HBA-MPM S.B. 556 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 556 By: Nelson Public Health 3/31/1999 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, state law authorizes physicians licensed to practice in the State of Texas to refer patients to an occupational therapist. In some cases it is necessary for a licensed chiropractor or podiatrist operating in the scope of practice to refer patients to an occupational therapist for treatment. S.B. 556 authorizes licensed, qualified health care professionals, within the scope of that professional's licensure, to refer patients to occupational therapists. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 27, Article 8851, V.T.C.S. (Occupational Therapy Practice Act), as follows: Sec. 27. New title: PRACTITIONER'S REFERRAL. Requires implementation of direct occupational therapy to individuals for their specific health care conditions, rather than medical conditions, to be based on a referral from a physician licensed by a state board of medical examiners, rather than a physician licensed to practice in the State of Texas; a dentist licensed by a state board of dental examiners; a chiropractor licensed by a state board of chiropractic examiners; a podiatrist licensed by a state board of podiatric medical examiners; or any other qualified, licensed health care professional who, within the score of the person's licensure, is authorized to refer for health care services. Provides that the professional taking an action under this section is a referring practitioner. Deletes "physician's" from title. SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 3. Emergency clause.