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Current law specifies the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) completes a complaint investigation after a hospital reports a potentially preventable adverse event (PAE). After completing the investigation and substantiating the complaint, a Statement of Deficiency is issued. Then the hospital is required to submit to DSHS a Plan of Correction that identifies deficiencies it has resolved and will continue resolving to avoid future adverse events. DSHS later decides if it will conduct a follow-up visit to review plan implementation. As a result, not all hospitals in the state receive a follow-up visit.
This legislation requires a hospital to submit a plan to DSHS if the department finds the hospital has committed a violation that resulted in a potentially preventable adverse event reportable under Chapter 98 of the Health and Safety Code. A potentially preventable event is defined as "a potentially preventable admission, a potentially preventable ancillary service, a potentially preventable complication, a potentially preventable emergency room visit, a potentially preventable readmission, or a combination of those events."
The bill also authorizes DSHS to monitor and enforce a hospital's adherence to the approved plan.
The legislation is designed to minimize potentially preventable adverse events. The increase in hospital compliance regulations and departmental supervision ensures hospitals are addressing deficiencies that may have caused the preventable adverse event. Since the bill does not directly inhibit or benefit our liberty principles, we remain neutral on HB 938.
We took the same position on the bill's identical Senate companion, SB 373.