H.B. No. 1941
  relating to unconscionable prices charged by certain health care
  facilities for medical care.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter E, Chapter 17, Business & Commerce
  Code, is amended by adding Section 17.464 to read as follows:
  FACILITY.  (a) In this section:
               (1)  "Emergency care" means health care services
  provided in an emergency facility to evaluate and stabilize medical
  conditions of a recent onset and severity, including severe pain,
  that would lead a prudent layperson possessing an average knowledge
  of medicine and health to believe that the individual's condition,
  sickness, or injury is of such a nature that failure to get
  immediate medical care could:
                     (A)  place the individual's health in serious
                     (B)  result in serious impairment to bodily
                     (C)  result in serious dysfunction of a bodily
  organ or part;
                     (D)  result in serious disfigurement; or
                     (E)  for a pregnant woman, result in serious
  jeopardy to the health of the fetus.
               (2)  "Emergency facility":
                     (A)  means:
                           (i)  a freestanding emergency medical care
  facility licensed under Chapter 254, Health and Safety Code; or
                           (ii)  a hospital that does not meet the
  conditions of participation for certification under Title XVIII of
  the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 1395 et seq.); and
                     (B)  does not include a hospital that:
                           (i)  has been operating as a hospital for
  less than one year;
                           (ii)  has submitted an application to a
  federally recognized accreditation program for certification under
  Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 1395 et
  seq.); and
                           (iii)  has not failed an accreditation for
         (b)  For purposes of Section 17.46(a), the term "false,
  misleading, or deceptive acts or practices" includes an emergency
  facility that:
               (1)  provides emergency care at an unconscionable
  price; or
               (2)  demands or charges an unconscionable price for or
  in connection with emergency care or other care at the facility.
         (c)  The consumer protection division may not bring an action
  under Section 17.47 for an act or practice described by Subsection
  (b) if the price alleged to be unconscionable is less than 200
  percent of the average charge for the same or substantially similar
  care provided to other individuals by emergency rooms of hospitals
  located in the same county or nearest county in which the emergency
  facility is located, as applicable, according to data collected by
  the Department of State Health Services under Chapter 108, Health
  and Safety Code, and made available to the division, except as
  provided by Subsection (d).  The consumer protection division may
  not use data that includes prices for care provided in an urgent
  care setting or physician practice to establish the division's
  authority to investigate and pursue an action under this
         (d)  If the attorney general determines that the consumer
  protection division is unable to obtain the charge data described
  by Subsection (c), the attorney general may adopt rules designating
  another source of hospital charge data for use by the division in
  establishing the average charge for emergency care or other care
  provided by hospital emergency rooms for purposes of Subsection
         (e)  In an action brought under Section 17.47 to enforce this
  section, the consumer protection division may request, and the
  trier of fact may award the recovery of:
               (1)  reasonable attorney's fees and court costs; and
               (2)  the reasonable expenses incurred by the division
  in obtaining any remedy available under Section 17.47, including
  the cost of investigation, witness fees, and deposition expenses.
         (f)  This section does not create a private cause of action
  for a false, misleading, or deceptive act or practice described by
  Subsection (b).
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 1941 was passed by the House on May 8,
  2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 147, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 1941 on May 24, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 141, Nays 1,
  2 present, not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 1941 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 22, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________