2005 Legislative Compendium: Border Health

Certifying Hospital Districts to Employ Physicians  |  South Texas Health Care System  |  Interagency Work Group on Border Issues  |  Improvements to Colonias  |  Coordination of Services to Colonia Residents  |  Strategic National Stockpile Resolution

Certifying Hospital Districts to Employ Physicians

HB 1924 by Rep. Norma Chavez (D-El Paso) and Sen. Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso) requires the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners to certify a hospital district to contract with or employ physicians for a component of the hospital recognized by the federal government as a migrant, homeless, or community health center or federally qualified health center (FQHC). (The language does not refer to the ability of the hospital to employ a physician, only to an FQHC or community clinic run by the facility). Representative Chavez filed the bill at the behest of the El Paso County hospital district, with support by a number of local physicians, as a means to reduce the liability of physicians. FQHC employees have limited liability exposure. TMA opposed the bill early in the session fearing repercussions to the corporate practice of medicine prohibition. However, given that many El Paso physicians supported the bill, compromise language was added bracketing the bill to El Paso by specifying that the statute applies only to a health organization in a community of at least 650,000 located in a county along the U.S.- Mexico border. The statute expires Sept. 1, 2007.

South Texas Health Care System

SB 815 by Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) and Rep. Jim Solis (D-Harlingen) outlines a long-range plan for the South Texas Health Care System, in addition to the provision of tuberculosis and other health care services in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The bill requires the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to contract for the construction of at least one outpatient health care center, and allows the center(s) to be built in Cameron and Hidalgo counties; all outpatient health care services must be transferred to the new facilities. Inpatient health care services must be contracted out and arranged by DSHS. Displaced employees shall be transferred to available open positions, or be afforded job placement assistance.

Interagency Work Group on Border Issues

HB 925 by Representative Chavez and Senator Lucio creates an interagency work group on border issues and the position of a border commerce coordinator. The work group shall meet at least once a year in Austin to discuss border issues, including inspection, trade, commerce, transportation, investment, environment, and health, and to provide information on agency impact on border communities for use in developing border policy.

Improvements to Colonias

SB 827 by Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) requires the secretary of state to establish and maintain a classification system to track and report on the progress of state-funded projects to provide water, wastewater, and paved roads in the colonias. The bill establishes ombudsmen to collect data for an annual report that will include a list of colonias with the highest health risks.

Coordination of Services to Colonia Residents

SB 1202 by Senator Lucio and Representative Chavez requires the colonia initiatives coordinator to work with agencies, local officials, and colonia resident advisory committees to: 1) coordinate efforts addressing colonia issues; 2) identify nonprofit self-help groups to help with colonia initiatives; and 3) set goals to address easement problems, and water and wastewater connections, ensuring they are extended from distribution lines to houses located in colonias.

Strategic National Stockpile Resolution

SCR 2 by Sen. Todd Staples (R-Palestine) and Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) requests the U.S. Congress to enact legislation to provide for federal deployment (as opposed to state deployment) of the Strategic National Stockpile, a repository of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies administered jointly by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, within Mexico to protect U.S. border states from acts of bioterrorism.

Border Health TMA Staff Contacts:  

  • Gayle Love, Public Health, (512) 370-1670
  • Susan Griffin, Public Health, (512) 370-1462
  • Audra Bryant, Medical Economics, (512) 370-1356
  • Helen Kent Davis, Governmental Affairs, (512) 370-1401
  • Yvonne Barton, Legislative Affairs, (512) 370-1359 

Overview  | Tax Reform | Scope of Practice | Physician Ownership | Inadequate Health Plan Networks (Balanced Billing) | Managed Care/Insurance Reform | Texas State Board of Medical Examiners Sunset and Physician Licensure | Agency Sunset Review  | Corporate Practice of Medicine | Health Care Funding | Medicaid and CHIP | Indigent Care and the Uninsured | Workers' Compensation | Professional Liability Reform | Medical Education/Workforce | Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition/Fitness | Public Health | Rural Health | Mental Health | Trauma/EMS | Prescription Drugs | Medical Science | Long-Term Care | Abortion | Transplantation/Organ Donation | Table of Contents  

 

 

 


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