Senate Research Center   S.B. 908
By: Zaffirini
Health & Human Services
As Filed


Currently, the Texas Department of Health (TDH) is responsible for
licensing all hospitals.  In addition to state licensing requirements,
many hospitals seek Medicare certification or accreditation from national
accreditation organizations, all of which require on-site surveys or
inspections. Hospitals that are nationally accredited or certified are
supposed to be inspected at least once every three years.  Medicare
funding cutbacks, however, have created an inspection cycle with no
established frequency, and TDH is not authorized to conduct an on-site
inspection of a hospital that has a Medicare certification or national
accreditation.  Patients and other stakeholders have no assurance,
therefore, that hospitals will be inspected with a regularity that ensures
safety and quality in these facilities.  This legislation would authorize
TDH to inspect all hospitals at least once every three years unless the
hospitals have received on-site inspections for Medicare certification or
accreditation by certain national accreditation organizations during that
time period.  S.B. 908 also amends the Health and Safety Code to remove
language referring to licensing of hospitals by the Texas Department of
Mental Health and Mental Retardation (MHMR) because licensing
responsibility was removed from MHMR by the legislature in 1993.   


As proposed, S.B. 908 establishes licensing and inspection of certain


This bill does not grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, institution, or agency. 


SECTION 1. Amends Section 222.024, Health and Safety Code, to establish
that except as provided by Subsection (c), a hospital licensed by the
Texas Department of Health (TDH) is not subject to additional annual
licensing inspections before TDH issues the hospital a license while the
hospital maintains certain standards of certification and accreditation.
Deletes the provision establishing that a hospital licensed by TDH or the
Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation  (MHMR) is not
subject to licensing inspections before the agency issues the hospital a
license under Chapter 241 or by the licensing agency.  Deletes the
provision regarding issuance of a renewal license by MHMR.  Authorizes TDH
to conduct an inspection of a hospital exempt from an annual licensing
inspection under Subsection (a) before issuing a renewal license to the
hospital if the certification or accreditation body has not conducted an
on-site inspection of the hospital in the preceding three years.  Makes
conforming changes.   

SECTION 2. Effective date:  September 1, 1997.

SECTION 3. Emergency clause.