Texas Bill to Crack Down on Corrupt Hospital Owners Advances But Lacks Vetting Requirements

The Texas Senate is slated to vote this week on a bill its author says will protect hospitals from corrupt administrators. But so far, it's missing what experts say is basic preventive medicine: a requirement that the state vet the backgrounds of would-be hospital owners before giving them licenses.Senate Bill 267, sponsored by Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, would allow the state to impose heavier fines on hospitals that run afoul of safety regulations and to temporarily take over mismanaged facilities that face closure.It also would also require disclosure of owners of as little of 5 percent of a hospital; the current standard is 25 percent.But as currently written it would do nothing to screen prospective hospital owners for criminal offenses, bankruptcies and other legal problems, which Schwertner said in December was under consideration. A member of the senator’s staff said Thursday that it was possible that the bill would be amended in the Senate or the House to include screening standards."Senator Schwertner is still receiving feedback from fellow senators on SB 267 and considering possible changes or amendments to the bill,'' said Thomas Holloway, chief of staff to the senator. "As those conversations are ongoing, it's our policy not to discuss them publicly until the bill is considered on the senate floor."  Continue reading...

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