HBA-DMD H.B. 629 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 629 By: Gallego Public Health 2/11/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, 9-1-1 emergency medical services operators (operators) relay emergency service information from a caller to the proper authorities. However, in some instances callers may need additional information to help to immediately stabilize themselves or others. H.B. 629 authorizes the Texas Department of Health to provide training programs and a flash-card system to operators so that they may provide callers with useful medical information. The bill also limits liability for an operator who in good faith provides medical information. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Board of Health in SECTION 1 (Sections 773.144, 773.145, and 773.147, Health and Safety Code) and in SECTION 2 of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 773, Health and Safety Code, by adding Subchapter F, as follows: SUBCHAPTER F. MEDICAL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES OPERATORS Sec. 773.141. DEFINITIONS. Defines "emergency call" and "emergency medical services operator." Sec. 773.142. APPLICATION OF CHAPTER. Sets forth that this chapter does not apply to a physician or other licensed person who provides medical information under law. Sec. 773.143. PROVISION OF MEDICAL INFORMATION. Authorizes an emergency medical services operator (operator) to provide medical information to a member of the public during an emergency call provided that the operator has successfully completed an operator training program and received a certificate issued under Section 773.144, and the information provided substantially conforms to the protocol for delivery of the information adopted by the Texas Board of Health (board) under Section 773.145. Sec. 773.144. TRAINING PROGRAMS. (a) Authorizes the Texas Department of Health (department) to offer operator training programs and approve training programs offered by other persons. Requires the board, by rule, to establish minimum standards for approval of training programs and certification and decertification of program instructors. (b) Requires the provider of an operator training program to issue an operator a certificate showing completion of the training program. Authorizes the board, by rule, to require that the operator successfully complete an examination administered by the board, the provider of the training program, or by another person, before receiving the certificate. (c) Authorizes the board, by rule, to specify that the certificate issued under Subsection (b) expire at the end of a specified period that is not less than one year from the date the certificate was issued. Authorizes the board to adopt requirements, including additional training or examination, for renewal of the certificate. (d) Authorizes the board, by rule, to adopt other requirements that relate to operator training programs. Sec. 773.145. MEDICAL INFORMATION. Requires the board, by rule, to adopt a protocol that must be used to provide medical information under Section 773.143. The protocol is authorized to include the use of a flash-card system or other similar system designed to make the information readily accessible to the operator in an understandable form. Sec. 773.146. LIMITATION ON CIVIL LIABILITY. (a) Provides that an operator who holds a certificate under Section 173.144 is not liable for damages that arise from the provision of medical information under this subchapter if the information is provided in good faith, unless an act or omission of the operator is intentional or wilfully or wantonly negligent. (b) Provides that a person who authorizes, sponsors, supports, finances, or supervises the functions of an operator who holds a certificate under Section 173.144 is not liable for damages that arise from the provision of medical information under this subchapter if that person acts in good faith, unless an act or omission of the person is intentional or wilfully or wantonly negligent. (c) Sets forth that the immunity granted by this section is in addition to any other immunity granted by law. Sec. 773.147. Authorizes the board, by rule, to adopt fees for training programs provided by the board under Section 773.144 and for the approval of program instructors and of training programs offered by other persons. Prohibits the fees adopted under this section from exceeding the amount necessary for the department to recover the cost of administering this subchapter. SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1999. Makes application of this Act prospective, beginning January 1, 2000. Requires the board to adopt rules necessary for the implementation of Subchapter F, Chapter 773, Health and Safety Code, as added by this Act, not later than December 1, 1999. SECTION 3.Emergency clause.