HBA-MPM H.B. 1418 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1418 By: Jones, Jesse Human Services 7/25/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE According to the Senate Committee on Human Services, long-term care consumer advocates, provider representatives, and Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) staff have expressed concerns regarding the state's procedures for protecting facility residents from abuse, neglect, or exploitation. State law provides that long-term care facilities and home health agencies must obtain a state criminal history record for new unlicenced employees who provide direct care to residents or consumers. Facilities are prohibited from employing persons who have been convicted of certain offenses, such as homicide, sexual assault, or injury to a child or elderly or disabled person. Prior to the 77th Legislature, facilities could obtain a criminal history check for a potential employee through the DHS, which then forwarded it to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). House Bill 1418 allows facilities to obtain criminal background checks directly from DPS and authorizes the drug testing of employees. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Board of Human Services in SECTION 2 (Section 242.050, Health and Safety Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 1418 amends the Health and Safety Code to authorizes facilities that serve the elderly or disabled (facilities) to obtain criminal history information relating to a person who is an applicant for employment or an employee at a facility directly from the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The bill includes a facility that provides home and community support services among the facilities for purposes of obtaining criminal history for an applicant for employment of or an employee in a position that has direct contact with a consumer (Sec. 250.002). The bill prohibits a facility from employing a person in any capacity, and not just in a position involving direct contact with a consumer if the facility determines as a result of a criminal history check that a person has been convicted of certain offenses (Sec. 250.003 and 250.006). The bill specifies that identifying information of an employee in a covered facility may be submitted electronically or on disk to DPS to obtain the person's criminal conviction record (Sec. 250.004). The bill includes a conviction under the laws of another state, federal law, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice for an offense containing elements that are substantially similar to the elements of an offense listed in current law among the offenses that prohibit a person from being employed in a facility. The bill prohibits a person convicted of felony theft or who has a conviction under laws of another state, federal law, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice that is substantially similar to the elements of the existing state offenses that serve as a bar to employment from being employed in a position that involves direct contact with a consumer in a facility before the fifth anniversary of the conviction date. The bill prohibits a person convicted of felony theft or who has a conviction under laws of another state, federal law, or the Uniform code of Military Justice that is substantially similar to the elements of the existing state offenses that serve as a bar to employment from being employed in a position that involves direct contact with a consumer in facility before the fifth anniversary of conviction date (Sec. 250.006). The bill requires convalescent and nursing homes and related institutions (institutions) to prepare a written statement describing the institution's policy for conducting criminal history record checks of employees and applicants for employment, and to begin providing the statement no later than January 1, 2002 to each person applying for services from the institution or the person's next of kin and any person requesting the information. The bill requires the Texas Board of Human Services (board) by rule to adopt a model drug testing policy no later than December 1, 2001 for use by institutions to ensure the safety of residents through appropriate drug testing of employees and to protect employee rights. The bill provides that the model policy must require at least one scheduled drug test each year and must authorize random, unannounced drug testing for an employee who has direct contact with a resident in the institution. The bill authorizes an institution to adopt the model drug testing policy adopted by the board or to establish another policy (Secs. 242.0371, 242.050 and SECTION 7). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.