Tx. Senator Proposes Bill To Protect Hospitals Against Themselves


Out of control hospital administrator restrained by staff

“Texas can’t tolerate poor quality care, poor leadership, and individuals who defraud people who are vulnerable and sick.” 

Texas senator proposes bill to protect hospitals against corrupt administrators

Written by Alyssa Rege | December 06, 2016 | Print | Email

A Texas lawmaker proposed a bill Monday that would require hospital administrators to be more transparent regarding their ownership interests and the state to conduct safety inspections more frequently, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), MD, introduced the bill to the state legislature after learning of The Dallas Morning News‘ investigation into gaps in regulation that could allow hospital operators and administrators to prioritize their personal financial interests over the hospitals’ best interests.

A similar bill was introduced in 2013, but did not pass.

Texas is among 35 states that do not perform basic background checks on individuals seeking to operate hospitals in the state.

“This [The Dallas Morning News] article brought to light the issue of bad owners,” said Sen. Schwertner, chairman of the state senate health and human services committee. “Texas can’t tolerate poor quality care, poor leadership, and individuals who defraud people who are vulnerable and sick.”

Sen. Schwertner’s bill also aims to:

  • Give the Texas Department of State Health Services the authority to name a temporary trustee to manage a hospital instead of shuttering the facility.
  • Require the state health department to inspect hospitals at least once every three years.
  • Raise the maximum fine hospitals must pay for violating the state’s health and safety code. Rural hospitals with 75 or fewer beds may be fined up to $10,000 for each violation. Other facilities may see fines of as much as $25,000 per violation.
  • Increase disclosure requirements for prospective hospital owners. Owners with a 5 percent stake in the hospital or more would be required to disclose their identities and Social Security numbers.
  • Establish a fund to pay for a court-appointed hospital trustee and medical record storage in certain cases