Legislative Recaps

2015 Legislation Recap

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In the 84th Texas Legislature, there were two pieces of legislation that impacted FECs directly. The first was Senate Bill 425 by Sen. Schwertner and Rep. Bonnen pertaining to disclosures and signage at FEC facilities. After working closely with Dr. Schwertner, Dr. Bonnen, and their staffs, TAFEC was able to have harmful language that would hinder FECs from doing business removed from the bill. The result was a revised bill that bolsters the industry’s transparency.

The second piece of legislation was Senate Bill 1279 by Rep. Geanie Morrison, Sen. Donna Campbell, and Sen. Jane Nelson, more commonly referred to as the “Baby Moses” bill. This bill added FECs to the list of options available for a mother to drop off her newborn, which further contributes to the legitimacy of FECs as viable emergency care providers.

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2013 Legislation Recap

The 2013 session of the Texas Legislature was a unique session for many reasons. Health care was a hot topic as usual, and as the State tries to work its way through all of the federal changes. The profession is looking for expanded ways to better provide services, payers are trying to find ways to provide more care for less, drug manufacturers are looking for ways to maintain market share, and the voice of health care becomes more complex in every new session. Warnings from other states gave us plenty of notice that policy debates over turf battles and economics would arrive in Texas, and there was no shortage of legislation impacting the health care practice settings.

As most of you know, Texas had over 40 new legislators serving in their first term during this legislative session. These fresh faces bring a new perspective to Austin, but also quite a lot to learn about the process, the history of certain policy debates and the health care industry as a whole. The challenge for the FEC industry will continue to be to work toward a unified voice and to advocate for what is best for all. That is the only way to be truly effective in working with legislators and agency regulators. Much of this upcoming interim should be focused on ways to work together and spending time with our key legislators prior to the next legislative session.

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2011 Legislation Recap

This was the “clean-up” year for the law regulating freestanding emergency centers in Texas. While the legislature dealt with a $27 billion shortfall for the next state budget, the Texas Department of State Health Services braced for significant cuts in their programs. One area of savings was to recommend that the new law licensing FECs be changed to conform to all other health facility licensing laws and be renewed every two years. In addition, the legislature reviewed bills impacting patient information privacy, emergency medical service districts and the scope of medical practice within FECs. The following is a recap of the legislation that TAFEC followed this legislative session.

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