HBA-DMH H.B. 1018 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1018 By: Hardcastle Public Health 7/2/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Many rural communities in Texas are experiencing a shortage of health care professionals. To help rural and medically underserved areas recruit physicians, House Bill 1018 requires the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners to implement an expedited licensing process for foreign and out-of-state applicants who are already licensed and who intend to practice in a capacity that helps to reduce the shortage. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners in SECTION 1 (Section 155.1025, Occupations Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 1018 amends the Occupations Code to require the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners (TSBME) to adopt rules for expediting any application for a license to practice medicine made by a person who is licensed to practice medicine in another state or country and who submits an affidavit with the application stating that the applicant intends to practice medicine in a rural community, as determined by the Center for Rural Health Initiatives or that the applicant intends to be employed in a specified capacity that will assist in reducing the health professional shortage. The bill requires TSBME to notify the Texas Department of Health (TDH) on receipt of an application for expedited processing. On receipt of an application from a foreign applicant for the expedited processing of a license, the bill requires TDH to request the United States Department of State to recommend the waiver of applicable federal law for not more than 20 qualified alien physicians each year who agree, beginning not later than the 90th day after the date of approval of the waiver and continuing for at least three years, to accept employment in a specified capacity that will assist in reducing the health professional shortage. EFFECTIVE DATE June 16, 2001.