2021 Bill Tracker

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Air Medical

SB 183 – Sen. PerryThe bill would create an air medical reciprocity program in Texas.

ESDs

HB 553 – Rep. Ed ThompsonThe bill relates to the approval by commissioners courts of the annual budgets for ESDs.

HB 639 – Rep. WhiteThe bill relates to the authority of an ESD to provide public health services.

Commerical Health Insurance

HB 571 – Rep. GatesThe bill would create bundled payments for state employee health plans.

HB 573 – Rep. OliversonThe bill relates to health sharing ministry health plans.

HB 620 – Rep. Julie JohnsonThe bill would require health plans to label all insurance cards with an HMO or PPO designation.

SB 124 and HB 578 – Sen. Nathan Johnson and Rep. John TurnerThe bill relates to health literacy programs in the state of Texas.

Commercial Health Insurance – Personal Injury/Auto Accidents

SB 207 – Sens. Schwertner, Buckingham, and Campbell – The bill would make physicians’ commercial insurance rates available for the purposes of determining medical expenses in personal injury cases.

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.”

EMS Professionals

SB 44 – Sen. ZaffiriniThe bill relates to leave for state employees who are volunteers of certain disaster relief organizations.

HB 318 – Rep. VanDeaver – The bill would create new employment discrimination provisions related to volunteer first responders.

HB 582 – Rep. ColeThe bill would eliminate some tuition fees for paramedics.

EMS Personnel & Covid-19

HB 34 – Rep. Canales – The 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.

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.

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.”

EMS Personnel – Guns

HB 1069 – Rep. Cody HarrisThe 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.

Governmental – Counties

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

Hospital Districts

HB 977 – Rep. MetcalfThe bill relates to the board of directors of the Montgomery County Hospital District.

Medicaid – 1115 Waivers

SB 273 – Sen. HinojosaThe bill relates to the Nueces County Hospital District’s provider participation program.

Mental Health

HB 78 – Rep. ReynoldsThe bill would create a mental health diversion program in Fort Bend County.

HB 377 – Rep. SmithThe bill would add individuals suffering a mental health crisis to the list of individuals eligible for Amber alerts.

Pharmacy

HB 456 – Rep. ShaheenThe bill would allow physicians to dispense drugs.

Physician Licensing

HB 457 – Rep. ShaheenThe bill would seek a property tax exemption for physicians who provide Medicaid care.

HB 471 – Rep. ShaheenThe bill would direct the Texas Medical Board to recognize medical licenses offered in other states under certain circumstances.

HB 548 – Rep. FrankThe bill would direct the Texas Medical Board to recognize the license of certain military physicians for the purpose of practicing in underserved areas.

HB 651 – Rep. RaymondThe bill relates to the regulation of hyperbaric medical treatment in a physician’s office.

SB 145 – Sen. PowellThe bill relates to the licensing of military personnel and spouses.

HB 194 – Rep. ThierryThe bill would require physicians who practice in primary care to complete CME in implicit bias.

HB 197 – Rep. Thierry – Similar to HB 194, the bill would require medical school students to have coursework in implicit bias.

Prescription Drugs

HB 1033 – Rep. OliversonThe 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.

Prescription Drugs – Opioids

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.

Professional Liability Insurance

HB 501 – Rep. WuThe bill would index the state’s cap on malpractice awards based on inflation. Organized medicine has always been opposed to this concept.

SB 232 – Sen. JohnsonThe bill relates to expert reports for health care liability claims.

Public Health

SB 42 – Sen. ZaffiriniThe bill relates to the use of wireless communication while driving.

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.

SB 223 and HB 54 – Sen. Whitmire and Rep. TalaricoThe bill would prohibit law enforcement agencies from contracting with reality television shows.

HB 786 – Rep. OliversonThe bill relates to cardiopulmonary resuscitation training for certain telecommunicators.

Public Health – Advance Directives

HB 936 – Rep. RaymondThe bill relates to advance directives.

Public Health – Disaster Declarations

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.

HJR 15 – Sen. Springer – The proposed constitutional amendment would require the governor to call the legislature into special session following certain emergencies and disasters.

HB 906 – Rep. Krause – The bill relates to declarations regarding a definition of essential and non-essential services.

Public Health – Disaster Preparedness

HB 655 – Rep. RaymondThe bill would create a study on a statewide disaster alert system.

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

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.

SB 114 and HB 728 – Sen. Lucio and Rep. Lucio III – The bill would create a border public health response team.

SB 116 and HB 727 – Sen. Lucio and Rep. Lucio IIIThe bill would create a border public health initiative by DSHS.

HB 881 – Rep. GuerraThe bill relates to laboratory testing support of vector-borne infectious diseases in border counties.

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.

HB 888 – Rep. PattersonThe bill relates to contact tracing for communicable diseases.

Taxes

HB 741 – Rep. AllisonThe bill addresses the state’s 2019 law regarding voter approval for tax increases.

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.”

Taxes – Medical Practices

A bill that would reverse the state’s tax on medical billing for outsourced services is expected.

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).

HB 678 – Rep. CortezThe bill is similar to HB 677.

SB 138 – Sen. MilesThe bill relates to the bacterial meningitis vaccine for public school students.