Senate Research Center

S.B. 916

86R10991 JG-D

By: Johnson


Health & Human Services




As Filed






Palliative care provides support and care planning services to patients and families of patients with serious illnesses and seeks to relieve their suffering and improve their quality of life. Palliative care also offers advantages to health care organizations since it lowers incidents of preventable readmissions.


In 2015, the legislature passed Rep. Zerwas' H.B. 1874, creating the Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council (PCIAC) to advise the State of Texas on issues relating to palliative care. S.B. 916 seeks to implement one of the advisory council's recommendations about a clearer definition in statute for "supportive palliative care."


As proposed, S.B. 916 amends current law relating to supportive palliative care.




Rulemaking authority is expressly granted to the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission in SECTION 1 (Sections 142A.0002 and 142A.0003, Health and Safety Code) of this bill.




SECTION 1. Amends Subtitle G, Title 2, Health and Safety Code, by adding Chapter 142A, as follows:




Sec. 142A.0001. DEFINITION. Defines "supportive palliative care."


Sec. 142A.0002. RULES AND MINIMUM STANDARDS. Requires the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission (executive commissioner), in collaboration with health care providers providing supportive palliative care services and other interested persons, to adopt rules establishing minimum standards for the scope and delivery of palliative care services, including rules that distinguish supportive palliative care services from hospice services provided under Chapter 142 (Home and Community Support Services) and that coordinate and align the delivery of supportive palliative care services in various health care settings.


Sec. 142A.0003. PILOT PROGRAM. (a) Authorizes the executive commissioner by rule to develop and implement a limited pilot program in one or more geographic areas of this state to coordinate the delivery of supportive palliative care services to vulnerable individuals with serious illnesses, as defined by rule by the executive commissioner.


(b) Requires the executive commissioner, if the executive commissioner develops and implements a pilot program under this section, to, not later than the first anniversary of the date the pilot program expires, prepare and submit to the governor, lieutenant governor, and legislature a written report that summarizes the outcomes of the pilot program.


(c) Provides that this section expires September 1, 2025.


SECTION 2. Amends Section 142.001(15), Health and Safety Code, to exclude supportive palliative care as defined by Section 142A.0001 from the services included in the definition of "hospice services."


SECTION 3. Requires the executive commissioner, as soon as practicable after the effective date of this Act, to adopt rules and minimum standards required by Section 142A, Health and Safety Code, as added by this Act.


SECTION 4. Effective date: September 1, 2019.