HBA-LJP H.B. 2456 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2456 By: Gray Ways & Means 4/1/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In 1985, the 69th Texas Legislature enacted the Indigent Health Care and Treatment Act to provide for a county to fund medical indigence health care through the general revenue fund of the county which is comprised of property and sales and use taxes. If the county spends at least eight percent of the general revenue fund on medical indigence health care, the county is then eligible for state assistance. However, only counties with a population of 50,000 or less are authorized to adopt or abolish the sales and use tax for county health services by election and the rate of these taxes can not exceed one-half percent. Because of the limit on the imposition of sales and use taxes for county health services that the county uses to fund the County Indigent Health Care program (program), other health care services in the county may need to become responsible for services that the program provides to the indigent population in the county. House Bill 2456 creates the indigent health care pilot program which is adopted by a county, on voter approval, and authorizes any county to fund the pilot program by a sales and use tax for county health services at a rate not to exceed one percent. 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. ANALYSIS House Bill 2456 amends the Tax Code to create the indigent health care program as a pilot program (pilot program) adopted by a county to provide indigent health care services that are funded by sale and use tax for county health services. The bill authorizes the commissioners court of a county allocating tax revenue to a pilot program to adopt guidelines for the program. The bill requires the guidelines to include secondary and tertiary care services offered according to the state medical assistance program to residents of the county with no health insurance who are at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty line, and primary care services offered according to the Indigent Health Care Act for residents of the county who are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. The bill also provides that guidelines of the pilot program include case management, utilization review, patient outreach, patient education, and transportation and includes appropriate goals and performance measures. The bill authorizes a county that has adopted a pilot program to adopt or abolish the sales and use tax for county health services at an election held in the county. If the voters of the county adopt a pilot program, the bill also authorizes the rate of the sales and use tax for county health services to exceed one-half percent and not to exceed one percent. The bill requires any pilot program that has been adopted to have a sunset date six years from the date the program first provides services to county residents, unless otherwise authorized by the voters of the county in an election. The bill also requires the state auditor to have the right to review any pilot program adopted and to report the results of the pilot program to the legislature. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.