2021 Bill Tracker

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Air Medical

SB 183 – Sen. PerryThe bill would create an air medical reciprocity program in Texas. The bill did not move out of the Senate.

HB 1460 – Rep. OliversonThe bill would require air medical ambulances that sell memberships to make certain disclosures on their websites and marketing material. The bill did not move out of the House.

SB 790 and HB 4037 – Sen. Zaffirini and Rep. HowardThe bill relates to Travis County’s local rates and would give air medical the ability to charge less than the set rates. SB 790 featured two amendments to create a study on ground ambulance billing and to allow ground ambulance to not balance bill (if they wish to not do so). SB 790 cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration. 

ESDs & 911 Districts

HB 553 – Rep. Ed ThompsonThe bill relates to the approval by commissioners courts of the annual budgets for ESDs. The bill did not move out of the committee.

HB 639 and SB 1337 – Rep. White and Sen. SchwertnerThe bill relates to the authority of an ESD to provide public health services beyond 911 services, and this served as the top priority for the trade association for the ESDs. The bill was one of 109 local bills that died at 3:30 a.m. on the final Friday.

SB 446 and HB 1228 – Sen. Kolkhorst and Rep. LehmanThe bill addresses a 911 district located within their district. HB 1228 cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

HB 1819 – Rep. MartinezThe bill relates to the powers of board members in certain ESDs. The bill did not receive a vote in the full House.

SB 774 and HB 2494 – Sen. Nichols and Rep. Metcalf – The bill relates to the election of emergency services commissioners in certain ESDs. HB 2494 was signed into law.

HB 2323 and SB 1473 – Rep. Schofield and Sen. Miles – The bill would require a board to remove territory from a district on request of a municipality only if the municipality has secured an alternative EMS provider. HB 2323 did not make it out of the House.

SB 1189 – Sen. BuckinghamThe bill relates to the authority of a municipality to remove territory from an emergency services district following annexation. The bill did not move.

Commercial Health Insurance

HB 573 and SB 1271 – Rep. Oliverson and Sen. SchwertnerThe bill relates to health sharing ministry health plans. The bill was killed in the House on a point of order.

HB 620 – Rep. Julie JohnsonThe bill would require health plans to label all insurance cards with an HMO or PPO designation. The bill did not move.

SB 124 and HB 578 – Sen. Johnson and Rep. TurnerThe bill relates to health literacy programs in the state of Texas. HB 578 moved out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

SB 519 – Sen. SchwertnerThe bill would prohibit HMOs from using extrapolation to complete an audit of a participating provider. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 436 – Sen. BlancoThe bill would prohibit plans regulated by the state from defining Covid-19 as a pre-existing condition. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 1369 – Rep. JettonThe bill relates to the regulation of health care cost-sharing ministries. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

SB 749, HB 1529, and HB 1541 – Sen. Johnson, Rep. Martinez Fischer, and Rep. JohnsonThe bill would establish comprehensive preexisting condition protections in Texas statute to mirror the federal protections of the Affordable Care Act. The bills did not move.

HB 2276 and SB 2124 – Rep. Lucio III and Sen. BlancoThe bill relates to the consent to electronic delivery of information. SB 2124 cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

HB 2389 – Rep. MoodyThe bill would require HMOs to provide additional explanation as to why they terminated a physician from the network. Information would include an economic profile. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 2600 – Rep. PaulThe bill would direct the state to study the fiscal impact of commercial insurance mandates. The bill received opposition from organized medicine and did not receive a vote in the full House.

HB 2636 – Rep. LopezThe bill would require commercial health plans to cover certain at-home monitoring devices for chronic disease related to patients of a certain age. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 2929 – Rep. BonnenThe bill would add additional “teeth” to the state’s current law related to the unlawful termination of a physician from a health plan’s network. The bill moved out of the House, but it did not experience action in the Senate.

HB 3558 – Rep. MunozThe bill would prohibit a health plan from downgrading a payment if the suspected emergency is no longer determined to be an emergency following the fact. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1296 – Sen. Nathan JohnsonThe bill would give the TDI commissioner the ability to review and disapprove certain rate increases. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

SB 1442 – Sen. CampbellThe bill relates to regulation of health care sharing ministries; providing civil penalties. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 3947 – Rep. MunozThe bill would add additional cost estimate requirements that health plans must provide to insureds. The bill did not receive a hearing.

Commercial Insurance – Competition Issues

HB 4051 – Rep. FrankThe bill would add new standards to the state’s statute that prevents anti-competitive behavior between providers and insurance plans. The bill did not make it out of the House.

Commercial Health Insurance – Bundled Payments

HB 1527 – Rep. GatesThe bill would created bundled payment programs for the state’s employee health plans: ERS and TRS. The bill did not pass out of the House. However, a budget provision directed ERS to examine bundled payments.

Commercial Health Insurance – Coverage

HB 3752 – Rep. FrankThe bill relates to the provision of health benefits coverage through the creation of the Texas Mutual Health Coverage Plan. After opposition from AARP, non-subscriber Workers’ Comp plans and others, the bill resulted in amended language will now turn the bill into what is viewed as a “study” with a sunset on it. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final approval.

HB 3924 and SB 1973 –  Rep. Oliverson and Sen. SpringerThe bill would create a new insurance plan that avoids some of the Affordable Care Act requirements through the Texas Farm Bureau. The bill cleared both chambers and will now be considered by the governor.

Commercial Health Insurance – EMS

SB 999 and HB 4115 – Sen. Hancock and Rep. OliversonThe bill started out as a prohibition on ground EMS from balance billing for out-of-network emergency services. Challenges could be made through a non-binding mediation process. After passing out of the Senate as a study on ground EMS billing, the House version turned into a ban on balance billing for facility-to-facility transports for certain segments of the EMS industry. The bill was ultimately added as an amendment to SB 790 and simply created a study of ground EMS billing services. The ban on balance billing was removed. The bill did not move out of the House.

Commercial Health Insurance – Emergency Care

HB 2241 and SB 1037 – Rep. Oliverson and Sen. WhitmireThe bill would update the state’s “prudent layperson” law to ensure that commercial health plans cannot deny a payment due to a non-emergent diagnosis following a surgery. The bill did not make it out of the House.

HB 2035 – Rep. Julie JohnsonThe bill relates to the utilization review of emergency care claims under health plans. The bill did not make it out of the House.

Commercial Health Insurance – Price Transparency

HB 1907 and SB 1135 – Rep. Walle and Sen. Kolkhorst – The bill, which is pushed by the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, would create an all payor claims database for the state of Texas. HB 1907’s concept was ultimately included in HB 2090.

HB 2090 – Rep. BurrowsThe bill includes the all-payer claims database, a transparency requirement on health plans to disclose cost-sharing requirements to insureds and codifies the federal price transparency concepts. The bill cleared both chambers.

SB 914 and HB 2487 and SB 1137 – Sen. Hancock and Rep. Oliverson and Sen. Kolkhorst – The bill would require hospitals to disclose a certain set of standard charges and other prices. The bills were incorporated into HB 2090.

SB 1845 – Sen. SchwertnerThe bill relates to itemized billing for health care services and supplies provided by health care providers. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 2122 – Sen. HughesThe bill relates to itemized billing for health care services and supplies provided by health care providers. The bill did not make it out of the House after passing the Senate.

Commercial Insurance – Prior Authorization

Numerous bills related to prior authorization have been filed by Rep. Julie Johnson and other lawmakers. Due to the fact that they do not relate to EMS, they are not included in our bill tracker.

Commercial Health Insurance – Personal Injury/Auto Accidents

SB 207 and HB 1617 – Sens. Schwertner, Buckingham, and Campbell and Rep. Bonnen – The bill would make physicians’ commercial insurance rates available for the purposes of determining medical expenses in personal injury cases. SB 207 did not end up moving after a May 7 Supreme Court ruling on the issue.

HB 621 – Rep. Julie Johnson – Per the bill’s author, the bill “proposes that health insurance companies may not delay or deny payment of a claim based on secondary coverage to third party liability. After a car wreck, the last thing that an individual should worry about is a denial or delay of payment of a health insurance claim when they thought they had coverage. Unfortunately, many doctors refuse to see patients who have been involved in a car wreck out of previous bad experiences with insurance companies who refuse to reimburse them for services rendered based on secondary coverage to third-party liability This bill will eliminate this issue.”

HB 2064 – Rep. LeachThe bill relates to hospital liens and would create an alternative calculation for determining a lien.

Commercial Health Insurance – Risk Pool

SB 745 and HB 3581 – Sen. Johnson and Rep. Martinez FischerThe bill would create a high-risk pool for the state of Texas. The bill did not move.

HB 2176 and SB 874 – Rep. Oliverson and Sen. HancockThe bill would extend the state’s temporary high-risk pool. SB 874 cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

Commercial Insurance – Sunset

HB 1860 and SB 713 – Rep. Cyrier and Sen. BuckinghamThe bill would push the Texas Department of Insurance’s Sunset review from 2023 to 2025. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

Covid-19 Funding

SB 809 – Sen. KolkhorstThe bill would require health care “providers” that receive federal funding related to Covid-19 (CARES Act, etc.) to compile a written report related to the funding’s use, and the report would be provided to Texas officials. The bill passed out of both chambers and was sent to the governor for his final consideration.

EMS – General

SB 664 – Sen. PowellThe bill would create procedures for EMS personnel and peace officers who reply to 911 calls related to strangulation. The bill was heard in committee. However, it did not receive a vote.

HB 2914 – Rep. Chris TurnerThe bill relates to a fire department’s billing in the DFW area. Specifically, it would allow Grand Prairie to attach an EMS fee to the water bill. The bill moved through the House. However, it did not receive a Senate hearing.

HB 3266 – Rep. RaymondThe bill relates to personal contact information submitted by certain local officials to the Texas Division of Emergency Management and local health departments. The bill moved through the House. However, it did not receive a Senate hearing.

HB 3605 and SB 1763 – Rep. John Turner and Sen. SpringerThe bill would add a representative from the ambulatory surgery center industry to the state’s GETAC advisory council. The bills did not make it out of either chamber.

SB 1056 – Sen. HuffmanThe bill relates to criminal liability for reporting false information to draw an emergency response; creating an offense. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

SB 1386 – Sen. CreightonThe bill would regulate body cameras worn by EMS professionals. The bill passed out of the Senate. However, the House did not push it.

EMS Personnel

SB 44 and HB 1345 – Sen. Zaffirini and Rep. LeachThe bill relates to leave for state employees who are volunteers of certain disaster relief organizations. SB 44 cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for his final consideration.

HB 318 – Rep. VanDeaver – The bill would create new employment discrimination provisions related to volunteer first responders. The bill cleared the House. However, it did not receive a Senate hearing.

HB 792 – Rep. Burns The bill relates to the eligibility of certain municipalities to use an alternate work schedule for police dispatchers. The bill cleared the House. However, it was not considered in the Senate.

HB 788 – Rep. GerenThe bill relates to the eligibility of emergency service dispatchers to participate in a public safety employees treatment court program. In short, it would allow them to participate in substance abuse programs. TEMSA provided support for the legislation. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final approval.

HB 805 – Rep. HubertyThe bill relates to firefighter benefits in the Houston area. The bill did not make it out of the Senate.

HB 1341 – Rep. LeachThe bill relates to entrance fee waivers for first responders at state parks. The bill did not make it out of the Senate.

HB 1442 – Rep. LopezThe bill would require peace officers to complete an additional level of trauma training related to veterans. The bill did not make it to the House calendar.

HB 2171 and SB 786 – Rep. Metcalf and Sen. Creighton – The bill would ensure certain retirement benefits for EMS professionals and firefighters in Rep. Metcalf’s district. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

SB 818 – Sen. PowellThe bill relates to unemployment compensation eligibility and chargebacks regarding certain persons separated from employment due to being called to military service. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

HB 2484 – Rep. HerreroThe bill relates to jury duty exemptions for police officers and firefighters. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 3644 – Rep. AshbyThe bill would create a memorial monument dedicated to emergency medical services personnel on the Capitol grounds. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for his final consideration.

HB 3735 – Rep. HowardThe bill would require a licensing agency that receives a complaint for a physician or other clinician to forward it immediately to the correct licensing agency. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

HB 4025 – Rep. RodriguezThe bill relates to civil service status for EMS personnel in Austin. The bill did not make it out of the Senate.

SB 1759 – Sen. ZaffiriniThe bill relates to a study on potential improvements to training provided to 9-1-1 emergency service call takers and dispatchers. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

EMS Personnel – Tuition

SB 384 and HB 1310 – Sen. Powell and Rep. GuillenThe bill relates to the exemption of tuition and lab fees for certain paramedics. The bills did not receive committee hearings.

SB 32 and HB 1205 – Sen. Zaffirini and Rep. GuillenThe bill would create a student loan repayment program for some frontline workers, such as EMS professionals, as a result of work related to Covid-19. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 582 – Rep. ColeThe bill would eliminate some tuition fees for paramedics. The bill cleared the House. However, it did not receive a hearing in the Senate.

EMS Personnel & Survivorship

SB 107, HB 637 and HB 1498 – Sen. Powell, Rep. Canales, and Rep. Martinez – The bill relates to the survivors of certain public safety employees. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 300 – Sen. HinojosaThe bill relates to property taxes of the surviving spouse for certain first responders. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 463  and SB 527 – Sen. Lucio and Sen. SpringerThe bill relates to survivorship of certain public safety employees. The bill did not receive a hearing.

EMS Personnel & Covid-19

HB 34 – Rep. CanalesThe bill relates to presumptive coverage for first responders who contract Covid-19. It would serve as an addition to the other respiratory illness presumption in 607 of the Government Code. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 107, HB 310 and HB 637 – Sen. Powell, Rep. Springer and Rep. CanalesThe bill relates to benefits for first responders and detention officers related to Covid-19 and would clarify that a disease under 607 of the Government Code is not an ordinary disease of life if the disease is the basis for a disaster declaration by the government. The bills did not receive committee hearings.

SB 22 – Sen. SpringerThe bill is the same as HB 4301, SB 463 and SB 527. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for his final consideration.

HB 541 – Rep. PattersonThe bill would add the following language to the state’s Workers’ Comp statute: “CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19). A public safety employee who suffers from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) resulting in disability or death is presumed to have contracted the disease during the course and scope of employment as a public safety employee.” The bill passed out of the House. However, it did not move in the Senate.

SB 433, HB 396 and SB 439 – Sen. Zaffirini, Rep. Moody and Sen. BlancoThe bill relates to nurses’ Workers’ Compensation eligibility for nurses related to Covid-19. HB 396 moved out of the House. However, it did not move in the Senate.

HB 1376 and SB 1410 – Rep. Rose and Sen. Gutierrez – The bill would create a new “high injury risk” definition for employees in state-supported living centers. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 2242 – Rep. PattersonThe bill relates to injury or illness leaves of absence for county and municipal firefighters and police officers. It would require cities and counties to provide up to one year of paid time for the rehabilitation of first responders critically injured in the line of duty. The bill moved out of the House. However, it did not receive its scheduled hearing in the Senate.

SB 1401 and HB 2073 – Sen. Springer and Rep. BurrowsThe bill relates to quarantine leave for fire fighters, peace officers, and emergency medical technicians employed by, appointed by, or elected for a political subdivision. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

EMS Personnel – Guns

HB 1069 and SB 737 – Rep. Cody Harris & Sen. Birdwell The bill would allow first responders to carry guns if they have completed a course and met other requirements. In addition, it would require government-based first responder agencies to allow employees who have met these requirements to concealed carry, carry on a holster, or store the gun. It would only apply to governmental agencies. HB 1069 cleared both chambers after the authors worked with TEMSA. It was sent to the governor.

HB 1499 – Rep. James WhiteThe bill is similar to HB 1069. The bill did not receive a hearing.

EMS Personnel – Workers’ Comp

HB 1635- Rep. Patterson – The bill would direct TDI-DWC to study first responder issues in Workers’ Comp, specifically related to medical costs, return-to-work outcomes, access and utilization of care, satisfaction with care, and health-related functional outcomes. The bill passed out of the House. However, it did not receive a Senate hearing.

HB 2598 – Rep. PattersonThe bill relates to PTSD and first responders. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 3623 – Rep. Chris Turner – The bill relates to the eligibility of certain health care providers for workers’ compensation benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder arising from events in the course of employment during a public health disaster. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 4385 – Rep. PattersonThe bill relates to a first responder whose injuries occur as a result of the job. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1864 – Sen. PowellThe bill relates to the eligibility of certain telecommunicators for workers’ compensation and other benefits. The bill did not receive a hearing.

EMS – RACs

HB 3582 and SB 1399 – Rep. Guerra and Sen. Hinojosa – The bill would have awarded DSHS grants to the Rio Grande Valley RAC, TSA-V. The bill did not move out of the House after moving out of committee.

HB 3581 and SB 1397 – Rep. Guerra and Sen. HinojosaThe bill represents a compromise between the hospital systems in the Valley. It would duplicate regulations In TAC 157 and codify a regional PI process for TSA-V by requiring the RAC to either form an advisory committee or use a pre-existing committee to look at inter-facility transports. All hospitals and EMS agencies would be required to report data on patient who were transported outside of the RAC.  SB 1397 cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

EMS Telemedicine

HB 2792 – Rep. DarbyThe bill would create an EMS telemedicine pilot project through Texas Tech. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

Governmental – Counties

SB 326 – Sen. West – and HB 362 – Rep. ShermanThe bill would allow counties to accept electronic submissions for bids. The bill was signed into law.

Facilities

SB 1876 and HB 3965 – Sen. Miles and Rep. Oliverson – The bill would amend the Utilities Code so that dialysis centers are on par with hospitals, nursing homes and hospices in relation to emergencies. The committee substitute would address ambulances in relation to the evacuation of dialysis centers. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

HB 326 – Rep. HowardThe bill relates to workplace violence prevention in certain health care facilities. The bill cleared the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 813 – Rep. ShaheenThe bill would create a criminal offense for the harassment of obstructing access to a hospital. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 472 – Rep. James WhiteThe bill would allow freestanding emergency medical centers to provide additional services, such as imaging, laboratory, immunization, and other non-emergent services in exchange for not charging a facility fee. The bill received a committee hearing, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 1491 – Rep. DeanThe bill would expand the tort claims cap of $100,000 to rural and community hospitals (even if they are not governmental). The bill received a committee hearing, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 1089 – Rep. ReynoldsThe bill would raise the cap on lawsuits related to governmental hospitals from $100,000 to $250,000. It would also allow for punitive damages and make insurance policies discoverable. The bill received a committee hearing, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 3661 – Rep. DeanThe bill would require board members of rural hospitals located in counties with a population of 60,000 to complete training based on requirements and standards determined by the Center for Optimizing Rural Health of the Texas A&M Rural and Community Health Institute or a successor organization. The bill received a committee hearing, but it did not receive a vote.

SB 1195 – Sen. PaxtonThe bill relates to the right of certain hospital patients to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation. The bill received a committee hearing, but it did not receive a vote.

SB 2038 and HB 2797 – Sen. Menendez and Rep. DeanThe bill relates to fees and prices charged by freestanding emergency medical care facilities; providing administrative penalties. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

Fire

HB 1561 – Rep. Gervin-HawkinsThe bill would add additional five additional examination points to beginning fire and police applicants in San Antonio. The bill did not make it to the House calendar.

HB 1563 – Rep. Gervin-HawkinsThe bill would require a department to disclose to the fire fighter or a police officer if a member of the public requests the personnel file. The bill did not make it to the full House calendar.

SB 803 – Sen. CreightonThe bill relates to a firefighter’s retirement in certain municipalities. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 2496 – Rep. BuckleyThe bill relates to the issuance of specialty license plates for certain volunteer firefighters and fire protection personnel. The bill was voted out of the House. However, it did not move in the Senate.

HB 2869 – Rep. LongoriaThe bill relates to firefighter and police officer collective bargaining. The bill did not make it to the House floor for a vote.

HB 3375 – Rep. DavisThe bill relates to certain benefits payable by the public retirement systems for police and fire fighters in certain municipalities. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

SB 1223 – Sen. SpringerThe bill relates to fee waivers for certain hunting and fishing licenses for certain volunteer firefighters. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1324 – Sen. HinojosaThe bill relates to the investigation of municipal fire fighters. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 4068 – Rep. ParkerThe bill relates to the eligibility of certain public retirement systems for police and fire fighters to participate in the Texas Municipal Retirement System. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

SB 1805 – Sen. Nathan JohnsonThe bill relates to municipal civil service for fire fighters and police officers. The bill did not receive a hearing.

Hospital Districts

HB 977 and SB 1384 – Rep. Metcalf and Sen. CreightonThe bill relates to the board of directors of the Montgomery County Hospital District. The bill was signed into law.

SB 385 and HB 2847 – Sen. Powell and Rep. GerenThe bill relates to the Tarrant County Hospital District’s ownership of certain technology. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

HB 1618 – Rep. LemanThe bill relates to the number of signatures required on a petition filed in connection with an election to create certain hospital districts. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

HB 2314 – Rep. ClardyThe bill relates to the Nacogdoches Hospital District board. The bill was voted out of the House.

SB 1212 and HB 2768 – Sen. Seliger and Rep. Ken King – The bill relates to the composition of the board of directors of the Booker Hospital District. The bill was signed into law.

HB 4501 and SB 2031 – Rep. Hinojosa and Sen. EckhardtThe bill relates to permissible uses of funds by a hospital district that receives a mandatory payment under Chapter 298E, Health & Safety Code. The bill did not receive a committee vote.

Medicaid

HB 1427 – Rep. ShaheenThe bill would allow the Legislature to review contracts that are negotiated with the state (Medicaid, state employee plans, etc.). The bill passed out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 648 – Rep. Raymond – The bill relates to the duties of HHSC’s office of inspector general. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 2603 – Rep. ShaheenThe bill would create a direct primary care pilot for Medicaid. The bill did not receive a hearing.

Medicaid – ET3 for EMS

SB 2028 – Sen. KolkhorstThe bill would created Medicare’s ET3 program for ambulances in Texas’ Medicaid program. The bill would direct Texas Medicaid to pay for treatment in place and alternate destination transport. The bill did not pass out of the House. However, SB 2028 was amended to HB 2658, which did pass. In addition, ET3 was included in the state’s budget included funding for SB 2028.

Medicaid – 1115 Waivers

SB 273 and HB 1456 – Sen. Hinojosa and Rep. HerreroThe bill relates to the Nueces County Hospital District’s provider participation program. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

SB 392 and HB 1338 – Sen. Miles and Rep. ColemanThe bill relates to Harris  County’s provider participation program for increased Medicaid payments. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

SB 1073 – Sen. HughesThe bill relates to Medicaid draw-down programs in Texas regions and the assessments levied on all hospitals in that region. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1328 – Sen. HinojosaThe bill relates to Medicaid draw-down programs in Texas for hospitals. The bill received a committee hearing, but it did not receive a vote.

Medicaid – Expansion

Numerous bills related to Medicaid expansion have been introduced. The following two bills served as part of the House’s health care priorities:

HB 290 – Rep. CortezThe  bill would provide continuity of care for some children on Medicaid. The House announced in April that it was one of its top health priorities. The bill died in the Senate. However, it was amended to HB 2658.

HB 133 – Rep. RoseThe bill would give pregnant women covered under Medicaid an additional 10 months of coverage. The House announced in April that it was one of its top health priorities. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

Medical Billing

HB 3031 – Rep. KlickThe bill would update the state’s egregious billing law for physicians and hospitals by adding the following language: “flagrantly overcharge a patient or third party payor for a treatment provided to the patient.” The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2797 and SB 2038 – Rep. Dean and Sen. MenendezThe bill targets freestanding ERs and would penalize them for charging “high prices” for testing during a pandemic. SB 2038 cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

HB 4045 and SB 1684 – Rep. Martinez and Sen. PowellThe bill would prohibit providers from reporting bad patient debt until a certain time period has passed. The bill did not receive a committee vote after being heard in committee.

SB 2122 – Sen. HughesThe bill would require physicians and other providers that are submitting medical bills to debt collection provide an itemized copy. The bill cleared the Senate. However, it did not move in the House.

Medical Disclosure Panel

HB 2853 – Rep. Julie JohnsonThe bill would update the makeup of the state’s Medical Disclosure Panel. Specifically, at least one of the lawyers on the panel would be required to represent patients in his or her practice. The bill did not receive a vote in the House.

Medical Imaging

HB 2541 – Rep. MezaThe bill would create a right-to-repair policy related to medical equipment, including advanced imaging. The bill did not receive a hearing.

Mental Health

HB 78 – Rep. ReynoldsThe bill would create a mental health diversion program in Fort Bend County. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 377 – Rep. SmithThe bill would add individuals suffering a mental health crisis to the list of individuals eligible for Amber alerts. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 1050 – Rep. Romero and SB 539 – Sen. Blanco – The bill would create a study on employing mental health professionals to assist to a behavioral-related emergency call. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 454 – Sen. KolkhorstThe bill relates to mental health services development plans as updated by mental health authority groups. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

HB 3621 – Rep. CortezThe bill would create a mental health jail diversion pilot project in Bexar County. The bill did not make it out of the House.

HB 3655 – Rep. WhiteThe bill relates to the authority of certain facilities to temporarily detain a person with mental illness. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 3977 – Rep. MoodyThe bill relates to emergency detention of certain persons with a mental illness or cognitive disability and the scope of an order for psychoactive medication for certain patients under court-ordered mental health services. The bill did not receive a hearing.

Military Medical

HB 2365 – Rep. LopezThe bill relates to the participation and reimbursement of Texas military medical facilities in relation to Medicaid. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

Peace Officers

HB 2452 – Rep. CamposThe bill relates to law enforcement policies prohibiting a peace officer from making a motor vehicle stop on the shoulder of certain highways. The bill did not receive a hearing.

Pharmacy – Physician Dispensing

HB 456 – Rep. ShaheenThe bill would allow physicians to dispense drugs. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 1778 and SB 1503 – Rep. Oliverson and Sen. Buckingham – According to the author, “the goal of the bill is to permit physicians to dispense drugs from their offices. This bill seeks to improve access to prescription medications through removing a barrier to care. It requires physicians to comply with state and federal laws relating to labeling, storage, packaging, and record keeping and to notify the Texas State Board of Pharmacy that they are dispensing drugs from their office. Interested parties contend that these regulations will prevent pharmaceutical abuse. Stakeholders assert that H.B. 1778 will provide patients with an option to access prescription drugs more quickly and conveniently.” The bill did not receive a hearing.

Pharmacy – PBMs

A number of bills related to PBMs have been filed.

Physician & Provider Licensing Licensing

HB 1616 -Rep. Bonnen – The bill would add Texas to the interstate physician compact. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for consideration.

SB 284 – Sen. Seliger – The bill would direct the Texas Medical Board to study the number and geographic disbursement of out-of-state physicians who practiced in Texas during the pandemic. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 457 – Rep. ShaheenThe bill would seek a property tax exemption for physicians who provide Medicaid care. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 471 – Rep. ShaheenThe bill would direct the Texas Medical Board to recognize medical licenses offered in other states under certain circumstances. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 548 and SB 1909 – Rep. Frank and Sen. BlancoThe bill would direct the Texas Medical Board to recognize the license of certain military physicians for the purpose of practicing in underserved areas. HB 548 was voted out of the House, but it stalled in the Senate.

HB 651 – Rep. RaymondThe bill relates to the regulation of hyperbaric medical treatment in a physician’s office. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 145 – Sen. PowellThe bill relates to the licensing of military personnel and spouses. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 194 – Rep. ThierryThe bill would require physicians who practice in primary care to complete CME in implicit bias. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 197 – Rep. Thierry – Similar to HB 194, the bill would require medical school students to have coursework in implicit bias. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 1424 – Rep. Oliverson – Current law allows physicians and providers to opt out of providing an abortion service if it conflicts with their religious or moral thinking. The bill would add “other medical services” to the exemption. The bill did not make it out of the House.

SB 1103 – Sen. SeligerThe bill relates to the regulation of nurse aides; requiring an occupational registration. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for consideration.

HB 4048 – Rep. AllisonThe bill relates to the authority of an advanced practice registered nurse or physician assistant regarding death certificates. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

SB 1502 – Sen. BuckinghamThe bill would direct the Texas Medical Board to list a physician’s specialty as it is based on the physician’s initial specialty qualification and not on maintenance of certification. The bill cleared the Senate, but it did not make it on the final House calendar.

SB 1674 – Sen. HallThe bill relates to protection of individuals from participation in a health care service for reasons of conscience; providing a civil remedy; authorizing disciplinary action. The bill did not make it out of the Senate.

SB 1705 – Sen. BlancoThe bill would update the state’s human trafficking education requirement for physicians. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1708 – Sen. BlancoThe bill relates to the entitlement of certain military veterans to obtain a nursing license by examination. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1752 – Sen. Nathan JohnsonThe bill relates to the authority of an advanced practice registered nurse or physician assistant, or physician, regarding death certificates and certain do-not-resuscitate orders. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1857 – Sen. PowellThe bill relates to the issuance of temporary licenses for certain out-of-state health care practitioners for a charitable purpose. The bill did not receive a hearing. 

HB 3735 and SB 2115 – Rep. Howard and Sen. Lucio – The bill would require a licensing agency that receives a complaint for a physician or other clinician to forward it immediately to the correct licensing agency. It would have prevented the Texas Medical Board from having jurisdiction over non-physicians who were accused of practicing medicine. After passing the Senate, the bill died in the House.

Prescription Drugs

HB 1033 and SB 875 – Rep. Oliverson and Sen. Hancock The bill addresses a 2019 law that creates disclosure requirements for drug companies that increase drug costs. This “clean-up bill” would add enforcement measure for cases in which a drug company fails to provide disclosure related to price increases. HB 1033 was signed into law by the governor.

HB 1584 – Rep. Lucio IIIThe bill would define the term “redispense” as it relates to compound drugs. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 1586 – Rep. Lucio IIIThe bill would require health plans to allow a patient to secure a specialty drug from a physician’s office or hospital outpatient infusion center. The bill passed out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 2185 – Rep. ParkerThe bill would add protections for physicians for the off-label use of certain drugs. The bill did not receive a vote in the House.

SB 844 – Sen. SchwertnerThe bill would repeal certain aspects of ERISA as they relate to  pharmacy benefits. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a vote.

SB 1820 – Sen. BettencourtThe bill relates to the promotion of off-label uses of certain drugs, biological products, and devices. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 18 and HB 2981 – Rep. OliversonThe bill relates to the establishment of the prescription drug savings program for certain uninsured individuals and focuses on insulin. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for his consideration.

Prescription Drugs – Opioids

None of these bills moved in 2021.

HB 847 – Rep. ThierryThe bill would require pharmacists to place a warning label on opioid prescriptions.

HB 848 – Rep. ThierryThe bill would require distinctive packaging for opioids.

HB 849 – Rep. ThierryThe bill would require the state of Texas to create a brochure about the risks of opioids and require pharmacists to secure an acknowledgement from the patient.

HB 1524 – Rep. Lucio IIIThe bill would give Schedule II authority to PAs and NPs.

HB 2117 – Rep. PriceThe bill would create an informed consent mandate for physicians to prescribe opioids.

HB 3365 – Rep. KlickThe bill would create an opioid council to determine the distribution of the funds related to the attorney general’s settlement with opioid manufacturers.

HB 4284 – Rep. HollandThe bill would create the state’s opioid abatement account based on the attorney general’s settlement with opioid manufacturers.

HB 4408 – Rep. PriceThe bill would allow a pharmacist to provide an opioid antagonist under certain circumstances to a patient who has been prescribed an opioid.

SB 1827 – Sen. HuffmanThe bill relates to the creation of the opioid abatement account.

Professional Liability Insurance

HB 501 – Rep. WuThe bill would immediately raise the state’s cap on non-economic damages from $250,000 to $342,265. In addition, it would include an index for inflation to raise the cap in the future. The bill did not receive a House hearing.

SB 232 – Sen. JohnsonThe bill would allow plaintiffs to file a motion in personal injury cases to determine if the expert under Chapter 74 is required. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

SB 493 – Sen. JohnsonThe bill would require nursing homes to carry a minimum of $300,000/$1 million liability policy. Nursing homes that are owned and operated by governmental units would be required to maintain insurance coverage for the cap amounts specified by the Texas Tort Claims Act. The bill did not move out of the Senate.

HB 2406 and SB 1106 – Rep. Davis and Sen. Hughes – The bill relates to the casual relationship under Texas Rules of Evidence as it relates to expert witnesses in physician and chiropractor cases. The bill moved out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 3747 – Rep. SmithThe bill relates to the liability of health care providers for certain claims arising during a disaster or emergency. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3748 – Rep. SmithThe bill relates to the liability of health care providers for certain claims arising during a pandemic. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3984 – Rep. DavisThe bill relates to service of expert reports for health care liability claims and was supported by the trial lawyers. The bill was killed on the House floor.

Professional Liability – Lawsuits – Covid-19

SB 6 – Sen. Hancock – The bill would create Covid-19 liability protections and served as the Legislature’s liability priority. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

HB 4481 – Rep. OliversonThe bill relates to civil liability arising from Covid-19. The bill is similar to SB 6.

Public Health

SB 42 – Sen. ZaffiriniThe bill relates to the use of wireless communication while driving. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 199 – Sen. NelsonThe bill would extend Good Samaritan laws related to AEDs to any individual regardless of whether or not the individual received training if the AED is owned by an entity for which a physician oversees the AED’s compliance. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

SB 223 and HB 54 – Sen. Whitmire and Rep. TalaricoThe bill would prohibit law enforcement agencies from contracting with reality television shows. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final approval.

HB 786 and SB 375 – Rep. Oliverson and Sen. PerryThe bill relates to cardiopulmonary resuscitation training for certain telecommunicators. TEMSA supported the legislation. The bill was signed into law.

SB 443 and HB 1843 – Sen. Hughes and Rep. Hefner – The bill relates to the emergency possession of certain abandoned children by designated emergency infant care providers by adding police departments to the locations. It would add an alarm so that the baby is not simply dropped off at the door. The bill did not make it out of the House committee.

HB 2385 – Rep. ShermanThe bill relates to testing discharged or released inmates for communicable diseases. The bill did not make it out of the House committee.

HB 2400 – Rep. OrtegaThe bill relates to public health lab testing capabilities in counties along the border. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 816 – Sen. BuckinghamThe bill would add Covid-19 vaccines to the list of vaccines in nursing homes. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 826 and HB 3486 – Sen. Hughes and Rep. Senfronia ThompsonThe bill relates to the contract of a private entity to create message signs for certain statewide alert systems. The bill cleared the House. However, it did not move in the Senate.

SB 865 – Sen. CreightonThe bill relates to a statewide emergency alert system. The bill did not make it out of the House committee.

SB 864 – Sen. PaxtonThe bill relates to the notice of a modification to the medical certification information on a death certificate. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2499 – Rep. StuckyThe bill would create a criminal offense related to the wearing of a floatable device while being towed behind a boat. The bill moved out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

HB 2605 – Rep. RosenthalThe bill would require student athletes to sign a sudden cardiac arrest acknowledgment form. The bill received a committee hearing, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 2861 – Rep. BucyThe bill would prohibit the state from shedding electrical load on circuits that include dialysis facilities. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2876 – Rep. HowardThe bill relates to “requiring public schools to use the wet bulb globe temperature to determine whether conditions are unsatisfactory for student outdoor activities due to severe heat.” The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2911 – Rep. WhiteThe bill relates to “Next Generation 9-1-1 service and certain wireless service provider administrative expense reimbursements and increasing a fee cap.” Among the provisions:

  • “The comptroller shall transfer to the credit of the next generation 9-1-1 service fund any amount available from federal money provided to this state from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds under Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 or any other federal government source for purposes of this chapter. The comptroller shall transfer the money as soon as practicable following the receipt by this state of a sufficient amount of federal money for the transfer.”
  • “Money deposited to the credit of the next generation 9-1-1 service fund may be used only for the purpose of supporting the deployment and reliable operation of next generation 9-1-1 service, including the costs of equipment, operations and administration. Money in the fund may be distributed to only the commission and emergency communication districts and must be used in a manner that complies with federal law.”

The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

HB 2922 – Rep. BuckleyThe bill relates to a statewide alert system for adolescents in danger. The bill was voted out of committee, but it did not make it on the final House calendar.

HB 3154 – Rep. BeckleyThe bill relates to the issuance of a wireless emergency alert after a statewide disaster declaration. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 3168 – Rep. Crockett – The bill is a duplicate of HB 3154. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 3407 – Rep. RaymondThe bill relates to a requirement that the Texas Division of Emergency Management maintain climate-controlled warehouses to store personal protective equipment for rapid delivery in a disaster. The bill was heard in committee, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 3674 – Rep. CapriglioneThe bill relates to the purchase of personal protective equipment made in the United States by certain governmental entities. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 3721 – Rep. EllzeyThe bill relates to the inclusion of information for reporting suspicious activity to the Department of Public Safety on certain human trafficking signs or notices. The bill cleared both chambers and sent to the governor for consideration.

Public Health – Advance Directives

HB 936 – Rep. RaymondThe bill would extend liability protections to physicians and providers related to following an advanced directive if they were not aware of questions related to the validity of the directive. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 917 and HB 2609 – Sen. Hughes and Rep. ParkerThe bill relates to advance directives and would have required indefinite care related to terminal illness.  The bill failed to reach the Senate floor.

HB 2943 – Rep. FrankThe bill relates to DNR orders in hospitals. The bill received a committee hearing, but it did not receive a vote.

HB 3099 – Rep. ColemanThe bill relates to advance directives. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1381 – Sen. CreightonThe bill relates to advance directives. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 2810 and SB 1934 – Rep. Moody and Sen. HughesThe bill relates to the authority granted under and form of a medical power of attorney. The bill did not make it to the House floor for a vote.

Public Health – Disaster Declarations

HB 3 – Rep. Burrows – The bill would have created a separate structure in state law governing the state and local response to a pandemic disaster. The bill died after the author did not complete a conference report.

HB 665 – Rep. LandgrafThe bill relates to emergency rules in which at least 75 percent of the state’s counties are declared to be in a state of emergency. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 906 – Rep. Krause – The bill relates to declarations regarding a definition of essential and non-essential services. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HJR 60 and SJR 20 – Rep. Anchia and Sen. Johnson – The proposed constitutional amendment relates to disaster declarations. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 422 – Sen. SpringerThe bill would create the Emergency Powers Board. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 1406 – Rep. SchaeferThe bill relates to a judicial review of certain orders regarding a declared state of disaster. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1592 and SB 1616 – Sen. Bettencourt – The bill relates to powers and duties of governmental entities during a public health disaster; providing civil penalties. SB 1616 cleared the Senate, but it was not set for a House vote.

SB 1673 – Sen. HallThe bill relates to limitations on public health directives issued during a state of disaster or outbreak of a communicable disease. The bill received a committee hearing, but it did not receive a vote.

SB 1880 – Sen. BettencourtThe bill relates to the renewal of local disaster declarations. The bill did not receive a hearing.

Public Health – Disaster Preparedness

HB 655 – Rep. RaymondThe bill would create a study on a statewide disaster alert system. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 671 – Rep. MartinezThe bill would establish a disaster identification system for a declared state of disaster.

SB 435 and HB 1922 – Sen. Blanco and Rep. Thierry – The bill would direct the comptroller to study local and state supply chain disruptions due to Covid-19. The bills did not receive hearings.

SB 464 – Sen. LucioThe bill relates to reports on deaths from reportable and other communicable diseases to county authorities and health departments.

HB 1409 – Rep. GuillenThe bill relates to the distribution of emergency health resources in Texas. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 437, HB 2270 & HB 1989  – Sen. Blanco, Rep. Turner & Rep. ThierryThe bill relates to the state’s supply of PPE and would create an advisory council. SB 437 moved through both chambers and to the governor for consideration.

SB 966 – Sen. KolkhorstThe bill relates to legislative oversight during a public health disaster, including the establishment of a legislative public health oversight board. The bill cleared both chambers.

SB 967 – Sen. KolkhorstThe bill relates to the expiration and extension of certain public health orders issued by a health authority. The bill cleared both chambers.

SB 968 – Sen. KolkhorstThe bill relates to public health disaster and public health emergency preparedness and response; providing a civil penalty. It also addresses the Texas Medical Board’s ban on non-elective surgeries and includes an amendment by Rep. Bobby Guerra that would direct the state to make vaccine information public. The bill cleared both chambers.

SB 969 – Sen. KolkhorstThe bill relates to reporting procedures for and information concerning public health disasters and to certain public health studies; creating the office of the chief state epidemiologist; providing a civil penalty. The bill cleared both chambers.

SB 984 – Sen. SchwertnerThe bill relates to public health disaster and public health emergency preparedness and response, including the operation of the Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. The bill cleared both chambers.

HB 3711 – Rep. BucyThe bill would establish a registry of medically fragile individuals for wellness checks during certain emergencies. The concept was amended to SB 968.

HB 3722 – Rep. ZwienerThe bill relates to training materials for contact tracers and case investigators for public health disasters and other public health emergencies.

HB 3739 – Rep. Lucio IIIThe bill relates to outreach campaigns conducted by the Department of State Health Services during certain public health disasters.

HB 3838 – Rep. DominguezThe bill relates to the display of emergency and other notices by a governmental entity on the entity’s Internet website.

HB 4230 – Rep. RaymondThe bill relates to the emergency coordination of advanced communications service.

HB 4450 – Rep. RaymondThe bill relates to training on emergency management for members of the emergency management council and state emergency response commission.

SB 1788 – Sen. GutierrezThe bill relates to the distribution of emergency health resources by the state.

SB 1876 and HB 3965 – Sen. Miles and Rep. Oliverson – The bill relates to requiring an emergency operation plan for continued treatment of patients in an end stage renal disease facility in the event of a disaster and the prioritization of power restoration for those facilities during certain disasters.

Public Health – Border Health

SB 115 and HB 728 – Sen. Lucio and Rep. Lucio IIIThe bill would require HHSC to create a report related to laboratory testing along the Texas-Mexico border. The bills did not make it out of their respective chambers.

SB 114 and HB 729 – Sen. Lucio and Rep. Lucio III – The bill would create a border public health response team. The bills did not make it out of their respective chambers.

SB 116 and HB 727 – Sen. Lucio and Rep. Lucio IIIThe bill would create a border public health initiative by DSHS. The bills did not make it out of their respective chambers.

HB 881 – Rep. GuerraThe bill relates to laboratory testing support of vector-borne infectious diseases in border counties. The bill did not make it to the House calendar.

SB 1050 – Sen. LucioThe bill relates to health professional continuing education to address communicable and other diseases in border counties. The bill did not receive a hearing.

Public Health – Communicable Diseases

SB 79 – Sen. MilesThe bill would require a school authority to report to various agencies the infection of a student with a communicable disease if it is currently recognized as a public health emergency. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 888 – Rep. PattersonThe bill relates to contact tracing for communicable diseases. The bill did not receive a hearing. 

HB 1222 – Rep. CamposThe bill would direct DSHS to compile additional data related to communicable diseases. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 435 – Sen. BlancoThe bill relates to a state plan for responding to pandemics. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 437 – Sen. BlancoThe bill would create an advisory committee to address the storage of PPE. The bill cleared both chambers and has been sent to the governor for his final consideration.

SB 636 – Sen. SeligerThe bill relates to requirements for and the transparency of epidemiological reports and certain immunization exemption information and reports. The bill did not make it out of the Senate.

SB 882 – Sen. KolkhorstThe bill relates to communicable disease reporting by nursing homes. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 930 – Sen. ZaffiriniThe bill relates to communicable disease reporting by nursing homes. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

HB 2527 – Rep. ThierryThe bill relates to a highly contagious communicable disease health and safety plan prepared by a school district. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 2538 – Rep. TurnerThe bill relates to the Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 3233 and SB 2130 – Rep. Moody and Sen. Blanco – The bill relates to the establishment by certain counties and hospital districts of disease control pilot programs to reduce the risk of certain infectious and communicable diseases; authorizing fees. The bill did not make it out of the Senate after clearing the House.

HB 3365 – Rep. Klick – The bill relates to authorizing the electronic transmission of certain communications related to the prevention of communicable diseases. The bill did not receive a vote after being heard in committee.

HB 3562 – Rep. CortezThe bill would create the Texas Public Health Crisis and Pandemic Council. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1489 – Sen. HallThe bill relates to the provision of information regarding COVID-19 prevention and treatment to individuals receiving a COVID-19 viral test. The bill did not make it out of the Senate.

HB 4342 – Rep. RoseThe bill relates to the establishment by certain counties and hospital districts of disease control pilot programs to reduce the risk of certain infectious and communicable diseases; authorizing fees. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

SB 1780 – Sen. CreightonThe bill relates to the establishment of the Texas Epidemic Public Health Institute. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

Public Health – Rural Broadband

HB 5 – Rep. Ashby – The bill serves as the House’s priority rural broadband bill

SB 5 – Sen. Nichols – The bill would set up the broadband framework for future federal grants.

SB 618 – Sen. GutierrezThe bill would create the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Board.

SB 632 and HB 1715 – Sen. Buckingham and Rep. BuckleyThe bill relates to the provision of broadband infrastructure and connectivity of the Lower Colorado River Authority.

HB 2531 – Rep. Anderson – The bill relates to rural broadband.

HB 3853 and SB 1615 – Rep. Anderson and Sen. PerryThe bill relates to middle mile broadband service provided by an electric utility.

Scope of Practice

HB 2029 and SB 915 – Rep. Klick and Sen. HancockThe bill would give full practice authority to APRNs and remove the need for physician supervision. The measure did not receive a committee vote.

HB 2049 – Rep. HowardThe bill would give pharmacists the ability to prescribe certain medications following a positive flu test if the pharmacist is working under a physician’s supervision. The bill did not make it out of the House.

HB 2340 and SB 993 – Rep. Klick and Sen. HancockThe bill would give optometrists the ability to perform surgery and manage glaucoma in Texas. A compromise was reached on glaucoma, and it was sent to the governor for final consideration.

HB 2596 – Rep. PattersonThe bill would define “urgent care clinic” under Texas law and add it to the list of facilities that would require clinicians to wear name badges that clearly identify their professions: physician, nurse, etc. The bill did not move out of the House.

HB 678 – Rep. CortezThe bill would allow pharmacists to administer additional vaccines to children. After passing out of the House, the bill did not move in the Senate.

Taxes

SB 438 – Sen. Blanco – The bill would exempt disinfectant and certain face masks and disposable gloves from sales tax for a limited period of time. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 741 – Rep. AllisonThe bill addresses the state’s 2019 law regarding voter approval for tax increases. The bill did not receive a hearing.

The bill’s proposed text includes: “If a county or municipality adopts a budget in which the amount of money allocated to provide for a public safety service is less than the amount allocated to provide for that service in the preceding fiscal year by more than five percent, the registered voters of the county or municipality, as applicable, at an election held for that purposes, must determine whether to approve the amount allocated.”

HB 1445 and SB 775 – Rep. Oliverson and Sen. Nichols – The bill would repeal the state’s tax on outsourced medical billing. Signed into law by the governor.

HB 1195 and SB 372 – Rep. Geren and Sen. HancockThe bill would remove the state’s franchise tax on PPP loans. Signed into law by the governor.

HB 1389 and SB 1513 – Rep. Guillen and Sen. Zaffirini – The bill relates to prepayment tax amounts related to credit card payments. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 1360 – Rep. LandgrafThe bill would require proposed tax increases to be posted in newspapers. The bill did not receive a vote in the full House.

HB 1421 – Rep. CainThe bill relates to the temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 873 – Sen. HancockThe bill relates to the disclosure by the comptroller to the purchaser of a business of the amount of tax due. The bill cleared both chambers.

HB 2704 – Rep. MorrisonThe bill relates to the treatment of certain LLCs as passive entities for purposes of the franchise tax. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1203 and HB 3364 – Sen. Hancock and Rep. Chris TurnerThe bill contains enhancements to the operating capabilities of business entities during an emergency or disaster. The provisions in part provide for the temporary suspension of certain procedural requirements for meetings, so businesses do not grind to a halt during such times.

S.B. 1203 advances entity management functions. For LLCs, the designation process for a manager or member management format is improved. Also, entity governing documents may require the use of Texas judicial venues for internal disputes.

The bill provides procedural modifications that will help streamline operations. Included are revisions that clarify the use and meaning of unanimous and non-unanimous consents. Shareholder meeting rules are also updated to facilitate virtual participation. For entity distributions, a flexible and enhanced process for determining financial projections and value is provided. Winding-down procedures are addressed to more definitively handle final claims against a terminating entity.

Finally, regulatory and filing requirements administered by the Secretary of State Business Filings Division are improved and simplified.

The bill was signed into law.

HB 4052 – Rep. Jetton – The bill relates to voter approval of a county or municipal budget that reduces by a certain percentage the amount allocated to train and compensate individuals who provide a fire protection, law enforcement or emergency medical service. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 1853 – Sen. PowellThe bill relates to a temporary exemption from sales and use taxes for certain personal protective equipment. The bill did not receive a hearing.

Telemedicine

HB 4 – Rep. Price – The bill is the House’s telemedicine priority bill. The bill is the same as HB 974 and SB 412. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor for final consideration.

HB 280 – Rep. CortezThe bill relates to an action plan to expand telemedicine medical services and telehealth services and increase access to critical medical care and health care services in this state. The bill did not receive a hearing.

SB 228, HB 980 and HB 522 – Sen. Blanco, Rep. Fiero and Rep. Julie Johnson – The bill relates to the reimbursement and payment of claims by certain health benefit plan issuers for telemedicine medical services and telehealth services. HB 980 died on the final House calendar.

HB 745 – Rep. GuerraThe bill relates to the establishment of telehealth programs by public schools. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 887 – Rep. ShaheenThe bill relates to telemedicine medical services and telehealth services covered by certain health benefit plans or provided by a pharmacist. The bill received a hearing, but it did not receive a committee vote.

HB 974 and SB 412 – Rep. Price and Sen. BuckinghamThe bill would extend telemedicine for certain Medicaid services. HB 4 ultimately moved.

HB 3499 and SB 992 – Rep. Frank and Sen. HancockThe bill would allow a health care provider located outside of Texas to provide telemedicine services to Texans. SB 992 did not move out of the Senate committee.

Vaccines

HB 677 – Rep. CortezThe bill would make it easier for pharmacists to administer vaccines by changing certain laws, such as allowing a pharmacist to administer a vaccine to a child as young as three years old (existing law sets a seven-year-old threshold). The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 678 and SB 2136 – Rep. Cortez and Sen. BlancoThe bill is similar to HB 677. HB 678 passed out of the House, but it did not move in the Senate.

SB 138 – Sen. Johnson – The bill relates to the bacterial meningitis vaccine for public school students. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 797 – Rep. HowardThe bill would allow home and hospice agencies to administer certain vaccines. The bill was signed into law.

HB 325 – Rep. Howard and SB 468 – Sen. Zaffirini/SeligerThe bill would create ““a simple way to permanently opt out of the immunization registry: easy in, easy out.” Click here to learn more. The bill did not move.

HB 2968 and SB 1310 – Rep. Cason and Sen. HallThe bill relates to informed consent for children and immunizations. SB 1310 did not receive a committee vote.

HB 3028 – Rep. MiddletonThe bill relates to vaccine requirements by health plans that provide services to business entities. The bill did not receive a vote in the full House.

HB 3108 – Rep. Lucio IIIThe bill relates to the patients to whom a pharmacist may administer an influenza vaccination. The bill did not receive a committee hearing.

HB 2856 and SB 1312 – Rep. Swanson and Sen. HallThe bill relates to “provider discrimination against a Medicaid recipient or child health plan program enrollee based on immunization status.” HB 2856 did not receive a vote in the full House.

SB 1353 – Sen. MilesThe bill relates to the biennial legislative report on immunizations issued by the Department of State Health Services. The bill cleared both chambers and was sent to the governor.

HB 3726 and SB 1760 – Rep. Toth and Sen. Hall The bill relates to immunization requirements for admission to public schools. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 3757 – Rep. LozanoThe bill relates to a recommendation by the COVID-19 Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel to prioritize public school employees in vaccine allocation and distribution. The bill did not receive a hearing.

HB 4272 – Rep. KlickThe bill relates to requirements for information contained in the immunization registry. The bill cleared both chambers.