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Relating to the prohibited discharge of a patient to certain unlicensed or unpermitted group-centered facilities.
No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 505 would allow hospitals to discharge patients to group homes, boarding home facilities, or similar facilities only if the person who operates the facility holds a license or permit issued in accordance with state law. Hospitals would be prevented from discharging patients to facilities that are not licensed or permitted only if either no facility is operated in the county by a person who holds the applicable license or permit; or the patient voluntarily elects to reside in the facility of the unlicensed or unpermitted person.
SB 505 would ensure that hospitals or other health facilities are not liable for damages to a patient, resulting from such discharge or release to a group home, boarding home, or similar facility. In addition a local health authority would be prevented from issuing an order that conflicts with these discharge rules.
SB 505 represents an attempt to ensure that patients are receiving quality care when they are discharged from the hospital. By allowing patients to voluntarily elect to reside in an unlicensed facility SB 505 has taken a measured step to ensure patients have choices in their healthcare in this process. However, there should be a provision to ensure that family members and other legitimate representatives of the patient have the ability to make this decision in the instance of a patient being unable to decide where to go themselves. Texas Action is neutral on SB 505.