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  By: Menéndez  S.B. No. 2038
         (In the Senate - Filed March 12, 2021; April 1, 2021, read
  first time and referred to Committee on Business & Commerce;
  April 9, 2021, reported adversely, with favorable Committee
  Substitute by the following vote:  Yeas 9, Nays 0; April 9, 2021,
  sent to printer.)
Click here to see the committee vote
 
  COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR S.B. No. 2038 By:  Hancock
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
 
  relating to fees and prices charged by freestanding emergency
  medical care facilities; providing administrative penalties.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter D, Chapter 254, Health and Safety
  Code, is amended by adding Section 254.1555 to read as follows:
         Sec. 254.1555.  CERTAIN FEES PROHIBITED. (a)  A facility
  that provides a health care service, including testing or
  vaccination, to an individual accessing the service from the
  individual's vehicle may not charge the individual or a third-party
  payor a facility or observation fee.
         (b)  This section may not be construed as expanding the type
  of health care services a facility is authorized to provide under
  this chapter.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter D, Chapter 254, Health and Safety
  Code, is amended by adding Section 254.160 to read as follows:
         Sec. 254.160.  PROHIBITED PRICING PRACTICES DURING DECLARED
  STATE OF DISASTER. (a) In this section, "unconscionable price"
  means a price a facility charges for a health care service provided
  to an individual in an amount that is more than 200 percent of the
  average price charged for the same or a substantially similar
  product or service provided to other individuals by health care
  facilities located in the same county or nearest county to the
  county in which the freestanding emergency medical care facility is
  located, as applicable, according to data collected by the
  department under Chapter 108.
         (b)  A facility, during a state of disaster declared under
  Chapter 418, Government Code, may not:
               (1)  charge an individual an unconscionable price for a
  product or service provided at the facility; or
               (2)  knowingly or intentionally charge a third-party
  payor, including a health benefit plan insurer, a price higher than
  the price charged to an individual for the same product or service
  based on the payor's liability for payment or partial payment of the
  product or service.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter E, Chapter 254, Health and Safety
  Code, is amended by adding Section 254.207 to read as follows:
         Sec. 254.207.  MANDATORY ENFORCEMENT. Notwithstanding any
  conflicting provision in this subchapter and except for good cause
  shown, the Health and Human Services Commission shall impose the
  following on a person licensed under this chapter who violates
  Section 254.160 or a rule adopted under that section:
               (1)  for the first violation, an administrative penalty
  in an amount equal to $10,000;
               (2)  for the second violation:
                     (A)  an administrative penalty in an amount equal
  to $50,000; and
                     (B)  a suspension of the person's license for 30
  days; and
               (3)  for the third violation, a permanent revocation of
  the person's license.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
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