HBA-MPM H.B. 2602 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2602 By: Coleman Public Health 3/26/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In 1999, the 76th Legislature passed legislation that updated the state Indigent Health Care and Treatment Act of 1985. This legislation shifted the focus of county indigent health care programs to primary and preventive care, and gave counties more flexibility to administer local programs tailored to meet local needs. The legislation lowered the spending threshold that a county must surpass to receive state financial assistance, created a list of optional services a county may provide and receive credit toward its threshold, and allowed counties to use less restrictive eligibility standards. The legislation also increased accountability by allowing providers to collect eligibility information from patients, allowing the Texas Department of Health to resolve eligibility disputes and improve reporting. House Bill 2602 ensures proper implementation of the reforms enacted in 1999 by clarifying various provisions of the Indigent Health Care and Treatment Act. 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 2602 amends the Health and Safety Code to update statutory references and make clarifying changes to the Indigent Health Care and Treatment Act. The bill authorizes a county or a health care provider, or a hospital and health care provider, if they disagree on a patient's eligibility, to submit the matter to the Texas Department of Health (TDH). The bill specifies that an eligible county resident who qualifies for assistance under the Indigent Health Care and Treatment Act is subject to general eligibility criteria provided in state law, rather than county eligibility requirements. H.B. 2602 deletes existing law that requires TDH to adopt rules governing the distribution of state assistance under the Indigent Health Care and Treatment Act and related rulemaking provisions. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, of if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.