payment on an audited claim until a final audit is completed.
  • The bill would require an insurer to provide a reasonable mechanism for an appeal, and the review panel must consist of at least three preferred provider representatives selected by the insurer from a list of preferred providers.

HB 3484 did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3999 – Rep. Chris Turner (D-Arlington) – The bill would require facilities to charge first responders and retired first responders the Medicare allowable for a service. Physician offices would be exempt. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 3911 – Rep. Hubert Vo (D-Houston) – The bill would direct the TDI commissioner to conduct a network adequacy examination of PPOs and EPOs every two years. The bill was signed into law.

Commercial Insurance – Out-of-Network

HB 1742 – Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo) and SB 1914 – Sen. Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas) – The bill would add new mediation requirements for out-of-network labs if the enrollee did not have a “reasonable opportunity” to inquire about the laboratory’s network status. HB 1742 passed out of the House.

SB 1264 – Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) – SB  1264 now serves as the main vehicle for a potential out-of-network overhaul (HB 3933, HB 2967, and SB 1591 were the previous bills). It would create a mediation process. SB 1264 was signed into law.

HB 3933 – Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) – The bill is similar to SB 1264.

HB 2967 – Rep. Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Spring) and SB 1591 – Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) – The bill would ban balance billing for out-of-network services. In return, a provider would submit its charge to the health plan for payment. The health plan would have the opportunity to take the charge to arbitration. The arbitrator would be directed to use the 80th percentile of FAIR Health as one of the factors to determine the final payment. HB 2967/SB 1591 is now SB 1264.

SB 1530 – Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and HB 3299 – Rep. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) – The bill would allow self-funded plans to opt into Texas’ mediation process for balance bills. SB 1530 cleared the Senate.

HB 3828 – Rep. Carl Sherman (D-Dallas) – For scheduled services, the bill would require HMOs to disclose the network status of any “facility-based physicians” who would be helping to provide the service and an estimate of the cost to the patient. In addition, the physician who is leading the service would be required to provide a statement to the patient indicating that any other physicians involved in the service, such as an anesthesiologist, may not be in the network. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 4351 – Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) – The bill would prohibit a health plan from requiring prior authorization of emergency care. In addition, the bill would require a board-certified physician licensed in Texas to complete a retrospective review of emergency care. “Before a health benefit plan issuer retrospectively denies coverage for emergency care based on the determination that it was not medically necessary or appropriate to provide the care as emergency care, the issuer or the utilization review agent acting on the issuer’s behalf shall review the enrollee’s medical record regarding the medical condition for which the emergency care was provided. If the issuer or agent requests a record relating to a retrospective review of emergency care, the health care provider who provided the emergency care shall submit the record of the emergency care to the issuer or agent in accordance with Section 4201.305.” The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 4444 – Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) – The bill would allow the attorney general to prosecute providers who balance bill a patient for $500 or more for services related to out-of-network emergency care. This would not apply to balance bills in the amount of $500 or less. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 4536 – Rep. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) – The bill would direct the Texas Department of Insurance to create standards for determining a UCR. The bill suggests that TDI should consider a clearinghouse, which would be FAIR Health. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 2252 – Sen. Donna Campbell, MD (R-New Braunfels) – The bill would direct TDI to examine insurers’ network quality and adequacy. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3178 – Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-Garland) – The bill would direct the Texas House to conduct an interim study regarding retrospective denial by health benefit claims for emergency care. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a vote.

Commercial Insurance – State Health Plans

HB 2525 – Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) – The bill would allow insureds of state employee health plans to be provided average “prices” for services and to shop the service around. The insured would have the opportunity to “pocket” part of the savings. The bill was heard in committee on 04.18.19, but it did not receive a committee vote.

SB 1359 – Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and HB 2097 – Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) – The bill would create a pilot program that would allow a school district in Tarrant County to withdraw from TRS to create its own health care program. HB 2097 was heard in a committee on 04.04.19, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 2985 – Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) – The bill would create a pilot program for ERS to administer an outpatient clinic. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

SB 1695 – Sen. Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas) and HB 2032 – Rep. John Turner (D-Dallas) – The bill would create a health literacy advisory committee and health literacy in the state health plan. HB 2032 passed out of the House.

Commercial Insurance – Workers’ Comp

SB 935 – Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-DFW) – and HB 2207 – Rep. Hugh Shine (R-Temple) – The bill is in response to “surprise bills” for Workers’ Comp-related treatments at the San Antonio Military Medical Center. The legislation would create requirements for processing medical bills for services provided to an injured employee by a federal medical treatment center and create a separate medical dispute resolution process to resolve disputes over charges billed directly to an injured employee by a federal military treatment facility. SB 935 was signed into law.

SB 934 – Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-DFW) – The bill would extend the time period for a judicial review from 45 days to 60 days after the date on which the division mailed the party the decision of the appeals panel. SB 934 passed out of the Senate, but it did not pass out of the House.

Pharmacy Issues

HB 460 – Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) – The bill relates to physicians dispensing “dangerous drugs.” The bill was heard in a committee on 03.06.19, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 698 – Rep. Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) – The bill relates to pharmacist gag clauses, which prohibit pharmacists from informing patients about lower cost options. Congressman Michael Burgess passed a federal ban on pharmacist gag clauses in 2018. The bill was voted out of committee, but it was not set for a full House vote.

HB 1622 – Rep. Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Spring) – The bill would allow physicians to dispense drugs. The bill was heard in committee on 04.17.19, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 2099 – Rep. Stan Lambert (R-Abilene) and SB 580 – Sen. Donna Campbell, MD (R-New Braunfels) – The bill relates to the modification of physician prescriptions by health plans through step therapy. HB 2099 passed out of the House, but it did not receive a vote in Senate committee.

HB 2536 – Rep. Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Spring) – The bill would require drug manufacturers to submit a report to HHSC when an individual drug’s price increases by 40 percent over three years (or 15 percent in a single year). The bill was signed into law.

HB 1455 – Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) – The bill would reduce PBM audit practices by requiring health benefit plans and PBMs to accept as evidence certain documentation that shows the quantity of dispensed drugs matches the quantity purchased from wholesalers. The bill was signed into law.

HB 2817 – Rep. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) and SB 846 – Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) – The bill addresses “unfair competition” from PBMs by allowing patients to choose how their medications are delivered, prohibiting PBMs from retroactively reducing payments after a claim is adjudicated, and forbid PBMs from paying their own pharmacies at a rate that is higher than what they reimburse their network pharmacies. HB 2817 was passed out of the House, but it did not pass the Senate.

HB 2231 – Rep. Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Spring) and SB 2261 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) – The bill would require the Texas Department of Insurance to establish a complaint resolution program relating to the reimbursement practices of PBMs. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 1264 – Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) and SB 759 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) – The bill relates to pharmacist communications to prescribing practitioners regarding certain dispensed biological products. HB 1264 was signed into law.

HB 1668 – Rep. Steve Allison (R-San Antonio) and SB 683 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) – The bill would create several necessary changes needed to update inconsistencies in the pharmacy act related to controlled substances, including provisions for pharmacies that do not dispense Schedule II drugs for seven days and to create a Class E pharmacy license or nonresident pharmacy license to an out-of-state pharmacy whose primary business is to process a prescription drug order for a patient. SB 683 was signed into law.

HB 4297 – Rep. John Raney (R-College Station) and SB 1056 – Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) –  HB 4297 amends the Occupations Code to include among the conditions under which a delegation by a physician to a properly qualified and trained pharmacist acting under adequate physician supervision of the performance of specific acts of drug therapy management may include the implementation or modification of a patient’s drug therapy under a protocol that the delegation follows a diagnosis, initial patient assessment, and drug therapy order by the physician and that the pharmacist maintains a copy of a protocol for inspection until at least the seventh anniversary of the expiration date of the protocol. The bill requires the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, not later than December 1, 2019, to adopt rules necessary to implement statutory provisions relating to rulemaking for the implementation of drug therapy under a protocol. HB 2425 by Rep. Kyle Kacal (R-College Station) is similar. SB 1056 was signed into law.

HB 2482 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) – The bill relates to financial investor disclosure statements for certain pharmacies. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3052 – Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview) – The bill relates to the revocation of a pharmacy license for failure to operate as a pharmacy for 30 days. The bill received a committee vote, but the House Calendars Committee did not set it for a full House vote.

HB 3458 – Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston) – The bill relates to the administration of an immunization by a pharmacist. The bill received a subcommittee hearing, but it did not receive a committee vote.

SB 2049 – Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown) and SB 2349 – Sen. Donna Campbell, MD (R-New Braunfels) and HB 1757 – Rep. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) – The bill relates to the authority of an insured to select a pharmacist under the insured’s health insurance policy and recognize pharmacists as “providers” in the health insurance code. HB 1757 was signed into law.

HB 4285 – Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) and SB 835 – Sen. Boris Miles (D-Houston) – The bill would allow pharmacists to administer certain drugs and vaccinations. The bill was heard in a subcommittee, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 2099 – Rep. Stan Lambert (R-Abilene) and SB 580 – Sen. Donna Cambell, MD (R-New Braunfels) – The bill relates to the modification of physician prescriptions by health plans through step therapy. HB 2099 passed out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 2425 – Rep. Kyle Kacal (R-College Station) – The bill would allow physicians to delegate certain authorities to pharmacists who are working in FQHCs. The bill was signed into law.

Controlled Substances

HB 577 – Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) and SB 420 – Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway) – A pharmacist would not be required to check the prescription monitoring program (PMP) for a refill under this proposal. SB 420 passed out of the Senate, but it did not receive a House vote.

HB 1291 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) and SB 437 – Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Lewisville) – The bill would prohibit life insurance companies from discriminating against a consumer based on an individual’s prescription for or obtainment of an opioid antagonist. SB 437 was signed into law.

HB 1710 – Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos (D-Richardson) – The bill would require a prescriber to provide disclosures to patients relating to the risk of addiction and overdose for the prescription of Schedule II controlled substances. The bill passed out of the House, but it did not receive consideration in the Senate.

HB 2811 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) – The bill would create a standard of care and informed consent provision for prescribing opioids. The bill passed out of the House, but it did not receive a Senate committee vote.

HB 3284 – Rep. JD Sheffield, DO (R-Gatesville – The bill would create an advisory committee for the state’s prescription monitoring program and delay the mandate to check the prescription monitoring program until March 1, 2020. The bill was signed into law.

SB 813 – Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) – The bill would limit the prescription of an “opioid” to seven days for acute pain. The bill would allow a prescriber to use his or her medical judgment to prescribe for more than seven days. However, the prescriber would be required to document the need in the patient’s medical record. In addition, the bill would require prescribers to disclose the risks associated with “opioids.”  The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2085 – Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview) – The bill relates to nonopioid directives. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2086 – Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview) and SB 2367 – Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) – The bill would require pharmacies and health care facilities to establish a controlled substance disposal program. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2087 – Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview) – The bill would mandate electronic prescribing for Schedule II drugs beginning on September 1, 2019. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2088 – Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview) – The bill would require pharmacists to provide patients with a list of safe drug drop-off sites. The bill was signed into law.

HB 2174 – Rep. John Zerwas, MD (R-Richmond) and SB 1233 – Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) – The bill has been endorsed by the Attorney General and would: limit Schedule II prescriptions for acute injuries and surgeries to 10 days, mandate physicians to go through annual CME training for pain medications, and mandate electronic prescribing for Schedule II prescriptions beginning on January 1, 2019. HB 2174 was signed into law.

SB 340 – Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) and HB 1449 – Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) – The bill would create a grant assistance program to assist law enforcement agencies with the purchase of opioid antagonists. SB 340 was signed into law.

Public Health

HB 87 – Rep. Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio) – The bill would add “distracted driving” to the list of information that DPS must provide to minors who are applying for driver’s licenses. The bill was signed into law.

HB 748 – Rep. Victoria Neave (D-Dallas) – The bill would change the headgear requirements related to motorcycles. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 746 – Rep. Toni Rose (D-Dallas) and HB 1722 (Rep. Garnet Coleman) – The bill would create disease control pilot programs to reduce the risk of certain diseases. HB 1722 was placed on the House Calendar for 05.09.19.

HB 1078 – Rep. Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Spring) – The bill would waive certain driver’s license and concealed handgun fees for individuals who hold a certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The bill was signed into law.

HB 1064 – Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) – The bill would designate May 4 as Texas Firefighters Day. The bill was signed into law.

HB 1307 – Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin) – The bill would create an electronic disaster case management system by the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The bill was signed into law.

HB 1425 – Rep. Bobby Guerra (D-McAllen) – The bill relates to the duration of laboratory support for testing of vector-borne infectious diseases in border counties. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a committee vote.

SB 1121 – Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) – The bill relates to public health laboratory capabilities in counties in the Rio Grande Valley. The bill passed out of the Senate, but it did not pass out of the House.

SB 1122 – Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) – The bill would establish a sanitarian recruitment and retention program in border counties for public health purposes. The bill passed out of the Senate, but it did not pass out of the House.

SB 1124 – Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) – The bill relates to the establishment of a border health response team. The bill passed out of the Senate, but it did not pass out of the House.

SB 2087 – Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) – The bill relates to traumatic injury response protocol and the use of bleeding control kits in public schools. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a vote.

SB 2350 – Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) – The bill would prohibit the administration of vaccines in Texas unless the FDA has performed studies regarding certain side effects that are specified in the bill. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

SB 2351 – Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) and HB 3857 – Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) – The bill would prohibit health care providers from denying service to individuals due to the fact that the individual has refused to be vaccinated. SB 2351 was heard in committee, but it did not receive a committee vote.

SB 1764 – Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and SB 1809 – Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) and HB 1890 – Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) – The bill would allow an individual to amend emergency information on a driver’s license through the DPS website. SB 1764 was signed into law.

HB 496 – Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D-San Antonio) – The bill would create a “stop the bleed” program in public schools. The bill was signed into law.

Medical Lawsuits

HB 765 – Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston) – The bill would tie non-economic damages awarded in health lawsuits to the consumer price index. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 2362 – Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) and Four Price (R-Amarillo) and SB 2378 – Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) – The bill relates to the standard of proof in health care liability claims involving emergency care. The bill moved after all stakeholders agreed to updated language.  HB 2362 was signed into law.

SB 1215 – Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown) and HB 3832 – Rep. Reggie Smith (R-Sherman)– The bill relates to the recovery of medical or health care expenses in civil actions. “The trier of fact shall consider a claimant’s failure to seek reimbursement for medical or health care expenses that are obligated to be paid on the claimant’s behalf a failure to mitigate the claimant’s damages.” The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1565 – Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) and HB 3248 – Rep. Reggie Smith (R-Sherman) – The bill relates to patient information that may be excluded from a health care claim. SB 1565 was signed into law.

General Government

HB 4411 – Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville) – The bill would remove the Texas Association of Counties from the list of entities that may provide required continuing education to certain county officials. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 281 – Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville) and SB 29 – Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) – The bill would prohibit certain municipalities from directly hiring lobbyists. The bill failed a House vote.

Advanced Directives and DNR

SB 2089 – Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) – Under Chapter 166.046, Health and Safety Code, if a doctor or hospital decides not to honor a patient’s advance directive, the doctor can withdraw life-sustaining treatment, such as a ventilator, after 10 days’ notice to the family. Families only have this 10-day window to transfer their loved one to a different facility before basic life-sustaining measures are discontinued. If the family cannot find another facility in 10 days (which is often the case), the doctor can remove the treatment and the patient dies.

S.B. 2089 requires that when a physician refuses to honor a patient or surrogate’s medical directives, the physician is required to continue to provide treatment until a facility that will provide the treatment is located and the patient is transferred. S.B. 2089 does not require a physician to provide increasingly aggressive treatment options to the patient. Current law and S.B. 2089 only require a physician to provide treatment that in reasonable medical judgment sustains the life of the patient and without which the patient will die. SB 2089 passed out of the Senate, but it did not receive a House vote.

HB 3332 – Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls) – The bill relates to the revocation of DNR for patients admitted to a hospital or facility. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3369 – Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) – The bill relates to advance directives. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1786 – Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and HB 1082 – Rep. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) – The bill relates to certain advance directives. The bills did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 1071 – Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin) – The bill relates to advanced directives and DNRs related to pregnant women. The committee vote failed.

HB 3743 – Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) – The bill relates to conflicts of interest and discrimination policies for an ethics or medical committee review of an advance directive. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 2129 – Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-The Woodlands) – The bill relates to advanced directives. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a committee vote.

SB 2355 – Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) and HB 3743 – Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) – The bill relates to conflicts of interest and discrimination policies for an ethics or medical committee review of an advance directive. SB 2355 was heard in committee, but it did not receive a committee vote.