|House Interim Committee on Public Health
LABORATORY SCIENTIST LICENSURE
Study whether public protection or public services could be enhanced
by the registration or licensing of clinical laboratory scientists.
Maintain the status quo.
The federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) regulates
clinical laboratories in Texas, and most other licensed health
professionals are not held to the same type of stringent standards
within the workplace.
Continue to monitor potential
changes at the federal level regarding the CLIA regulation of
provider operated laboratories (POLs) in Texas.
NURSE AIDE RATIO STUDY
Review the benefits, costs, and possibility of mandating a specific
ratio of certified nurse aides to nursing home residents.
Although there is no imposed ratio of nurse aides in Texas, several
states have implemented ratios as a way of ensuring higher quality
of care in nursing homes. Disturbed by gross negligence at some
nursing home facilities, advocates of nursing homes conclude that
a mandatory ratio will improve conditions in nursing homes statewide.
Industry representatives, however, cite cost and implementation
problems and remain cautious of any hasty solutions.
The Department of Human Services
Division of Long-term Care should use existing information and
enforcement techniques available to identify and remedy facilities
with inadequate staff.
Texas nursing facilities should
institute measures to increase nurse aide retention, including
educational and career incentives and nurse aide participation
in discussions of resident care.
Pay particular attention to
the Board of Nursing Facility Administrators in order to safeguard
Texas' nursing home residents. The membership of the board should
be reviewed to determine whether the current representation is
serving the needs of the state.
Explore a cost reimbursement
system that rewards quality of care without impacting overall
cost to the state.
REVIEW OF MEDICAL SCHOOL FUNDS
Review the ways in which medical schools use funds generated by
their family practice programs.
Account for medical school
revenue and funds in the appropriations process.
Create a graduate medical
education fund (GME fund).
Direct the Higher Education
Coordinating Board to create an outcome-based formula for the
distribution of these funds, if any additional funds are appropriated
to the medical schools for GME after this GME fund is created.
This formula would be based on the state's physician workforce
IMPROVING ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE FOR CHILDREN
Study the possibilities of improving access to health care for
children, including a review of the Chronically Ill and Disabled
Children's program. In developing proposals, the committee must
consult the Legislative Budget Board to ensure the recommendations
have no fiscal implications for the state.
Continue to support the current
Medicaid 1115(a) waiver application to expand health care services
to children up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
Create a nonprofit corporation
under the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act to administer a statewide
children's health insurance program through qualified insurers.
Reinvest existing state and
local funds by pooling its general revenue appropriations for
children's health services to finance a children's health insurance
Require non-custodial parents
who are required by law to provide health insurance coverage for
their children to select either an employer-based plan with comparable
coverage or participate in the Texas Healthy Kids Corporation.
Identify barriers to access,
such as transportation, education, cost, and provider availability.
Removing these barriers will be integral to the success of a
children's health insurance program.
Current CIDC eligible clients
up to age 18 should retain their existing level of benefits either
through Medicaid coverage or another comparable health care arrangement,
as well as access any new benefits that might be available through
Require certain coverage safeguards
for children with special health care needs in managed systems.
Conduct active oversight of agencies under the committee's jurisdiction.