Texas SNF's: Governor Signs Two New Legislative Bills

June 17, 2019

Texas Governor Abbot Signs Two Legislative Priority Bills

Texas Health Care Association (THCA) recently announced that Governor Abbott signed two legislative priority bills affecting skilled nursing facilities in Texas. 

The first is House Bill 2205 by Rep. Travis Clardy and Senator Dawn Buckingham. This bill will ensure oversight of facilities is more transparent and fair. Among its provisions:

  • The lead surveyor who cited an infraction must be available for questions at an IDR hearing.
  • If a citation is of a clinical nature, it must be reviewed as part of the IDR process by a registered nurse with long term care experience.
  • When a surveyor cites a facility for an Immediate Jeopardy violation, an HHSC representative must notify the facility right away and remain in the facility or be accessible until the commission has received the plan of removal.

The second piece of legislation signed this week is Senate Bill 1519 by Senator Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. Clardy. This bill established a permanent long-term care council composed of stakeholders including at least one member who is a for-profit nursing facility provider—and HHSC staff. This council will be charged with:

  • Making recommendations on how to make the survey, inspection and IDR process more efficient and less burdensome on providers.
  • Making recommendations regarding Medicaid quality-based payment systems and rate-setting methodologies.
  • Making recommendations relating to Medicaid bed allocation, including the effectiveness of current rules for certifying and decertifying beds and the need to modify those rules.
  • Deciding whether to delay the implementation of MCO rate-setting for facilities from 2021 to 2023 if it is determined the earlier implementation would have a significant impact on providers.

SB 1519 also contains the language of HB 2205. Both HB 2205 and SB 1519 take effect immediately. Texas Health Care Association team members are scheduled to meet with HHSC regarding implementation of these bills to ensure their provisions are carried out as the authors intended.

We hope you find this information valuable. As always, we are here to help. If you have any questions regarding these new bills, please contact us

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