History of TAFEC
In the 81st Texas Legislature, House Bill 1357, which proposed licensing and recognition of freestanding emergency medical care facilities as a legitimate provider of emergency care by the state, was carried by Rep. Carl Isett and Sen. Bob Deuell. After much debate, House Bill 1357 passed in the summer of 2009, effectively creating the freestanding emergency care industry in 2009.
After the passage of House Bill 1357, legislators, regulators and freestanding facility operators were convened by the Texas Health Department for formal “rule making.” This process determined what criteria would be licensed and overseen by the state, including operational, architectural and service requirements.
At the time, a number of freestanding emergency care centers had existed in Texas and operated individually. Each had varying hours of operation and service levels. During the rule making process it became evident that there was a need for a unified voice. Following the creation of the fledgling industry, the Texas Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers (TAFEC) was formed to ensure its fair regulation, organize the individual facilities and ensure uniform standards.
In 2011, TAFEC entered the session recognized by legislators as the leading voice for freestanding emergency centers (FECs). The primary piece of legislation on TAFEC’s agenda was House Bill 3085, a “clean up” provision that changed the licensing duration from one to two years, thereby eliminating administrative costs. The bill passed and created the model under which FSECs currently operate.
TAFEC now has over 30 member companies with 150 facilities across the state of Texas. As the organization continues to grow, the mission remains the same – provide a platform from which FECs can speak as a united group to promote the freestanding industry.