H.B. No. 1874
  relating to the establishment of the Palliative Care
  Interdisciplinary Advisory Council.
         SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that:
               (1)  palliative care is person-centered,
  family-focused care that provides a patient with relief from the
  symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness;
               (2)  palliative care is provided by a team of
  physicians, nurses, and other health care specialists to ensure an
  additional layer of support to a patient during the treatment of a
  serious illness;
               (3)  palliative care is appropriate for a patient of
  any age and at any stage of a serious illness; and
               (4)  evidence shows that palliative care can reduce
  medical costs in addition to helping a patient recover from a
  serious illness more quickly and easily.
         SECTION 2.  Subtitle E, Title 2, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 118 to read as follows:
         Sec. 118.001.  DEFINITION. In this chapter, "advisory
  council" means the Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory
  Council established under this chapter.
         Sec. 118.002.  ESTABLISHMENT; PURPOSE. The commission shall
  establish the Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council
  to assess the availability of patient-centered and family-focused
  palliative care in this state.
         Sec. 118.003.  APPLICATION OF SUNSET ACT.  The advisory
  council is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset
  Act).  Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter,
  the advisory council is abolished and this chapter expires
  September 1, 2019.
         Sec. 118.004.  MEMBERS. (a) The advisory council is
  composed of the members appointed by the executive commissioner as
  provided by this section.
         (b)  The advisory council must include:
               (1)  at least five physician members, including two who
  are board certified in hospice and palliative care and one who is
  board certified in pain management;
               (2)  three palliative care practitioner members,
  including two advanced practice registered nurses who are board
  certified in hospice and palliative care and one physician
  assistant who has experience providing palliative care;
               (3)  four health care professional members, including a
  nurse, a social worker, a pharmacist, and a spiritual care
  professional, with:
                     (A)  experience providing palliative care to
  pediatric, youth, or adult populations;
                     (B)  expertise in palliative care delivery in an
  inpatient, outpatient, or community setting; or
                     (C)  expertise in interdisciplinary palliative
               (4)  at least three members with experience as an
  advocate for patients and the patients' family caregivers and who
  are independent of a hospital or other health care facility,
  including at least one member who is a representative of an
  established patient advocacy organization; and
               (5)  ex officio representatives of the commission or
  another state agency as the executive commissioner determines
         (c)  Advisory council members serve at the pleasure of the
  executive commissioner.
         Sec. 118.005.  TERMS; VACANCY. (a)  An advisory council
  member serves a four-year term.
         (b)  If a vacancy occurs on the advisory council, a person
  shall be appointed to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.
         Sec. 118.006.  OFFICERS. Advisory council members shall:
               (1)  elect a chair and a vice chair; and
               (2)  establish the duties of the chair and the vice
         Sec. 118.007.  MEETINGS. The executive commissioner shall
  set a time and place for regular meetings, which must occur at least
  twice each year.
         Sec. 118.008.  COMPENSATION AND REIMBURSEMENT. A member of
  the advisory council may not receive compensation for service on
  the advisory council but is entitled to reimbursement of the travel
  expenses incurred by the member while conducting the business of
  the advisory council, as provided by the General Appropriations
         Sec. 118.009.  DUTIES. The advisory council shall consult
  with and advise the commission on matters related to the
  establishment, maintenance, operation, and outcome evaluation of
  the palliative care consumer and professional information and
  education program established under Section 118.011.
         Sec. 118.010.  REPORT. Not later than October 1 of each
  even-numbered year, the advisory council shall submit a biennial
  report to the standing committees of the senate and the house of
  representatives with primary jurisdiction over health matters on:
               (1)  the advisory council's assessment of the
  availability of palliative care in this state for patients in the
  early stages of serious disease;
               (2)  the advisory council's analysis of barriers to
  greater access to palliative care; and
               (3)  the advisory council's analysis of the policies,
  practices, and protocols in this state concerning patients' rights
  related to palliative care, including:
                     (A)  whether a palliative care team member may
  introduce palliative care options to a patient without the consent
  of the patient's attending physician;
                     (B)  the practices and protocols for discussions
  between a palliative care team member and a patient on
  life-sustaining treatment or advance directives decisions; and
                     (C)  the practices and protocols on informed
  consent and disclosure requirements for palliative care services.
         Sec. 118.011.  INFORMATION AND EDUCATION PROGRAM. (a)  The
  commission, in consultation with the advisory council, shall
  establish a statewide palliative care consumer and professional
  information and education program to ensure that comprehensive and
  accurate information and education about palliative care are
  available to the public, health care providers, and health care
         (b)  The commission shall make available on its Internet
  website information and resources regarding palliative care,
               (1)  links to external resources regarding palliative
               (2)  continuing education opportunities for health
  care providers;
               (3)  information about palliative care delivery in the
  home, primary, secondary, and tertiary environments; and
               (4)  consumer educational materials regarding
  palliative care, including hospice care.
         Sec. 118.012.  PROTECTIONS. Notwithstanding any other law,
  the advisory council and the information and education program
  established under this chapter do not create a cause of action or
  create a standard of care, obligation, or duty that provides a basis
  for a cause of action.
         SECTION 3.  Not later than December 1, 2015, the Health and
  Human Services Commission shall establish the Palliative Care
  Interdisciplinary Advisory Council and the executive commissioner
  of the Health and Human Services Commission shall appoint the
  advisory council members as required by Chapter 118, Health and
  Safety Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2015.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 1874 was passed by the House on May 6,
  2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 145, Nays 0, 2 present, not
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 1874 was passed by the Senate on May
  23, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________