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  88R753 SCL-D
 
  By: Shaheen H.B. No. 593
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the provision of direct patient care by physicians and
  health care practitioners.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter F, Chapter 162, Occupations Code, is
  transferred to Subtitle A, Title 3, Occupations Code, redesignated
  as Chapter 117, Occupations Code, and amended to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 117 [SUBCHAPTER F]. DIRECT PATIENT [PRIMARY] CARE
         Sec. 117.001 [162.251].  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter
  [subchapter]:
               (1)  "Direct fee" means a fee charged by a physician or
  health care practitioner to a patient or a patient's designee for
  health [primary medical] care services provided by, or to be
  provided by, the physician or practitioner to the patient. The term
  includes a fee in any form, including a:
                     (A)  monthly retainer;
                     (B)  membership fee;
                     (C)  subscription fee;
                     (D)  fee paid under a direct patient care [medical
  service] agreement; or
                     (E)  fee for a service, visit, or episode of care.
               (2)  "Direct patient [primary] care" means a health
  [primary medical] care service provided by a physician or health
  care practitioner to a patient in return for payment in accordance
  with a direct fee. The term includes telemedicine medical services
  and telehealth services, as those terms are defined by Section
  111.001, provided using a technology platform.
               (3)  "Direct patient care agreement" means a signed
  written agreement under which a physician or health care
  practitioner agrees to provide health care services to a patient in
  exchange for a direct fee for a period of time that is entered into
  by the physician or practitioner and:
                     (A)  the patient;
                     (B)  the patient's legal representative,
  guardian, or employer on behalf of the patient; or
                     (C)  the patient's legal representative's or
  guardian's employer on behalf of the patient.
               (4)  "Health care practitioner" means an individual who
  holds a license, certificate, permit, or other authorization issued
  under this title to engage in a health care profession and who
  provides health care in the ordinary course of business or practice
  of a profession. The term does not include a physician.
               (5)  "Health care service" means any care, service, or
  procedure provided by a physician or health care practitioner. The
  term includes any medical or psychological diagnosis, treatment,
  evaluation, advice, or other service that affects the structure or
  function of the human body ["Medical service agreement" means a
  signed written agreement under which a physician agrees to provide
  direct primary care services for a patient in exchange for a direct
  fee for a period of time that is entered into by the physician and:
                     [(A)  the patient;
                     [(B)  the patient's legal representative,
  guardian, or employer on behalf of the patient; or
                     [(C)  the patient's legal representative's or
  guardian's employer on behalf of the patient].
               (6) [(4)]  "Physician" means a person licensed to
  practice medicine in this state. The term includes a professional
  association or professional limited liability company owned
  entirely by an individual licensed under Subtitle B [this
  subtitle].
               [(5)  "Primary medical care service" means a routine or
  general health care service of the type provided at the time a
  patient seeks preventive care or first seeks health care services
  for a specific health concern, is a patient's main source for
  regular health care services, and includes:
                     [(A)  promoting and maintaining mental and
  physical health and wellness;
                     [(B)  preventing disease;
                     [(C)  screening, diagnosing, and treating acute
  or chronic conditions caused by disease, injury, or illness;
                     [(D)  providing patient counseling and education;
  and
                     [(E)  providing a broad spectrum of preventive and
  curative health care over a period of time.]
         Sec. 117.002 [162.252].  APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER
  [SUBCHAPTER]. This chapter [subchapter] does not apply to workers'
  compensation insurance coverage as defined by Section 401.011,
  Labor Code.
         Sec. 117.003 [162.253].  DIRECT PATIENT [PRIMARY] CARE NOT
  INSURANCE. (a) A physician or health care practitioner providing
  direct patient [primary] care is not an insurer or health
  maintenance organization, and the physician or practitioner is not
  subject to regulation by the Texas Department of Insurance for the
  direct patient [primary] care.
         (b)  A direct patient care [medical service] agreement is not
  health or accident insurance or coverage under Title 8, Insurance
  Code, and is not subject to regulation by the Texas Department of
  Insurance.
         (c)  A physician or health care practitioner is not required
  to obtain a certificate of authority under the Insurance Code to
  market, sell, or offer a direct patient care [medical service]
  agreement or provide direct patient [primary] care.
         (d)  A physician or health care practitioner providing
  direct patient [primary] care does not violate Section 1204.055,
  Insurance Code.
         Sec. 117.004 [162.254].  BILLING INSURER OR HEALTH
  MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION PROHIBITED. A physician or health care
  practitioner may not bill an insurer or health maintenance
  organization for direct patient [primary] care that is paid under a
  direct patient care [medical service] agreement.
         Sec. 117.005 [162.255].  INTERFERENCE PROHIBITED. (a) The
  Texas Medical Board [board] or another state agency may not
  prohibit, interfere with, initiate a legal or administrative
  proceeding against, or impose a fine or penalty against:
               (1)  a physician or health care practitioner solely
  because the physician or practitioner provides direct patient
  [primary] care; or
               (2)  a person solely because the person pays a direct
  fee for direct patient [primary] care.
         (b)  A health insurer, health maintenance organization, or
  health care provider as that term is defined by Section 105.001
  may  not prohibit, interfere with, or initiate a legal proceeding
  against:
               (1)  a physician or health care practitioner solely
  because the physician or practitioner provides direct patient
  [primary] care; or
               (2)  a person solely because the person pays a direct
  fee for direct patient [primary] care.
         Sec. 117.006 [162.256].  REQUIRED DISCLOSURE. A physician
  or health care practitioner providing direct patient [primary] care
  shall provide written or electronic notice to the patient that a
  direct patient care [medical service] agreement for direct patient
  [primary] care is not insurance, prior to entering into the
  agreement.
         SECTION 2.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  an agreement entered into on or after the effective date of this
  Act. An agreement entered into before the effective date of this
  Act is governed by the law applicable to the agreement immediately
  before the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in
  effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2023.