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Summary: SB 1535 would require the Texas Department of Health (department) to require hospitals who commit violations that result in a “potentially preventable adverse event,” reportable under Chapter 98, Health and Safety Code to develop and implement a plan to remedy any deficiencies. The plan can require staff training and education, supervision requirements for certain staff, increased staffing requirements, increased reporting to the department, and a review and amendment of hospital policies. Chapter 98 already contains provisions that require an extensive reporting system for any health-care associated infections or preventable adverse effects. SB 1535 requires hospitals to create an action plan to address these issues when they occur.
Analysis: SB 1535 adds a requirement for remedial steps based on violations that result in potentially preventable adverse effects or infections. These remedial steps, although they would increase the burden on hospitals, could lead to actions that improve the health care provided by hospitals. Still, these requirements represent an increase in government regulation. In an ideal world, hospitals would recognize any violations that result in preventable adverse effects and address them themselves so that they can continue to draw patients. As it is, however, hospitals are heavily regulated by government and we do not think it unreasonable for the department to require remedial steps. Moreover, the plan requirements seem to be flexible, meaning hospitals would be able to create a plan that works well for its employees and patients. We are neutral on SB 1535.