The Committee shall evaluate the effectiveness of existing state law and agency rules designed to ensure prompt payment of health insurance claims to providers by insurance companies. The Committee should assess the level of industry compliance with current law and the necessity of additional enforcement measures. The Committee shall determine the factors affecting the timeliness of reimbursements and make necessary recommendations to improve the process.
In addition, the committee shall evaluate the effectiveness of existing state law and agency rules relating to the current medical professional liability system. The committee should assess the causes of rising malpractice insurance rates in Texas, including the impact of medical malpractice lawsuits, and their impact on access to health care. Based on that assessment, the committee should determine the need for corrective action and make recommendations as necessary.
The Committee shall submit copies of its final report as soon as possible, but no later than November 15, 2002, and is thereupon discharged. This date will allow the findings of the Committee to be considered when the Legislative Budget Board is developing performance and budget recommendations to the 78th Legislature. Copies of the final report should be sent to the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the Senate, Legislative Council, and Legislative Reference Library.
The final report of the Committee should be approved by a majority of the voting members of the Committee and include any recommended statutory changes. Draft legislation containing recommended statutory changes should be attached to the report. Recommended agency rule changes should also be attached to the report.
Final Report (PDF - 365 kb)
Appendices (PDF - 3 mb)
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Budget and Staff
The Committee shall use existing staff, and where appropriate, the Committee should obtain assistance from the Senate Research Center and legislative agencies, including the Legislative Budget Board, the Legislative Council, and the State Auditor. The Committee should also seek the assistance of appropriate Executive Branch agencies with responsibilities in the areas related to the Committee's interim charges. Travel expenses shall be paid from the members' operating budgets.
Pursuant to Section 301.041, Government Code, it may be necessary to change the membership of a committee if a member is not returning to the Legislature in 2003. This will ensure that the work of interim committees is carried forward into the 78th Legislative Session.