BILL ANALYSIS

 

 

 

S.B. 654

By: Seliger

Public Health

Committee Report (Unamended)

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

 

Interested parties contend that there is currently a shortage of primary care providers across Texas, specifically for Medicaid populations. These parties have also expressed confusion regarding whether managed care plans may credential advanced practice registered nurses when the nurse's delegating physician is not an in-network provider. S.B. 654 seeks to address these issues by authorizing certain health plans to include these nurses as primary care providers in an applicable entity's provider network, regardless of whether the physician supervising the nurse is in the entitys provider network.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE IMPACT

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly create a criminal offense, increase the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses, or change the eligibility of a person for community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.

 

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.

 

ANALYSIS

 

S.B. 654 amends the Government Code to clarify, for purposes of a required provision of a Medicaid managed care contract between a managed care organization and the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) relating to the organization's use of advanced practice registered nurses as primary care providers, that an advanced practice registered nurse may be included as a primary care provider in the organization's provider network regardless of whether the physician supervising the advanced practice registered nurse is in the provider network. The bill prohibits this provision from being construed as authorizing a managed care organization to supervise or control the practice of medicine as prohibited by the Medical Practice Act.

 

S.B. 654 amends the Health and Safety Code to clarify, for purposes of rules adopted by the executive commissioner of HHSC under statutory provisions governing the child health plan to require a managed care organization or other entity to ensure that advanced practice registered nurses are available as primary care providers in the organization's or entity's provider network, that an advanced practice registered nurse may be included as a primary care provider in the organization's or entity's provider network regardless of whether the physician supervising the advanced practice registered nurse is in the provider network. The bill prohibits this provision from being construed as authorizing a managed care organization or other entity to supervise or control the practice of medicine as prohibited by the Medical Practice Act.

 

S.B. 654 amends the Human Resources Code to clarify that advanced practice registered nurses may be selected by and assigned to recipients of Medicaid benefits as the primary care providers of those recipients regardless of whether the physician supervising the advanced practice registered nurse is included in any directory of Medicaid providers maintained by HHSC. The bill prohibits this provision from being construed as authorizing HHSC to supervise or control the practice of medicine as prohibited by the Medical Practice Act.

EFFECTIVE DATE

 

September 1, 2017.