Recent Actions:

What we are monitoring in Texas:

Bill: 2015 H.B. 1403, introduced by Representative Kenneth Sheets (R) on Medical Malpractice. Status: Final Enacted  Final version (5/12/2015): States that the term "health care liability clam" does not include a cause of action against an employer by an employee or the employee's surviving spouse or heir.

Final version (5/12/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/HB01403F.pdf#navpanes=0

Amended version (4/23/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/HB01403H.htm

Introduced version: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/HB01403I.htm

Bill: 2015 H.B. 1550, introduced by Representative John Zerwas (R) on Good Samaritan Laws. Status: Final Enacted  Final version (4/14/2015): Allows a pharmacist to administer epinephrine through an auto-injector device. Directs the State Board of Pharmacy to adopt rules to allow a pharmacy to administer epinephrine through an auto-injector device to a patient in an emergency situation.

Specifies that a pharmacist who is good faith administers epinephrine through an auto-injector device in accordance with this act is not liable for civil damages unless the act is willfully or wantonly negligent and a pharmacist may not receive remuneration for such administration but may seek reimbursement for the cost of the auto-injector.

States that the administration of epinephrine through an auto-injector device is considered to be the administration of emergency care for the purposes of any statutes relating to liability for the provision of emergency care.

Final version (4/14/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/HB01550F.pdf#navpanes=0

Introduced version: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/HB01550I.htm

Bill: 2015 H.B. 2641, introduced by Representative John Zerwas (R) on Medical Malpractice. Status: Final Enacted  Final version (5/29/2015): States that unless a health care provider acts with malice or gross negligence, a health care provider who provides patient information to a health information exchange is not liable for any damages, use or other relief related to the obtainment, use or disclosure of that information in violation of federal or state privacy laws by a health information exchange, another provider or any other person.

Final version (5/29/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/HB02641F.pdf#navpanes=0

Amended version (5/22/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/HB02641S.htm

Current version (5/15/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/HB02641E.htm

Amended version (4/17/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/HB02641H.htm

Introduced version: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/HB02641I.htm

Bill: 2015 S.B. 1462, introduced by Senator Royce West (D) on Good Samaritan Laws. Status: Final Enacted  Final version (5/19/2015): Allows a pharmacist to dispense a opioid antagonist under a valid prescription to a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose or a family member, friend or other person to assist such a person. Specifies that a pharmacist or prescriber who acts in good faith and with reasonable care will not be subject to any criminal or civil liability or dispensing an opioid antagonist.

States that a person who acts in good faith and with reasonable care will not be held liable either criminally or civilly for administering an opioid antagonist or for any outcome resulting form the eventual administration of the opioid antagonist.

Final version (5/19/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/SB01462F.pdf#navpanes=0

Amended version (4/16/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB01462S.htm

Introduced version: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB01462I.htm

Bill: 2015 S.B. 18, introduced by Senator Jane Nelson (R) on Medical Malpractice. Status: Final Enacted  Final version (5/21/2015): Creates a permanent fund to be administered by the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company to support graduate medical education.

States that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will award one-time graduate medical education planning and partnership grants to hospitals, medical schools and ambulatory patient care centers that seek to develop new graduate medical education programs with first-year residency positions. Specifies that if the number of first-year residency positions  for which grand funding was appropriated exceeds the number of applicants, than the money will be put toward medical specialities determined to be at critical shortage levels.

Directs the Comprehensive Health Professions Resource Center to identify all medical specialities and subspecialties that are at critical shortage levels and the overall supply of physicians and any other issues relevant to the state's graduate medical education system. States that the results of the study will be reported no later than August 31 of every even-numbered year.

Final version (5/21/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00018F.htm

Amended version (5/8/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00018H.htm

Amended version (4/7/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00018E.htm

Amended version (3/30/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00018S.htm

Introduced version: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00018I.htm

Bill: 2015 S.B. 195, introduced by Senator Charles Schwertner (R) on Prescription monitoring Programs. Status: Final Enacted  Final version (5/22/2015): Stipulates that an authorized employee or member of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy is allowed to access information in the prescription monitoring program. Allows one or more states or an association of states that have entered into an interoperability agreement with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to access information in Texas' prescription monitoring program.

Grants access to the prescription monitoring program to medical examiners. Allows an optometrist to direct a pharmacist or pharmacist technician to access the data in the prescription monitoring program and allows practitioners to delegate database access to any employee who is compliant with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Grants the Texas State Board of Pharmacy the power to enter into an interoperability agreement with one or more states or an association of states that would allow the Board to access the prescription monitoring information maintained by the other states or associations. Allows the Board to authorize the prescription monitoring program of another state or an association of states to access information in Texas' prescription monitoring program.

Stipulates that a person who is registered with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to access Texas' prescription monitoring program data electronically is entitled to the information in the prescription monitoring program held by other states and associations in the interoperability agreement.

Final version (5/22/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/SB00195F.pdf#navpanes=0

Amended version (5/13/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00195H.htm

Amended version (4/9/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00195E.htm

Amended version (4/1/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00195S.htm

Introduced version: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/SB00195I.pdf#navpanes=0

Bill: 2015 S.B. 378, introduced by Senator Jose Rodriguez (D) on Good Samaritan Laws. Status: Final Enacted  Exempts licensed social workers and retired social workers eligible to practice from civil liability for any act resutling in death, damage or injury to a patient if the social worker is working as a volunteer health care provider.

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00378I.htm

Bill: 2015 S.B. 684, introduced by Senator Larry Taylor (R) on Professional Referral Requirements. Status: Final Enacted  Final version (5/25/2015): Requires an optometrist or therapeutic optometrist to disclose to a patient any business interest they have in an out-of-network supplier or manufacturer to which the optometrist or therapeutic optometrist refers the patient.

Final version (5/25/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/SB00684F.pdf#navpanes=0

Introduced version: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00684I.htm

Bill: 2015 S.B. 760, introduced by Senator Charles Schwertner (R) on NETWORK ADEQUACY. Status: Final Enacted  Final version (5/21/2015): Directs the Health and Human Services Commission to establish the minimum provider access standards for the provider network of a managed care organization that contracts to provide Medicaid services to ensure that recipients have access to: preventive care; primary care; speciality care; after-hours urgent care; chronic care; long-term services and supports; nursing services; therapy services and any services identified by the Commission. Specifies that the access standards must, to the extent that it is feasible, distinguish between access to providers in urban and rural settings and consider the number and geographic distribution of Medicaid-enrolled providers in a particular region.

States that a contract between a managed care organization and the Commission must place 0.5% of the organization's capitation payments at-risk based on compliance with the provider access standards and require the managed care organization to make initial and subsequent primary care provider assignments and changes.

Directs the Commission to make sure that a managed care organization that contracts with the Commission will update their organization's provider network directly at least monthly and make the provider network directly available on their website. Specifies that a managed care organization participating in the STAR Medicaid managed care program or the STAR + PLUS Medicaid managed care program will send a paper form of the organization's provider network to a recipient unless the recipient opts out. Declares that a managed care organization does not have to republish their provider network directory each time the network is updated.

States that if a managed care organization contracted to Medicaid services fails to comply with one or more provider access standard and the Commission determines that the organization has not made substantial efforts to mitigate or remedy the noncompliance, the Commission may elect not to retain or renew their contract with the organization or require them to pay liquidated damages and will suspend the default enrollment to the organization for at least one calendar quarter.

Specifies that a managed care organization that contracts to provide Medicaid services will establish and implement an expedited credentialing process hat would allow applicant providers to provide services to recipients on a provisional basis.

Declares that the Commission will conduct direct monitoring of a managed care organization's provider network and providers in the network to ensure compliance with contractual obligations related to the number of providers accepting new Medicaid patients and patient wait times.

Directs the Commission to meet the needs of all current and future Medicaid managed care recipients under the STAR Medicaid managed care program, the STAR + PLUS Medicaid managed care program, the STAR Kids managed care program and the STAR Health program.

Directs the Department of Family and Protective Services to receive and investigate reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of an individual receive services if the person alleged to have committed the act is a provider.

Defines "provider" as: (A) a facility; (B) a community center, local mental health authority and local intellectual and developmental disability authority; (C) a person who contracts with a health and human services agency or managed care organization to provide home and community-based services; (D) a person who contracts with a Medicaid managed care organization to provide behavioral health services; (E) a managed care organization; (F) an officer, employee, agent, contractor or subcontractor of a person or entity listed in sections (A)-(E) and (G) an employee, fiscal agent, case manager, or service coordinator of an individual employer participating in the consumer-directed service option.

Final version (5/21/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/SB00760F.pdf#navpanes=0

Amended version (4/7/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00760E.htm

Amended version (3/30/2015): http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00760S.htm

Introduced version: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00760I.htm

Bill: 2015 S.B. 978, introduced by Representative Brandon Creighton (R) on Workers’ Compensation (Fee schedules and treatment guidelines). Status: Final Enacted  Directs the Department of Insurance to make available each year to the public information concerning their general process and methodology for workers' compensation rate review, including factor that contribute to the disapproval of a rate. Specifies that the information must be general in nature and cannot reveal any proprietary or trade secret information of any insurer.

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/SB00978I.htm