Legislature Bill Tracker

85th Texas Legislature Bill Tracker

Turn to TEMSA’s member e-mail newsletter for updates on bills in the 85th Texas Legislature. Updated on June 1, 2017.

EMS Personnel

HB 1794 (Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia) – The bill would establish the Work Group on Mental Health Access for First Responders. Two EMS professionals would have a seat at the table, and one of the two professionals must come from a fire department-based EMS agency. The bill passed the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 357 (Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Kingwood) – The bill would provide free prekindergarten to the children of certain first responders who are eligible for the Star of Texas award, including EMS professionals. The bill passed the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 590 (Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston) – The bill would protect first responders from civil liability if they are helping an individual with roadside assistance. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 3625 (Rep. Phil Cortez, D-San Antonio) – The bill would update the state’s reciprocity standards for certain EMS personnel who served in the military by adding that an individual who completes the state emergency medical certification exam while enlisted in the US military or within the 12-month period following an honorable discharge from the military would be eligible. The bill was not considered in the Legislature because current statute allows for this.

HB 786 (Rep. Gary VanDeaver, R-New Boston) – The bill would prohibit an employer from terminating or suspending the employment of an employee due to his or her absence as a result of being a volunteer emergency responder. The bill did not make it out of the House.

SB 580 (Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls) and HB 1958 (Rep. Drew Springer, R-Gainesville) – The Bill would prevent the state from requiring volunteer firefighters or members of an industrial emergency response team from obtaining licensing. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

HB 2467 (Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston) – The bill would create a grant program for peace officers who experience critical incidents during official duty. The bill did not get voted out of the House.

HB 2685 (Rep. Mando Martinez, D-Weslaco) – The bill relates to employment provisions for firefighters. The bill did not leave the committee.

HB 3228 (Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin) – The bill would exempt certain tuition and fees for paramedics. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3264 (Rep. Rodney Anderson, R-Irving) – The bill relates to tax benefits for certain current and former first responders and their families. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

 

EMS Personnel – Guns

HB 435 (Rep. Ken King, R-Canadian) – The bill would provide protections to volunteer emergency services personnel for the purpose of carrying handguns while on duty. It is not a government mandate. An amendment to prevent individuals from carrying guns on the campuses of state hospitals was added. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 2009 (Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood) – The bill relates to an exemption for certain law enforcement and military personnel from a requirement to complete a hunter education program. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

HB 2735 (Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston) – The bill would direct the state to create standards for first responders to carry guns while on duty. The training course would have to include not less than 40 hours of instruction and be taught by a qualified handgun instructor. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

HB 56 (Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van) – The bill would amend various sections of the Penal Code and Human Resources Code relating to exempting first responders for trespassing with a concealed or openly carried handgun if the first responder was carrying out their duties. It does not mandate an employer to allow carry. It simply exempts first responders who do carry from 30.06 and 30.07 prosecution. It is not a government mandate. The bill did not receive a vote in the House.

 SB 1408 (Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas) – The bill relates to the carrying of a handgun by certain first responders and volunteer EMS personnel. It would apply to volunteers only, require training to de-escalate the situation, and indicate that the discharge of the firearm is outside the scope of duty for a volunteer EMS professional or firefighter. It would prevent the agency from limiting an individual’s right to carry while on duty. The bill was voted out of the Senate. However, it did not receive a vote in the House.

HB 1337 (Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano) – The bill relates to the carrying or storage of a handgun by a firefighter at a fire station in which the firefighter is assigned. This is only for firefighters. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 982 (Rep. John Wray, R-Waxahachie) – The bill relates to the ability of certain first responders to carry a handgun. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

 

EMS Personnel – First Responders Killed or Fatally Wounded

SJR1 (Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels), HJR 86 (Rep. Angie Button, R-Garland) and HJR 88 (Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Frisco) – The proposed constitutional amendment would authorize the Legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty. SB 15 is the enabling legislation. SJR 1 passed out of the Legislature and was filed with the Secretary of State.

SB 15 (Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas), HB 2524 (Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Frisco) and HB 570 (Rep. Angie Button, R-Garland) – The bill relates to an exemption from property taxes for the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty. SB 15 passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

 HB 2119 (Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-Bryan) – The bill relates to workers’ compensation death benefit eligibility for certain spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

HB 1526 (Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford) – The bill relates to the provision of state death benefits to peace officers employed by certain private institutions of higher education located in this state. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 3454 (Rep. Terry Wilson, R-Georgetown) – The bill certain offenses committed against a federal law enforcement officer or EMS personnel. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1184 (Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Tyler) – The bill relates to benefits for the eligible survivors of certain law enforcement officers, firefighters, and “other public employees killed in the line of duty.” The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 1919 (Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo) – The bill would add EMS professionals, peace officers, and firefighters to the list of individuals who are covered by “prejudice profiling attacks.” The bill was heard in a House committee hearing.

SB 899 (Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston) and HB 429 (Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas) – The bill is similar to HB 1919. Neither bill made it out of committee.

 HB 3264 (Rep. Rodney Anderson, R-Irving) – The bill would provide some ad valorem tax benefits for certain first responders. EMS professionals would not be included. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

 

EMS Personnel – Workers’ Comp

HB 2082 (Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock) and SB 1036 (Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock) – The bill relates to the designation of a liaison to assist first responders with workers’ compensation claims. HB 2082 passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 1983 (Rep. John Wray, R-Waxahachie) and SB 1722 (Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston) – The bill relates to the eligibility of a firefighter or a peace officer for workers’ compensation benefits for PTSD. HB 1983 passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

 

Texas EMS Assistance Program

HB 1407 (Rep. JD Sheffield, R-Gatesville) and SB 1471 (Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo) – The bill would create the framework to create a dedicated fund to preserve local project grants (LPGs) and create a rural distance-learning program for paramedics. HB 1407 passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 3577 (Rep. JD Sheffield, R-Gatesville) – The bill would create a rural distance-learning paramedic program. HB 3577 served as the “back-up” to HB 1407.

 

EMS Tax Relief

HB 1332 (Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound) – The bill would provide fuel tax relief to entities that provide 9-1-1 services to Texas communities. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

HB 359 (Rep. John Cyrier, R-Lockhart) – The bill would add entities that have an agreement with a local governmental entity to provide emergency ambulance services to the list of entities that have sales tax relief for the purchase of vehicles that are used for EMS services. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

 

Mental Health

SB 344 (Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas) – The bill would provide peace officers with the ability to transport a mental health patient directly to a paramedic for the purposes of bypassing a hospital and taking the patient directly to a mental health facility. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 71 (Rep. Mando Martinez, D-Weslaco) – The bill would direct county officials to maintain a list of EMS providers in the McAllen area that can transport mental health patients to mental health facilities. It focuses on McAllen and would direct county officials to reimburse the EMS providers for their services. The bill was voted out of the House. However, it did not move in the Senate.

HB 1289 (Rep. Andy Murr, R-Kerrville) – The bill would require any individual who transports a person to a mental health facility at the direction of a peace officer to immediately file with the facility the notification of detention completed by the peace officer who made the request. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

HB 2402 (Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston) – The bill would direct the state to create an acute psychiatry bed registry of list available beds for emergency detention and treatment of certain individuals. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1186 (Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas) – The bill would require a certain percentage of municipal police departments and sheriff departments to have a percentage of their officers who have mental health assignment certification. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

 

Driver Responsibility Program

Efforts to overhaul the DRP failed. HB 2068 was the moving vehicle in the final days. However, it died in the Senate.

HB 2068 (Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman) and SB 2185 (Sen. Borris Miles, D-Houston) – The bill relates to the DRP and has been viewed as the one DRP bill that is “moving.”

HB 4257 and HJR 124 (Rep. Armando Walle, D-Houston) – Rep. Walle is proposing a constitutional amendment to add the “EMS and Trauma Fund” to the list of which “line items” receive oil and gas taxes and General Revenue surpluses. Currently, 50 percent goes to the Rainy Day Fund (Economic Stabilization Fund). The rest goes to the State Highway Fund.

The constitutional amendment would give three-eighths to the Rainy Day Fund, one-eighth to the “EMS and Trauma Fund,” and the rest of the Highway Fund.

HB 67 (Rep. James White, R-Woodville), HB 275 (Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock), SB 90 (Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood) and SB 661 (Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas) – These bills would repeal the DRP.

HB 459 (Rep. Tony Dale, R-Cedar Park) – The bill would give a justice of the peace the ability to enforce the DRP, if the justice desires to do so.

HB 684 (Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston) – The bill would require the department to add a disclosure regarding the DRP for citizens who are indigent.

SB 266 (Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin) – The bill would decrease the amounts of the surcharge and ensure that 99 percent of the into the dedicated account as opposed to the current provision that places half of the revenue in the state’s general revenue fund.

HB 1430 (Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston) – The bill relates to the indigent status of an individual for the purposes of the DRP.

SB 599 (Sen. Konni Burton, R-Fort Worth) and HB 1016 (Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth) – The bills relate to the deferral and reduction or waiver of certain surcharges assessed under the DRP.

 

Air Medical

HB 935 (Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond) – The bill would dedicate a portion of the state’s traffic fine revenue and direct it to air medical ambulances for the purpose of helping the industry to draw down additional federal dollars for the purpose of increasing the air medical ambulance Medicaid rate to match Medicare. A provision in the budget was created to fund HB 935. The bill passed out of the House. However, it did not make it out of the Senate.

 

Commercial Insurance

SB 507 (Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills) & HB 1566 (Rep. John Frullo, R-Lubbock) – The bill would subject all types of health care providers to a mediation process that allows to content any balance bill in the amount of $500 or more. However, ambulances are exempt. The previous law, which was originally passed in 2009, applied to facility-based physicians and assisting surgeons. SB 507 passed out of the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor.

SB 1171 (Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls) and HB 3343 (Rep. Dennis Paul, R-Houston) – The bill relates to the suspension and reactivation of the operation of the Texas Health Reinsurance System. SB 1171 passed out of the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor.

HB 1428 (Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo) – The bill would add the Teacher Retirement System of Texas to the list of health insurance plans that are eligible for mediation for certain balance billing claims. This is the $500 mediation threshold for balance bills from facility-based physicians and assisting surgeons. The bill passed the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor.

HB 3348 (Rep. Dennis Paul, R-Houston) – The bill would offer an insurance rider to consumers that covers emergency care. Providers would paid be based on usual, customary, and reasonable standards that is the 80th percentile of a specific database. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 307 (Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock) – The bill would require certain health care professionals to disclose certain fees. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

HB 336 (Rep. Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth) – The bill would require greater transparency regarding the networks of the state’s commercial health insurance plans. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

HB 477 (Rep. Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth) – The bill would require commercial health insurance plans to offer additional disclosures to patients. The bill passed out of the House. However, it did not move out of the Senate.

HB 1994 (Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock) – The bill would create a joint interim committee to study health care costs and the transparency of costs and benefits. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2077 (Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood) – The bill would require the Texas Department of Insurance to collect data related to health plans’ calculation of payments to out-of-network providers. The bill was note voted out of committee.

HB 2397 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission) and SB 1388 (Sen. Chuy Hinojosa, D-McAllen) – The bill would add fraud committed by a provider against a health plan as an additional reason for terminating a contract under Texas law. HB 2397 did not receive a vote in the House.

HB 2396 (Rep. Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas) – The bill would require HMOs to provide an annual report of their earnings to the Texas comptroller. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2630 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission) – The bill would require health plans to report on a quarterly basis the number of claims and the number of denials. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2760 (Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood) and SB 2210 (Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills) – The bill would require enhanced network transparency standards and provider listings. HB 2760 did not receive a vote out of the House.

SB 1485 (Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels) and HB 2945 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission) – The bill would require health plans to pay out-of-network providers based on an allowed charge for a covered service that is not less than the average charge for the service by out-of-network providers in the geozip area (minus any charge that was the patient’s responsibility). In exchange, the provider would agree to not balance bill the patient. The bills did not witness movement.

SB 1486 (Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels) and HB 3755 (Rep. Rodney Anderson, R-Irving) – The bill would define UCR as the average allowed charge based on a specific geographic area. HB 3755 received a committee hearing.

HB 3546 (Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Houston) – The bill would require health plans to credit an insured’s deductible and annual out-of-pocket expense based on an amount the insured pays directly to a health care provider for a covered service if the claim is not submitted to the insurer and the amount paid by the insured to the provider is less than the average discounted rate for the service paid to an equivalent. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3753 (Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood) and SB 1486 (Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels) – The bill relates to payment standards for out-of-network services. The bill did not witness movement.

HB 3814 (Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood) – The bill is similar to HB 3753 and would define UCR as 135 percent of the maximum allowed charge for out-of-network services. The bill did not receive movement.

SB 1613 (Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels) and HB 2449 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission) – The bill relates to assignment of benefits and would allow a provider to take any necessary action to recover payment. The bills did not witness movement.

SB 1615 (Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels) – The bill adds additional definition to what constitutes balance billing by stating that balance billing does not include charging for any deductible, copayment, or coinsurance for which the enrollee is obligated to pay. In addition, it would include any amount the health plan is obligated to reimburse the enrollee or to pay on behalf of the enrollee for the service received by the enrollee (assignment of benefits). The bill did not witness movement.

SB 1614 (Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels) – The bill would additional text to what constitutes a misleading representation of a policy by adding “make a misleading representation or misrepresentation in an explanation of benefits provided by a health insurer or other health benefit plan issuer or a third-party administrator of a health benefit plan to an individual covered under the plan.” The bill did not witness movement.

SB 1636 (Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels) and HB 1649 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission) – The bill would prevent HMOs from using extrapolation to complete an audit of a participating provider. HB 1649 passed out of the House. However, it did not move in the Senate.

HB 4011 (Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock) – The bill relates to the prohibition of reporting of information regarding debt incurred for nonemergency medical care. The bill was defeated on the House floor.

HB 4016 (Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood) – The bill relates to the payment of and disclosures related to certain out-of-network provider charges. It would define UCR as 135 percent of the highest allowed charge for out-of-network services within a specific region. The bill did not witness movement.

 

Regional Advisory Councils (RACs)

HB 1148 (Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston) – The bill would consolidate some of the administrative duties in order to save money and time. RACs would be able to opt out. Administrative hubs would take over the role of contracting, legal, and other administrative duties so that personnel could focus on the communities. In addition, administrative hubs would have to apply for the role and ensure that checks and balances will be applied to assure that money is being spent and allocated correctly. The bill passed out of the House. However, its Senate vote was pulled in the final days.

 

Emergency Services Commissioners/Districts

SB 517 (Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston), HB 2504 & HB 267 (both Rep. Ana Hernandez, D-Houston) – The bill would reimburse emergency services commissioners for some of their costs. A similar effort was vetoed in 2015. HB 2504 passed the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor.

HB 2788 (Rep. James White, R-Woodville) – The bill relates to the number of emergency services commissioners appointed in a region near the Louisiana boarder in southeast Texas. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor.

SB 1563 (Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham) – The bill relates to audits of financial accounts and records of emergency services districts. The bill did not witness movement.

HB 3214 (Rep. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio) – The bill relates to the service plan for annexation by certain municipalities of territory included in an ESD. The bill did not make it to the House floor for a vote.

 

General EMS Issues

HB 1290 (Rep. Kevin Roberts, R-Houston) – The bill would require a state agency to remove one existing regulatory provision before adding a new provision. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 1249 (Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Arlington) – The bill would prevent individuals from operating vehicles that resemble official ambulances. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor.

 SB 1570 (Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston) and HB 3152 (Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston) – The bill relates to care and transportation provided to a sexual assault survivor by a health care facility. HB 3152 was voted out of the Legislature and sent to the governor for consideration.

SB 854 (Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville) – The bill would permit the Texas Division of Emergency Management to purchase food and beverages for department personnel who are activated in response to an emergency situation. The bill passed out of the Legislature and was signed into law.

SB 210 (Senator Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham) and HB 4245 (Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City) – The bill would require state agencies to remove two existing regulations in exchange for creating a new regulation that would impact a taxpayer. The bills did not witness movement.

HB 3186 (Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City) – The bill would add a new definition to the Health and Safety code to define “patient” as a person who has a perceived need for medical care for a physiological or psychological illness or injury; requires medical observation, monitoring, or assessment; and is either awaiting treatment or already under treatment for the related condition. The bill would also require epinephrine on an EMS vehicle when authorized by the medical director. The bill did not witness movement.

HB 1223 (Rep. Andy Murr, R-Junction) – The bill would require vehicles to pull over for both the audible and visible signals of an emergency vehicle. Current law only requires a response to audible signals. The bill passed out of the House. However, it did not witness movement in the Senate.

HB 2063 (Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood) – The bill relates to DNR orders and situations in which neither the patient nor the family has specified a DNR. The bill did not receive a vote in the House.

SB 1224 (Sen. Borris Miles, D-Houston) – The bill would create a statewide system for stroke response and treatment. The bill did not witness movement.

 

Prescription Drugs

SB 584 (Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas) and HB 3313 (Rep. Toni Rose, D-Dallas) – The bill would allow certain individuals to provide opioid antagonist drugs to individuals who are experiencing an opioid overdose. SB 584 passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration. The concept was also amended on SB 315, which was sent to the governor for a signature.

HB 1178 (Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin) & SB 536 (Sen. Chuy Hinojosa, D-McAllen) – The bill would add new punishment standards for the burglary and theft of controlled substances in pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, and nursing facilities. HB 1178 passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

 

Medicaid

SB 894 (Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Austin) and HB 3596 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Palmview) – The bill would add more transparency to the procedures for auditing and collecting payments from Medicare managed care organizations. SB 894 passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

SB 293 (Sen. Chuy Hinojosa, D-McAllen) – The bill relates to the proof required to impose payment holds in certain cases of fraud by Medicaid providers. The bill passed out of the Senate. However, it did not receive a House vote.

HB 1398 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission) – The bill would require Medicaid plans to allow providers to electronically submit documentation necessary for the Medicaid plan to process a claim for payment. The bill did not receive a House vote.

HB 1420 (Rep. Mando Martinez, D-Weslaco) – The bill relates to prompt payment rules relating to Medicaid plans. If the bill is not paid on or before the 15th day after the date, the penalty is equal to 20 percent of the outstanding claim amount. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

HB 1524 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission) – The bill would direct HHSC to create transparency regarding rate setting in the actuarial reports for the Medicaid managed care plans. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

HB 2342 (Rep. Mando Martinez, D-Weslaco) – The bill would direct the government to study whether switching to Medicaid managed care has led to savings for the state. The bill did not receive committee consideration.

HB 2375 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission) – The bill would direct the government to study savings associated with the Medicaid managed care program. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

HB 2500 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission) – The bill would direct HHSC to convert Medicaid to a fee-for-service model. The bill did not witness movement.

HB 2626 (Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission) – The bill would set ceilings for the amount of administrative expenses utilized by Medicaid managed care plans. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

 

Public Health

SB 31 (Sen. Juddith Zaffirini, D-Laredo) and HB 62 (Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland) and HB 160 (Rep. Eddie Lucio, III) – The bill would create a ban on texting while driving. HB 62 passed out of the Legislature and was sent to the governor for consideration.

 

Telemedicine

SB 1107 (Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown) and HB 2697 (Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo) – The bill would direct the Texas Medical Board and other licensing boards to develop standards for telemedicine. SB 1107 passed out of the Legislature and was signed into law.

 

Medicaid “Draw Down” Funding Bills

Several bills have been filed that would allow certain regions within Texas to have hospitals match dollars to draw down additional federal dollars. Several bills were passed in other regions in the 2015 Texas Legislature.

Bills affecting eight regions (including Tarrant County) either passed or were amended to other bills:

Red River Area

HB 2062

Lufkin Area
HB 2995 and SB 1758.

San Angelo Area
SB 1429 and HB 3398.

Tyler Area
HB 3993 and SB 1840.

Williamson County
HB 3954

Amarillo Area
SB 2117

Dallas Area
SB 2170

 

Freestanding Emergency Medical Centers

HB 3276 (Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Spring) – The bill would require FEMCs to list their network status in the lobby.

HB 3122 (Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston) – The bill would require FEMCS to disclose their network status to patients.

HB 3099 (Rep. Dennis Paul, R-Houston) – The bill would require FEMCs to provide disclosures to patients.

HB 3867 (Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo) and SB 3867 (Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills) – The bill relates to “unconscionable prices charged by certain health care facilities.”

HB 3870 (Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo) – The bill relates to required disclosures by freestanding emergency medical centers.

Appropriations – A provision in the Senate’s version of the budget would prevent state employee health plans from paying for insureds to use freestanding emergency medical centers.