Senate Research Center                                                                                                     H.B. 2476

                                                                                                                             By: Delisi (Nelson)

                                                                                                                                       State Affairs







The Texas Medical Disclosure Panel (panel) is composed of nine volunteer members from different parts of the state, and includes six physicians and three attorneys.  Charged with the responsibility of establishing standards for obtaining informed consent from patients for medical and surgical procedures and treatments, the panel holds periodic meetings in Austin, assisted by the Department of State Health Services. Attendance at these meetings requires most members to take a full day away from their practices, with reimbursement only for travel costs.  It has become increasingly difficult to schedule meetings as often as needed.


H.B. 2476 allows panel members to attend meetings telephonically or by other electronic means to eliminate travel time and state expenses.




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




SECTION 1.  Amends Section 74.102(f), Civil Practice and Remedies Code, as follows:


(f)  Provides that notwithstanding Chapter 551 (Open Meetings), Government Code, or any other law, if any member of the panel is physically present at a meeting, any number of the other members of the panel may attend the meeting by use of telephone conference call, videoconferencing, or other similar telecommunication method for purposes of establishing a quorum or voting or for any other meeting purpose allowing a panel member to fully participate in any panel meeting.  Provides that this subsection applies without regard to the subject matter discussed or considered by the panel at the meeting.  Sets forth guidelines for a meeting held by telephone conference call, videoconferencing, or other similar telecommunication method.


SECTION 2.  Makes application of this Act prospective.


SECTION 3.  Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2005.