HBA-NRS H.B. 2419 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2419 By: Coleman Public Health 3/26/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law requires nonprofit hospitals or hospital systems to devote a specific amount of their net patient revenues to charity care and government-sponsored indigent health care. House Bill 2419 further develops charity care reporting requirements, establishes an access fund for charity care services and requires clarification of charity care policies of nonprofit hospitals and hospital systems. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Department of Health SECTION 4 (Section 311.0463, Health and Safety Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 2419 amends the Health and Safety Code to delete a provision authorizing a nonprofit hospital or hospital system to elect to provide community benefits, according to the standard of charity care and government-sponsored indigent health care provided at a level which is reasonable in relation to the community needs, the available resources of the hospital or hospital system, and the tax-exempt benefits received by the hospital or hospital system (Sec. 311.045). The bill authorizes a nonprofit hospital or hospital system to credit expenditures for community benefits when charity care and community benefits are provided in a combined amount equal to at least five percent of the hospital's or hospital system's net patient revenue only if the nonprofit hospital demonstrates to the Texas Department of Health (department) how those expenditures will benefit the communities they serve and the department approves the credit (Sec. 311.045). The bill authorizes a nonprofit hospital or hospital system under contract with a local county to provide indigent health care services under the Indigent Health Care and Treatment Act to credit direct care provided to an eligible county resident toward meeting the hospital's or system's charity care and government-sponsored indigent health care requirement (Sec. 311.045). The bill requires a nonprofit hospital to prepare an annual report of the community benefits plan and to include in the report a detailed disclosure of the amount and types of community benefits, including information on the populations affected by the benefits and the anticipated outcomes of those benefits. The bill requires each hospital to provide to each person who seeks any health care service at the hospital notice of the charity care program and the program's charity care and eligibility policies. The bill requires each hospital to publish notice of the hospital's charity care program and policies in a local newspaper (Sec. 311.046). H.B. 2419 requires the department to publish annually a manual that lists each nonprofit hospital in this state with a brief summary of the charity care policies and community benefits that the nonprofit hospital provides. The bill creates the state access fund (fund) as a trust fund with the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller) and requires the fund to be administered by the department as a trustee on behalf of recipients of money from the fund. The bill sets forth the fund's composition. The bill authorizes money in the fund to be used only to finance initiatives to expand access to charity care and community benefits. The bill authorizes the department to authorize the commissioner of public health to use money in the fund for any authorized purpose (Sec. 311.0462). The bill authorizes a nonprofit hospital or hospital system to credit donations to the fund toward meeting the hospital's or system's charity care and community benefits requirements. The bill requires the department to adopt rules for the administration of provisions related to credit for donations to the fund (Sec. 311.0463). Not later than September 1, 2002, the bill requires the comptroller to randomly select five nonprofit hospitals from the state and conduct, or cause to be conducted, an appraisal of the taxable value of the hospitals (SECTION 5). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.