HB 2004

84(R) - 2015
House Public Health
House Public Health

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Drew Darby

Bill Caption

Relating to a pilot project to provide emergency telemedicine medical services in rural areas.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB2004, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: an impact of $0 through the biennium ending August 31, 2017.

The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.

There could be costs to a hospital district that chose to participate in the pilot program. However, it is assumed that a hospital district would participate only if sufficient funds were available or it would not result in a negative fiscal impact; therefore, no significant fiscal impact is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

The bill would amend the Health and Safety Code to require the Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC) and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) area health education center ("Center") to establish a pilot project to provide emergency medical services instruction and emergency pre-hospital care instruction through a telemedicine medical service provided by regional resource trauma centers to health care providers in rural trauma facilities and emergency medical services providers in rural areas.

Provisions of the bill would require the Center, with assistance of the CSEC, to design and define criteria and protocols for the telemedicine medical service, collect data necessary for project evaluation of the pilot program, and report findings to the Governor and presiding officer of each house of the Legislature no later than December 31, 2020. Provisions of the bill would require CSEC to provide technical assistance to the Center in the implementation of the pilot project. The bill would also require the Center to select trauma facilities and emergency medical service providers based on certain criteria to participate in the pilot project and provide the telemedicine medical service and related instruction through providers in regional trauma resource centers. 

Provisions of the bill would allow funds collected in 1 General Revenue - Dedicated Account No. 5007 from 9-1-1 equalization surcharges on each local exchange access line and each wireless telecommunications connections to be appropriated to CSEC to fund the pilot project. In addition, the Center may seek grants to fund the pilot project. Political subdivisions with a trauma facility participating in the project may pay part of the costs of the pilot project. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

HB 2004 would establish a pilot program to increase efficiency in rural health care. Trauma services are already a state function, and this measure seeks to increase the availability and reach of this important service without the need of additional staffing. This legislation supports our limited government principle, so we support HB 2004.