Texas Health and Safety Code

As effective September 1, 2019

Subtitle B

Chapter 551

Subchapter A

Sec. 551.001: Definitions

In this subtitle:

(1) "Commission" means the Health and Human Services Commission.

(2) "Commissioner" means:

(A) the commissioner of state health services in relation to mental health services; and

(B) the commissioner of aging and disability services in relation to intellectual disability services.

(3) "Department" means:

(A) the Department of State Health Services in relation to mental health services; and

(B) the Department of Aging and Disability Services in relation to intellectual disability services.

(4) "Department facility" means:

(A) a facility for persons with mental illness under the jurisdiction of the Department of State Health Services; and

(B) a facility for persons with an intellectual disability under the jurisdiction of the Department of Aging and Disability Services.

(5) "Executive commissioner" means the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.002: Prohibition of Interest

The superintendent or director of a department facility or a person connected with that department facility may not:

(1) sell or have a concern in the sale of merchandise, supplies, or other items to a department facility; or

(2) have an interest in a contract with a department facility.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.003: Deposit of Patient Or Client Funds

(a) The superintendent or director of a department facility is the custodian of the personal funds that belong to a facility patient or client and that are on deposit with the institution.

(b) The superintendent or director may deposit or invest those funds in:

(1) a bank in this state;

(2) federal bonds or obligations; or

(3) bonds or obligations for which the faith and credit of the United States are pledged.

(c) The superintendent or director may combine the funds of facility patients or clients only to deposit or invest the funds.

(d) The person performing the function of business manager at that facility shall maintain records of the amount of funds on deposit for each facility patient or client.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.004: Benefit Fund

(a) The superintendent or director may deposit the interest or increment accruing from funds deposited or invested under Section 551.003 into a fund to be known as the benefit fund. The superintendent or director is the trustee of the fund.

(b) The superintendent or director may spend money from the benefit fund for:

(1) educating or entertaining the patients or clients;

(2) barber or cosmetology services for the patients or clients; and

(3) the actual expense incurred in maintaining the fund.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.005: Disbursement of Patient Or Client Funds

Funds in the benefit fund or belonging to a facility patient or client may be disbursed only on the signatures of both the facility's superintendent or director and the person performing the function of business manager at that facility.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.006: Facility Standards

(a) The executive commissioner by rule shall prescribe standards for department facilities relating to building safety and the number and quality of staff. The staff standards must provide that adequate staff exist to ensure a continuous plan of adequate medical, psychiatric, nursing, and social work services for patients and clients of a department facility.

(b) Each department shall approve facilities of that department that meet applicable standards and, when requested, shall certify the approval to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.007: Building and Improvement Program

(a) The executive commissioner, in coordination with the appropriate department, shall design, construct, equip, furnish, and maintain buildings and improvements authorized by law at department facilities.

(b) The executive commissioner may employ architects and engineers to prepare plans and specifications and to supervise construction of buildings and improvements. The executive commissioner shall employ professional, technical, and clerical personnel to carry out the design and construction functions prescribed by this section, subject to the General Appropriations Act and other applicable law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.008: Regional Laundry Centers

A regional laundry center operated by the commission to provide laundry services to department facilities may contract with federal agencies, other state agencies, or local political subdivisions to provide or receive laundry services.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 111 (S.B. 1234), Sec. 1, eff. May 22, 2019.

Sec. 551.009: Hill Country Local Mental Health Authority Crisis Stabilization Unit

(a) In this section, "department" means the Department of State Health Services.

(a-1) The department shall contract with the local mental health authority serving the Hill Country area, including Kerr County, to operate a crisis stabilization unit on the grounds of the Kerrville State Hospital as provided by this section. The unit must be a 16-bed facility separate from the buildings used by the Kerrville State Hospital.

(b) The department shall include provisions in the contract requiring the local mental health authority to ensure that the crisis stabilization unit provides short-term residential treatment, including medical and nursing services, designed to reduce a patient's acute symptoms of mental illness and prevent a patient's admission to an inpatient mental health facility.

(c) The local mental health authority shall contract with Kerrville State Hospital to provide food service, laundry service, and lawn care to the local mental health authority operating a crisis stabilization unit on the grounds of the Kerrville State Hospital as provided by this section.

(d) The crisis stabilization unit may not be used to provide care to:

(1) children; or

(2) adults committed to or court ordered to a department facility as provided by Chapter 46C, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(e) The local mental health authority operating the crisis stabilization unit under contract shall use, for the purpose of operating the 16-bed unit, the money appropriated to the department for operating 16 beds in state hospitals that is allocated to the local mental health authority. The department shall ensure that the local mental health authority retains the remainder of the local authority's state hospital allocation that is not used for operating the 16-bed unit. The department may allocate additional funds appropriated to the department for state hospitals to the crisis stabilization unit.

(f) The department shall reduce the number of beds the department operates in the state hospital system by 16. The department, in collaboration with the local mental health authority, shall ensure that the 16 beds in the crisis stabilization unit are made available to other mental health authorities for use as designated by the department.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1188 (H.B. 654), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 83 (S.B. 1054), Sec. 2, eff. May 20, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 83 (S.B. 1054), Sec. 3, eff. May 20, 2009.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 111 (S.B. 1234), Sec. 2, eff. May 22, 2019.

Subchapter B

Sec. 551.022: Powers and Duties of Superintendent

(a) The superintendent of a department facility for persons with mental illness is the administrative head of that facility.

(b) The superintendent has the custody of and responsibility to care for the buildings, grounds, furniture, and other property relating to the facility.

(c) The superintendent shall:

(1) oversee the admission and discharge of patients;

(2) keep a register of all patients admitted to or discharged from the facility;

(3) supervise repairs and improvements to the facility;

(4) ensure that facility money is spent judiciously and economically;

(5) keep an accurate and detailed account of all money received and spent, stating the source of the money and to whom and the purpose for which the money is spent; and

(6) keep a full record of the facility's operations.

(d) In accordance with department rules and departmental operating procedures, the superintendent may:

(1) establish policy to govern the facility that the superintendent considers will best promote the patients' interest and welfare;

(2) appoint subordinate officers, teachers, and other employees and set their salaries, in the absence of other law; and

(3) remove an officer, teacher, or employee for good cause.

(e) This section does not apply to a state supported living center or the director of a state supported living center.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 20, eff. June 11, 2009.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.0225: Powers and Duties of State Supported Living Center Director

(a) The director of a state supported living center is the administrative head of the center.

(b) The director of a state supported living center has the custody of and responsibility to care for the buildings, grounds, furniture, and other property relating to the center.

(c) The director of a state supported living center shall:

(1) oversee the admission and discharge of residents and clients;

(2) keep a register of all residents and clients admitted to or discharged from the center;

(3) ensure that the civil rights of residents and clients of the center are protected;

(4) ensure the health, safety, and general welfare of residents and clients of the center;

(5) supervise repairs and improvements to the center;

(6) ensure that center money is spent judiciously and economically;

(7) keep an accurate and detailed account of all money received and spent, stating the source of the money and on whom and the purpose for which the money is spent;

(8) keep a full record of the center's operations;

(9) monitor the arrival and departure of individuals to and from the center as appropriate to ensure the safety of residents; and

(10) ensure that residents' family members and legally authorized representatives are notified of serious events that may indicate problems in the care or treatment of residents.

(d) In accordance with department rules and operating procedures, the director of a state supported living center may:

(1) establish policy to govern the center that the director considers will best promote the residents' interest and welfare;

(2) hire subordinate officers, teachers, and other employees and set their salaries, in the absence of other law; and

(3) dismiss a subordinate officer, teacher, or employee for good cause.

(e) The Department of Aging and Disability Services shall, with input from residents of a state supported living center, and the family members and legally authorized representatives of those residents, develop a policy that defines "serious event" for purposes of Subsection (c)(10).

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 21, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.024: Superintendent's Or Director's Duty to Admit Commissioner and Executive Commissioner

(a) The superintendent or director shall admit into every part of the department facility the commissioner of that department and the executive commissioner.

(b) The superintendent or director shall on request show any book, paper, or account relating to the department facility's business, management, discipline, or government to the commissioner of that department or the executive commissioner.

(c) The superintendent or director shall give to the commissioner of that department or the executive commissioner any requested copy, abstract, or report.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.025: Duty to Report Missing Patient Or Client

If a person receiving inpatient intellectual disability services or court-ordered inpatient mental health services leaves a department facility without notifying the facility or without the facility's consent, the facility director or superintendent shall immediately report the person as a missing person to an appropriate law enforcement agency in the area in which the facility is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.026: Person Performing Business Manager Function

(a) The person performing the function of business manager of a department facility is the chief disbursing officer of the department facility.

(b) The person performing the function of business manager of a department facility is directly responsible to the superintendent or director.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Subchapter C

Sec. 551.041: Medical and Dental Treatment

(a) Each department shall provide or perform recognized medical and dental treatment or services to a person admitted or committed to that department's care. Each department may perform this duty through an authorized agent.

(b) Each department may contract for the support, maintenance, care, or medical or dental treatment or service with a municipal, county, or state hospital, a private physician, a licensed nursing facility or hospital, or a hospital district. The authority to contract provided by this subsection is in addition to other contractual authority granted to the department. A contract entered into under this subsection may not assign a lien accruing to this state.

(c) If a department requests consent to perform medical or dental treatment or services from a person or the guardian of the person whose consent is considered necessary and a reply is not obtained immediately, or if there is no guardian or responsible relative of the person to whom a request can be made, the superintendent or director of a department facility shall order:

(1) medical treatment or services for the person on the advice and consent of three primary care providers, at least two of whom are physicians licensed by the Texas Medical Board; or

(2) dental treatment or services for the person on the advice and consent of two dentists licensed by the State Board of Dental Examiners and of one physician licensed by the Texas Medical Board.

(d) This section does not authorize the performance of an operation involving sexual sterilization or a frontal lobotomy.

(e) For purposes of this section, "primary care provider" means a health care professional who provides health care services to a defined population of residents. The term includes a physician licensed by the Texas Medical Board, an advanced practice registered nurse licensed by the Texas Board of Nursing, and a physician assistant licensed by the Texas Physician Assistant Board.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 437 (S.B. 1565), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 551.042: Outpatient Clinics

(a) If funds are available, the Department of State Health Services may establish in locations the department considers necessary outpatient clinics to treat persons with mental illness.

(b) As necessary to establish and operate the clinics:

(1) the department may:

(A) acquire facilities;

(B) hire personnel; and

(C) contract with persons, corporations, and local, state, and federal agencies; and

(2) the executive commissioner may adopt rules.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 551.044: Occupational Therapy Programs

(a) Each department may provide equipment, materials, and merchandise for occupational therapy programs at department facilities.

(b) The superintendent or director of a department facility may, in accordance with rules of that department, contract for the provision of equipment, materials, and merchandise for occupational therapy programs. If the contractor retains the finished or semi-finished product, the contract shall provide for a fair and reasonable rental payment to the applicable department by the contractor for the use of facility premises or equipment. The rental payment is determined by the amount of time the facility premises or equipment is used in making the products.

(c) The finished products made in an occupational therapy program may be sold and the proceeds placed in the patients' or clients' benefit fund, the patients' or clients' trust fund, or a revolving fund for use by the patients or clients. A patient or client may keep the finished product if the patient or client purchases the material for the product from the state.

(d) Each department may accept donations of money or materials for use in occupational therapy programs and may use a donation in the manner requested by the donor if not contrary to the policy of that department.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1337, eff. April 2, 2015.

Chapter 552

Subchapter A

Sec. 552.001: Hospital Districts

(a) The department shall divide the state into hospital districts.

(b) The department may change the districts.

(c) The department shall designate the state hospitals to which persons with mental illness from each district shall be admitted.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 552.0011: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 3.1639(104), eff. April 2, 2015.

(2) "Department" means the Department of State Health Services.

(3) "Direct care employee" means a state hospital employee who provides direct delivery of services to a patient.

(4) "Direct supervision" means supervision of the employee by the employee's supervisor with the supervisor physically present and providing the employee with direction and assistance while the employee performs his or her duties.

(5) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 3.1639(104), eff. April 2, 2015.

(6) "Inspector general" means the Health and Human Services Commission's office of inspector general.

(7) "Patient" means an individual who is receiving voluntary or involuntary mental health services at a state hospital.

(8) "State hospital" means a hospital operated by the department primarily to provide inpatient care and treatment for persons with mental illness.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 395 (S.B. 152), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1639(104), eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 552.002: Carrying of Handgun By License Holder in State Hospital

(a) In this section:

(1) "License holder" has the meaning assigned by Section 46.035(f), Penal Code.

(2) "State hospital" means the following facilities:

(A) the Austin State Hospital;

(B) the Big Spring State Hospital;

(C) the El Paso Psychiatric Center;

(D) the Kerrville State Hospital;

(E) the North Texas State Hospital;

(F) the Rio Grande State Center;

(G) the Rusk State Hospital;

(H) the San Antonio State Hospital;

(I) the Terrell State Hospital; and

(J) the Waco Center for Youth.

(3) "Written notice" means a sign that is posted on property and that:

(A) includes in both English and Spanish written language identical to the following: "Pursuant to Section 552.002, Health and Safety Code (carrying of handgun by license holder in state hospital), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun";

(B) appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and

(C) is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property.

(b) A state hospital may prohibit a license holder from carrying a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on the property of the hospital by providing written notice.

(c) A license holder who carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on the property of a state hospital at which written notice is provided is liable for a civil penalty in the amount of:

(1) $100 for the first violation; or

(2) $500 for the second or subsequent violation.

(d) The attorney general or an appropriate prosecuting attorney may sue to collect a civil penalty under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1143 (H.B. 435), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2017.

Subchapter B

Sec. 552.012: Classification and Definition of Patients

(a) A patient is classified as either indigent or nonindigent.

(b) An indigent patient is a patient who:

(1) possesses no property;

(2) has no person legally responsible for the patient's support; and

(3) is unable to reimburse the state for the costs of the patient's support, maintenance, and treatment.

(c) A nonindigent patient is a patient who:

(1) possesses property from which the state may be reimbursed for the costs of the patient's support, maintenance, and treatment; or

(2) has a person legally responsible for the patient's support.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 552.013: Support of Indigent and Nonindigent Patients

(a) A person may not be denied services under this subtitle because of an inability to pay for the services.

(b) The state shall support, maintain, and treat indigent and nonindigent patients at the expense of the state.

(c) The state is entitled to reimbursement for the support, maintenance, and treatment of a nonindigent patient.

(d) A patient who does not own a sufficient estate shall be maintained at the expense:

(1) of the patient's spouse, if able to do so; or

(2) if the patient is younger than 18 years of age, of the patient's father or mother, if able to do so.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 552.014: Child Support Payments for Benefit of Patient

(a) Child support payments for the benefit of a patient paid or owed by a parent under court order are considered the property and estate of the patient, and the state may be reimbursed for the costs of a patient's support, maintenance, and treatment from those amounts.

(b) The state shall credit the amount of child support a parent actually pays for a patient against charges for which the parent is liable, based on ability to pay.

(c) A parent who receives child support payments for a patient is liable for the charges based on the amount of child support payments actually received in addition to the liability of that parent based on ability to pay.

(d) The department may file a motion to modify a court order that establishes a child support obligation for a patient to require payment of the child support directly to the state hospital or facility in which the patient resides for the patient's support, maintenance, and treatment if:

(1) the patient's parent fails to pay child support as required by the order; or

(2) the patient's parent who receives child support fails to pay charges based on the amount of child support payments received.

(e) In addition to modification of an order under Subsection (d), the court may order all past due child support for the benefit of a patient paid directly to the patient's state hospital or facility to the extent that the state is entitled to reimbursement of the patient's charges from the child support obligation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 552.015: Investigation to Determine Means of Support

(a) The department may demand and conduct an investigation in a county court to determine whether a patient possesses or is entitled to property or whether a person other than the patient is liable for the payment of the costs of the patient's support, maintenance, and treatment.

(b) The department may have citation issued and witnesses summoned to be heard on the investigation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 552.016: Fees

(a) Except as provided by this section, the department may not charge a fee that exceeds the cost to the state to support, maintain, and treat a patient.

(b) The executive commissioner may use the projected cost of providing inpatient services to establish by rule the maximum fee that may be charged to a payer.

(c) The executive commissioner by rule may establish the maximum fee according to one or a combination of the following:

(1) a statewide per capita;

(2) an individual facility per capita; or

(3) the type of service provided.

(d) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), the executive commissioner by rule may establish a fee in excess of the department's projected cost of providing inpatient services that may be charged to a payer:

(1) who is not an individual; and

(2) whose method of determining the rate of reimbursement to a provider results in the excess.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1338, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 552.017: Sliding Fee Schedule

(a) The executive commissioner by rule shall establish a sliding fee schedule for the payment by the patient's parents of the state's total costs for the support, maintenance, and treatment of a patient younger than 18 years of age.

(b) The executive commissioner shall set the fee according to the parents' net taxable income and ability to pay.

(c) The parents may elect to have their net taxable income determined by their current financial statement or most recent federal income tax return.

(d) In determining the portion of the costs of the patient's support, maintenance, and treatment that the parents are required to pay, the department, in accordance with rules adopted by the executive commissioner, shall adjust, when appropriate, the payment required under the fee schedule to allow for consideration of other factors affecting the ability of the parents to pay.

(e) The executive commissioner shall evaluate and, if necessary, revise the fee schedule at least once every five years.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 278, Sec. 1, eff. June 5, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1339, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 552.018: Trust Principals

(a) If a patient is the beneficiary of a trust that has an aggregate principal of $250,000 or less, the corpus or income of the trust is not considered to be the property of the patient or the patient's estate and is not liable for the patient's support. If the aggregate principal of the trust exceeds $250,000, only the portion of the corpus of the trust that exceeds that amount and the income attributable to that portion are considered to be the property of the patient or the patient's estate and are liable for the patient's support.

(b) To qualify for the exemption provided by Subsection (a), the trust must be created by a written instrument, and a copy of the trust instrument must be provided to the department.

(c) A trustee of the trust shall, on the department's request, provide to the department a financial statement that shows the value of the trust estate.

(d) The department may petition a district court to order the trustee to provide a financial statement if the trustee does not provide the statement before the 31st day after the date on which the department makes the request. The court shall hold a hearing on the department's petition not later than the 45th day after the date on which the petition is filed. The court shall order the trustee to provide to the department a financial statement if the court finds that the trustee has failed to provide the statement.

(e) For the purposes of this section, the following are not considered to be trusts and are not entitled to the exemption provided by this section:

(1) a guardianship administered under the Estates Code;

(2) a trust established under Chapter 142, Property Code;

(3) a facility custodial account established under Section 551.003;

(4) the provisions of a divorce decree or other court order relating to child support obligations;

(5) an administration of a decedent's estate; or

(6) an arrangement in which funds are held in the registry or by the clerk of a court.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1020, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1340, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 846 (H.B. 2780), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 552.019: Filing of Claims

(a) A county or district attorney shall, on the written request of the department, represent the state in filing a claim in probate court or a petition in a court of competent jurisdiction to require the person responsible for a patient to appear in court and show cause why the state should not have judgment against the person for the costs of the patient's support, maintenance, and treatment.

(b) On a sufficient showing, the court may enter judgment against the person responsible for the patient for the costs of the patient's support, maintenance, and treatment.

(c) Sufficient evidence to authorize the court to enter judgment is a verified account, sworn to by the superintendent of the hospital in which the patient is being treated, or has been treated, as to the amount due.

(d) The judgment may be enforced as in other cases.

(e) The county or district attorney representing the state is entitled to a commission of 10 percent of the amount collected.

(f) The attorney general shall represent the state if the county and district attorney refuse or are unable to act on the department's request.

(g) In this section, "person responsible for a patient" means the guardian of a patient, a person liable for the support of the patient, or both.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1341, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 552.020: Application

Except as provided by Subchapter C, Chapter 73, Education Code, this subchapter does not apply to The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 3, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Subchapter C

Sec. 552.051: Reports of Illegal Drug Use; Policy

The executive commissioner shall adopt a policy requiring a state hospital employee who knows or reasonably suspects that another state hospital employee is illegally using or under the influence of a controlled substance, as defined by Section 481.002, to report that knowledge or reasonable suspicion to the superintendent of the state hospital.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 395 (S.B. 152), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 552.052: State Hospital Employee Training

(a) Before a state hospital employee begins to perform the employee's duties without direct supervision, the department shall provide the employee with competency training and a course of instruction about the general duties of a state hospital employee. Upon completion of such training and instruction, the department shall evaluate the employee for competency. The department shall ensure the basic state hospital employee competency course focuses on:

(1) the uniqueness of the individuals the state hospital employee serves;

(2) techniques for improving quality of life for and promoting the health and safety of individuals with mental illness; and

(3) the conduct expected of state hospital employees.

(b) The department shall ensure the training required by Subsection (a) provides instruction and information regarding topics relevant to providing care for individuals with mental illness, including:

(1) the general operation and layout of the state hospital at which the person is employed, including armed intruder lockdown procedures;

(2) an introduction to mental illness;

(3) an introduction to substance abuse;

(4) an introduction to dual diagnosis;

(5) the rights of individuals with mental illness who receive services from the department;

(6) respecting personal choices made by patients;

(7) the safe and proper use of restraints;

(8) recognizing and reporting:

(A) evidence of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals with mental illness;

(B) unusual incidents;

(C) reasonable suspicion of illegal drug use in the workplace;

(D) workplace violence; or

(E) sexual harassment in the workplace;

(9) preventing and treating infection;

(10) first aid;

(11) cardiopulmonary resuscitation;

(12) the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Pub. L. No. 104-191); and

(13) the rights of state hospital employees.

(c) In addition to the training required by Subsection (a) and before a direct care employee begins to perform the direct care employee's duties without direct supervision, the department shall provide the direct care employee with training and instructional information regarding implementation of the interdisciplinary treatment program for each patient for whom the direct care employee will provide direct care, including the following topics:

(1) prevention and management of aggressive or violent behavior;

(2) observing and reporting changes in behavior, appearance, or health of patients;

(3) positive behavior support;

(4) emergency response;

(5) person-directed plans;

(6) self-determination; and

(7) trauma-informed care.

(d) In addition to the training required by Subsection (c), the department shall provide, in accordance with the specialized needs of the population being served, a direct care employee with training and instructional information as necessary regarding:

(1) seizure safety;

(2) techniques for:

(A) lifting;

(B) positioning; and

(C) movement and mobility;

(3) working with aging patients;

(4) assisting patients:

(A) who have a visual impairment;

(B) who have a hearing deficit; or

(C) who require the use of adaptive devices and specialized equipment;

(5) communicating with patients who use augmentative and alternative devices for communication;

(6) assisting patients with personal hygiene;

(7) recognizing appropriate food textures;

(8) using proper feeding techniques to assist patients with meals; and

(9) physical and nutritional management plans.

(e) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules that require a state hospital to provide refresher training courses to employees at least annually, unless the department determines in good faith and with good reason a particular employee's performance will not be adversely affected in the absence of such refresher training.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 395 (S.B. 152), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 552.053: Information Management, Reporting, and Tracking System

The department shall develop an information management, reporting, and tracking system for each state hospital to provide the department with information necessary to monitor serious allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 395 (S.B. 152), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 552.054: Risk Assessment Protocols

The department shall develop risk assessment protocols for state hospital employees for use in identifying and assessing possible instances of abuse or neglect.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 395 (S.B. 152), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2013.

Subchapter D

Sec. 552.101: Assisting Law Enforcement Agencies with Certain Investigations

The inspector general shall employ and commission peace officers for the purpose of assisting a state or local law enforcement agency in the investigation of an alleged criminal offense involving a patient of a state hospital. A peace officer employed and commissioned by the inspector general is a peace officer for purposes of Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 395 (S.B. 152), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 552.102: Summary Report

(a) The inspector general shall prepare a summary report for each investigation conducted with the assistance of the inspector general under this subchapter. The inspector general shall ensure that the report does not contain personally identifiable information of an individual mentioned in the report.

(b) The summary report must include:

(1) a summary of the activities performed during an investigation for which the inspector general provided assistance;

(2) a statement regarding whether the investigation resulted in a finding that an alleged criminal offense was committed; and

(3) a description of the alleged criminal offense that was committed.

(c) The inspector general shall deliver the summary report to the:

(1) executive commissioner;

(2) commissioner of state health services;

(3) commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services;

(4) State Health Services Council;

(5) governor;

(6) lieutenant governor;

(7) speaker of the house of representatives;

(8) standing committees of the senate and house of representatives with primary jurisdiction over state hospitals;

(9) state auditor; and

(10) alleged victim or the alleged victim's legally authorized representative.

(d) A summary report regarding an investigation is subject to required disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code. All information and materials compiled by the inspector general in connection with an investigation are confidential, not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, and not subject to disclosure, discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for their release to anyone other than the inspector general or the inspector general's employees or agents involved in the investigation, except that this information may be disclosed to the Department of Family and Protective Services, the office of the attorney general, the state auditor's office, and law enforcement agencies.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 395 (S.B. 152), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 552.103: Annual Status Report

(a) The inspector general shall prepare an annual status report of the inspector general's activities under this subchapter. The annual report may not contain personally identifiable information of an individual mentioned in the report.

(b) The annual status report must include information that is aggregated and disaggregated by individual state hospital regarding:

(1) the number and type of investigations conducted with the assistance of the inspector general;

(2) the number and type of investigations involving a state hospital employee;

(3) the relationship of an alleged victim to an alleged perpetrator, if any;

(4) the number of investigations conducted that involve the suicide, death, or hospitalization of an alleged victim; and

(5) the number of completed investigations in which commission of an alleged offense was confirmed or unsubstantiated or in which the investigation was inconclusive, and a description of the reason that allegations were unsubstantiated or the investigation was inconclusive.

(c) The inspector general shall submit the annual status report to the:

(1) executive commissioner;

(2) commissioner of state health services;

(3) commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services;

(4) State Health Services Council;

(5) Family and Protective Services Council;

(6) governor;

(7) lieutenant governor;

(8) speaker of the house of representatives;

(9) standing committees of the senate and house of representatives with primary jurisdiction over state hospitals;

(10) state auditor; and

(11) comptroller.

(d) An annual status report submitted under this section is public information under Chapter 552, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 395 (S.B. 152), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 552.104: Retaliation Prohibited

The department or a state hospital may not retaliate against a department employee, a state hospital employee, or any other person who in good faith cooperates with the inspector general under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 395 (S.B. 152), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2013.

Subchapter E

Sec. 552.151: Transition Planning for Contracted Operations of a Certain State Hospital

The commission shall establish a plan under which the commission may contract with a local public institution of higher education to transfer the operations of Austin State Hospital from the commission to a local public institution of higher education.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 676 (S.B. 2111), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 552.152: Plan Requirements

(a) In developing the plan, the commission shall:

(1) consult with local public institutions of higher education;

(2) establish procedures and policies to ensure that a local public institution of higher education that contracts with the commission to operate Austin State Hospital operates the hospital at a quality level at least equal to the quality level achieved by the commission; and

(3) establish procedures and policies to monitor the care of affected state hospital patients.

(b) The procedures and policies required to be established under Subsection (a) must ensure that the commission is able to obtain and maintain information on activities carried out under the contract without violating privacy or confidentiality rules. The procedures and policies must account for the commission obtaining and maintaining information on:

(1) client outcomes;

(2) individual and average lengths of stay, including computation of lengths of stay according to the number of days a patient is in the facility during each calendar year, regardless of discharge and readmission;

(3) the number of incidents in which patients were restrained or secluded;

(4) the number of incidents of serious assaults in the hospital setting; and

(5) the number of occurrences in the hospital setting involving contacts with law enforcement personnel.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 676 (S.B. 2111), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 552.153: Report

Not later than September 1, 2020, the commission shall prepare and deliver to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the legislature a written report containing the plan and any recommendations for legislation or other actions necessary.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 676 (S.B. 2111), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Chapter 553

Sec. 553.022: San Antonio State Supported Living Center

(a) The San Antonio State Supported Living Center is for the education, care, and treatment of persons with an intellectual disability.

(b) The Department of Aging and Disability Services may enter into agreements with the Department of State Health Services for use of the excess facilities of a public health hospital as defined by Section 13.033 in the operation of the state supported living center.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 107, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1344, eff. April 2, 2015.

Chapter 554

Sec. 554.0001: Definition

In this chapter, "department" means the Department of State Health Services.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1345, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 554.001: Admission of Certain Juveniles

(a) The department shall use the Waco Center for Youth as a residential treatment facility for emotionally disturbed juveniles who:

(1) have been admitted under Subtitle C to a facility of the department; or

(2) are under the managing conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services and have been admitted under Subtitle C to the Waco Center for Youth.

(b) An emotionally disturbed juvenile who has been found to have engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision under Title 3, Family Code, may not be admitted to the Waco Center for Youth.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 8.077, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 427 (S.B. 957), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 554.002: Services

(a) The department shall provide without charge appropriate education services for all clients residing at the Waco Center for Youth.

(b) The department shall pay for those services from funds appropriated to the center for that purpose.

(c) A client of the center who is not a resident of the Waco Independent School District may receive education services from the Waco Independent School District only with the prior approval of the superintendent of the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Chapter 555

Subchapter A

Sec. 555.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Alleged offender resident" means a person with an intellectual disability who:

(A) was committed to or transferred to a state supported living center under Chapter 46B or 46C, Code of Criminal Procedure, as a result of being charged with or convicted of a criminal offense; or

(B) is a child committed to or transferred to a state supported living center under Chapter 55, Family Code, as a result of being alleged by petition or having been found to have engaged in delinquent conduct constituting a criminal offense.

(2) "Center" means the state supported living centers and the ICF-IID component of the Rio Grande State Center.

(3) "Center employee" means an employee of a state supported living center or the ICF-IID component of the Rio Grande State Center.

(4) "Client" means a person with an intellectual disability who receives ICF-IID services from a state supported living center or the ICF-IID component of the Rio Grande State Center.

(5) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 3.1639(107), eff. April 2, 2015.

(6) "Complaint" means information received by the office of independent ombudsman regarding a possible violation of a right of a resident or client and includes information received regarding a failure by a state supported living center or the ICF-IID component of the Rio Grande State Center to comply with the department's policies and procedures relating to the community living options information process.

(7) "Department" means the Department of Aging and Disability Services.

(8) "Direct care employee" means a center employee who provides direct delivery of services to a resident or client.

(9) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 3.1639(107), eff. April 2, 2015.

(10) "High-risk alleged offender resident" means an alleged offender resident who has been determined under Section 555.003 to be at risk of inflicting substantial physical harm to another.

(10-a) "ICF-IID" has the meaning assigned by Section 531.002.

(11) "Independent ombudsman" means the individual who has been appointed to the office of independent ombudsman for state supported living centers.

(12) "Inspector general" means the Health and Human Services Commission's office of inspector general.

(13) "Interdisciplinary team" has the meaning assigned by Section 591.003.

(14) "Office" means the office of independent ombudsman for state supported living centers established under Subchapter C.

(15) "Resident" means a person with an intellectual disability who resides in a state supported living center or the ICF-IID component of the Rio Grande State Center.

(16) "State supported living center" has the meaning assigned by Section 531.002.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1346, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1639(107), eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 555.002: Forensic State Supported Living Centers

(a) The department shall designate separate forensic state supported living centers for the care of high-risk alleged offender residents. The department shall designate the Mexia and San Angelo State Supported Living Centers for this purpose.

(b) In establishing the forensic state supported living centers, the department shall:

(1) transfer an alleged offender resident already residing in a center who is classified as a high-risk alleged offender resident in accordance with Section 555.003, to a forensic state supported living center;

(2) place high-risk alleged offender residents in appropriate homes at a forensic state supported living center based on whether an individual is:

(A) an adult or a person younger than 18 years of age; or

(B) male or female;

(3) place alleged offender residents who are charged with or convicted of a felony offense or who are alleged by petition or have been found to have engaged in delinquent conduct defined as a felony offense, at the time the residents are initially committed to or transferred to a center, in a forensic state supported living center until a determination under Section 555.003 has been completed;

(4) transfer all residents who request a transfer, other than high-risk alleged offender residents and alleged offender residents described by Subdivision (3) and for whom a determination has not been completed under Section 555.003, from a forensic state supported living center; and

(5) provide training regarding the service delivery system for high-risk alleged offender residents to direct care employees of a forensic state supported living center.

(c) An alleged offender resident committed to a forensic state supported living center, for whom a determination under Section 555.003 has been completed and who is not classified as a high-risk alleged offender resident, may request a transfer to another center in accordance with Subchapter B, Chapter 594.

(d) The department shall ensure that each forensic state supported living center:

(1) complies with the requirements for ICF-IID certification under the Medicaid program, as appropriate; and

(2) has a sufficient number of center employees, including direct care employees, to protect the safety of center employees, residents, and the community.

(e) The department shall collect data regarding the commitment of alleged offender residents to state supported living centers, including any offense with which an alleged offender resident is charged, the location of the committing court, whether the alleged offender resident has previously been in the custody of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or the Department of Family and Protective Services, and whether the alleged offender resident receives mental health services or previously received any services under a Section 1915(c) waiver program. The department shall annually submit to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the standing committees of the legislature with primary subject matter jurisdiction over state supported living centers a report of the information collected under this section. The report may not contain personally identifiable information for any person in the report.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1347, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 207 (S.B. 1300), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 207 (S.B. 1300), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 555.003: Determination of High-Risk Alleged Offender Status

(a) Not later than the 30th day after the date an alleged offender resident is first committed to a state supported living center and, if the resident is classified as a high-risk alleged offender resident, annually on the anniversary of that date, an interdisciplinary team shall determine whether the alleged offender resident is at risk of inflicting substantial physical harm to another and should be classified or remain classified as a high-risk alleged offender resident.

(b) In making a determination under Subsection (a), the interdisciplinary team shall document and collect evidence regarding the reason the alleged offender resident is determined to be at risk of inflicting substantial physical harm to another.

(c) The interdisciplinary team shall provide the team's findings regarding whether the alleged offender resident is at risk of inflicting substantial physical harm to another and the documentation and evidence collected under this section to:

(1) the department;

(2) the director of the state supported living center;

(3) the independent ombudsman;

(4) the alleged offender resident or the alleged offender resident's parent if the resident is a minor; and

(5) the alleged offender resident's legally authorized representative.

(d) An alleged offender resident who is determined to be at risk of inflicting substantial physical harm to another and is classified as a high-risk alleged offender resident is entitled to an administrative hearing with the department to contest that determination and classification.

(e) An individual who has exhausted the administrative remedies provided by Subsection (d) may bring a suit to appeal the determination and classification in district court in Travis County. The suit must be filed not later than the 30th day after the date the final order in the administrative hearing is provided to the individual. An appeal under this section is by trial de novo.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Subchapter B

Sec. 555.021: Required Criminal History Checks for Employees, Contractors, and Volunteers

(a) The department, the Department of State Health Services, and the Health and Human Services Commission shall perform a state and federal criminal history background check on a person:

(1) who is:

(A) an applicant for employment with the agency;

(B) an employee of the agency;

(C) a volunteer with the agency;

(D) an applicant for a volunteer position with the agency;

(E) an applicant for a contract with the agency; or

(F) a contractor of the agency; and

(2) who would be placed in direct contact with a resident or client.

(b) The department, the Department of State Health Services, and the Health and Human Services Commission shall require a person described by Subsection (a) to submit fingerprints in a form and of a quality acceptable to the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for use in conducting a criminal history background check.

(c) Each agency shall obtain electronic updates from the Department of Public Safety of arrests and convictions of a person:

(1) for whom the agency performs a background check under Subsection (a); and

(2) who remains an employee, contractor, or volunteer of the agency and continues to have direct contact with a resident or client.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1027 (H.B. 2673), Sec. 10, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 555.022: Drug Testing; Policy

(a) The executive commissioner shall adopt a policy regarding random testing and reasonable suspicion testing for the illegal use of drugs by a center employee.

(b) The policy adopted under Subsection (a) must provide that a center employee may be terminated solely on the basis of a single positive test for illegal use of a controlled substance. The policy must establish an appeals process for a center employee who tests positively for illegal use of a controlled substance.

(c) The director of a state supported living center or the superintendent of the Rio Grande State Center shall enforce the policy adopted under Subsection (a) by performing necessary drug testing of the center employees for the use of a controlled substance as defined by Section 481.002.

(d) Testing under this section may be performed on a random basis or on reasonable suspicion of the use of a controlled substance.

(e) For purposes of this section, a report made under Section 555.023 is considered reasonable suspicion of the use of a controlled substance.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Sec. 555.023: Reports of Illegal Drug Use; Policy

The executive commissioner shall adopt a policy requiring a center employee who knows or reasonably suspects that another center employee is illegally using or under the influence of a controlled substance, as defined by Section 481.002, to report that knowledge or reasonable suspicion to the director of the state supported living center or the superintendent of the Rio Grande State Center, as appropriate.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Sec. 555.024: Center Employee Training

(a) Before a center employee begins to perform the employee's duties without direct supervision, the department shall provide the employee with competency training and a course of instruction about the general duties of a center employee. The department shall ensure the basic center employee competency course focuses on:

(1) the uniqueness of the individuals the center employee serves;

(2) techniques for improving quality of life for and promoting the health and safety of individuals with an intellectual disability; and

(3) the conduct expected of center employees.

(b) The department shall ensure the training required by Subsection (a) provides instruction and information regarding the following topics:

(1) the general operation and layout of the center at which the person is employed, including armed intruder lockdown procedures;

(2) an introduction to intellectual disabilities;

(3) an introduction to autism;

(4) an introduction to mental illness and dual diagnosis;

(5) the rights of individuals with an intellectual disability who receive services from the department;

(6) respecting personal choices made by residents and clients;

(7) the safe and proper use of restraints;

(8) recognizing and reporting:

(A) evidence of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals with an intellectual disability;

(B) unusual incidents;

(C) reasonable suspicion of illegal drug use in the workplace;

(D) workplace violence; or

(E) sexual harassment in the workplace;

(9) preventing and treating infection;

(10) first aid;

(11) cardiopulmonary resuscitation;

(12) the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Pub. L. No. 104-191); and

(13) the rights of center employees.

(c) In addition to the training required by Subsection (a) and before a direct care employee begins to perform the direct care employee's duties without direct supervision, the department shall provide a direct care employee with training and instructional information regarding implementation of the interdisciplinary treatment program for each resident or client for whom the direct care employee will provide direct care, including the following topics:

(1) prevention and management of aggressive or violent behavior;

(2) observing and reporting changes in behavior, appearance, or health of residents and clients;

(3) positive behavior support;

(4) emergency response;

(5) person-directed plans;

(6) self-determination;

(7) seizure safety;

(8) techniques for:

(A) lifting;

(B) positioning; and

(C) movement and mobility;

(9) working with aging residents and clients;

(10) assisting residents and clients:

(A) who have a visual impairment;

(B) who have a hearing deficit; or

(C) who require the use of adaptive devices and specialized equipment;

(11) communicating with residents and clients who use augmentative and alternative devices for communication;

(12) assisting residents and clients with personal hygiene;

(13) recognizing appropriate food textures;

(14) using proper feeding techniques to assist residents and clients with meals;

(15) physical and nutritional management plans; and

(16) home and community-based services, including the principles of community inclusion and participation and the community living options information process.

(d) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules that require a center to provide refresher training courses to direct care employees on a regular basis.

(e) A center may allow an employee of an ICF-IID licensed by the department, an employee of a person licensed or certified to provide Section 1915(c) waiver program services, or another employee or professional involved in the provision of services to persons with an intellectual disability to receive information and training under this section, as appropriate. The center may charge an administrative fee in an amount not to exceed the cost of providing the information or training.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1348, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 555.025: Video Surveillance

(a) In this section, "private space" means a place in a center in which a resident or client has a reasonable expectation of privacy, including:

(1) a bedroom;

(2) a bathroom;

(3) a place in which a resident or client receives medical or nursing services;

(4) a place in which a resident or client meets privately with visitors; or

(5) a place in which a resident or client privately makes phone calls.

(b) The department shall install and operate video surveillance equipment in a center for the purpose of detecting and preventing the exploitation or abuse of residents and clients.

(c) Except as provided by Subchapter E, the department may not install or operate video surveillance equipment in a private space or in a location in which video surveillance equipment can capture images within a private space.

(d) The department shall ensure that the use of video surveillance equipment under this section complies with federal requirements for ICF-IID certification.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 1, eff. May 25, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1349, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 555.026: Drinking Water Quality: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Guidance on Lead and Copper Testing

To ensure the quality of water provided by public drinking water supply systems to state supported living centers, the department or its successor agency, with guidance from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, shall:

(1) develop:

(A) a testing plan and monitoring strategy;

(B) outreach and educational materials for distribution to residents and department staff;

(C) requirements for using an accredited laboratory and sample chain of custody procedures; and

(D) guidance for compliance with the federal lead and copper rules (40 C.F.R. Part 141, Subpart I);

(2) review:

(A) public notification procedures to staff, residents, and visitors regarding water quality;

(B) sampling protocols and procedures;

(C) locations of taps used for monitoring;

(D) analytical data on lead or copper levels exceeding the applicable action level;

(E) remediation activities; and

(F) customer service inspection reports;

(3) compile a list of qualified customer service inspectors; and

(4) perform:

(A) on-site training and evaluation of sampling; and

(B) on-site evaluation of customer service inspections through licensed customer service inspectors.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 559 (S.B. 546), Sec. 1, eff. June 9, 2017.

Sec. 555.027: Anatomical Gift

(a) The executive commissioner by rule shall prescribe a form that a resident's guardian may sign on behalf of a resident if the resident's guardian elects to make an anatomical gift on behalf of the resident in accordance with Chapter 692A.

(b) Subsection (a) does not preclude a guardian from executing a document in accordance with Chapter 692A that supersedes the form executed under that subsection.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 843 (H.B. 2734), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Subchapter C

Sec. 555.051: Establishment; Purpose

The office of independent ombudsman is established for the purpose of investigating, evaluating, and securing the rights of residents and clients of state supported living centers and the ICF-IID component of the Rio Grande State Center. The office is administratively attached to the department. The department shall provide administrative support and resources to the office as necessary for the office to perform its duties.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1350, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 555.052: Independence

The independent ombudsman in the performance of the ombudsman's duties and powers under this subchapter acts independently of the department.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Sec. 555.053: Appointment of Independent Ombudsman

(a) The governor shall appoint the independent ombudsman for a term of two years expiring February 1 of odd-numbered years.

(b) The governor may appoint as independent ombudsman only an individual with at least five years of experience managing and ensuring the quality of care and services provided to individuals with an intellectual disability.

(c) A person appointed as independent ombudsman may be reappointed.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 573 (S.B. 747), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1351, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 555.054: Assistant Ombudsmen

(a) The independent ombudsman shall:

(1) hire assistant ombudsmen to perform, under the direction of the independent ombudsman, the same duties and exercise the same powers as the independent ombudsman; and

(2) station an assistant ombudsman at each center.

(b) The independent ombudsman may hire as assistant ombudsmen only individuals with at least five years of experience ensuring the quality of care and services provided to individuals with an intellectual disability.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1352, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 555.055: Conflict of Interest

A person may not serve as independent ombudsman or as an assistant ombudsman if the person or the person's spouse:

(1) is employed by or participates in the management of a business entity or other organization receiving funds from the department;

(2) owns or controls, directly or indirectly, any interest in a business entity or other organization receiving funds from the department; or

(3) is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because of the person's activities or compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the department.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Sec. 555.056: Report

(a) The independent ombudsman shall submit on a biannual basis to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the chairs of the standing committees of the senate and the house of representatives with primary jurisdiction over state supported living centers a report that is both aggregated and disaggregated by individual center and describes:

(1) the work of the independent ombudsman;

(2) the results of any review or investigation undertaken by the independent ombudsman, including a review or investigation of services contracted by the department;

(3) any recommendations that the independent ombudsman has in relation to the duties of the independent ombudsman; and

(4) any recommendations that the independent ombudsman has for systemic improvements needed to decrease incidents of abuse, neglect, or exploitation at an individual center or at all centers.

(b) The independent ombudsman shall ensure that information submitted in a report under Subsection (a) does not permit the identification of an individual.

(c) The independent ombudsman shall immediately report to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the chairs of the standing committees of the senate and the house of representatives having primary jurisdiction over the Department of Aging and Disability Services any particularly serious or flagrant:

(1) case of abuse or injury of a resident or client about which the independent ombudsman is made aware;

(2) problem concerning the administration of a center program or operation; or

(3) interference by a center, the department, or the commission, other than actions by the commission's office of inspector general in accordance with the office's duties, with an investigation conducted by the independent ombudsman.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Sec. 555.057: Communication and Confidentiality

(a) The department shall allow any resident or client, authorized representative of a resident or client, family member of a resident or client, or other interested party to communicate with the independent ombudsman or an assistant ombudsman. The communication:

(1) may be in person, by mail, or by any other means; and

(2) is confidential and privileged.

(b) The records of the independent ombudsman are confidential, except that the independent ombudsman shall:

(1) share with the Department of Family and Protective Services a communication that may involve the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident or client;

(2) share with the inspector general a communication that may involve an alleged criminal offense;

(3) share with the regulatory services division of the department a communication that may involve a violation of an ICF-IID standard or condition of participation; and

(4) disclose the ombudsman's nonprivileged records if required by a court order on a showing of good cause.

(c) The independent ombudsman may make reports relating to an investigation by the independent ombudsman public after the investigation is complete but only if the name and any other personally identifiable information of a resident or client, legally authorized representative of a resident or client, family member of a resident or client, center, center employee, or other individual are redacted from the report and remain confidential. The independent ombudsman may provide an unredacted report to the center involved in the investigation, the department, the Department of Family and Protective Services, and the inspector general.

(d) The name, address, or other personally identifiable information of a person who files a complaint with the office of independent ombudsman, information generated by the office of independent ombudsman in the course of an investigation, and confidential records obtained by the office of independent ombudsman are confidential and not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, except as provided by this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1353, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 555.058: Promotion of Awareness of Office

The independent ombudsman shall promote awareness among the public, residents, clients, and center employees of:

(1) how the office may be contacted;

(2) the purpose of the office; and

(3) the services the office provides.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Sec. 555.059: Duties and Powers

(a) The independent ombudsman shall:

(1) evaluate the process by which a center investigates, reviews, and reports an injury to a resident or client or an unusual incident;

(2) evaluate the delivery of services to residents and clients to ensure that the rights of residents and clients are fully observed, including ensuring that each center conducts sufficient unannounced patrols;

(3) immediately refer a complaint alleging the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident or client to the Department of Family and Protective Services;

(4) refer a complaint alleging employee misconduct that does not involve abuse, neglect, or exploitation or a possible violation of an ICF-IID standard or condition of participation to the regulatory services division of the department;

(5) refer a complaint alleging a criminal offense, other than an allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident or client, to the inspector general;

(6) conduct investigations of complaints, other than complaints alleging criminal offenses or the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident or client, if the office determines that:

(A) a resident or client or the resident's or client's family may be in need of assistance from the office; or

(B) a complaint raises the possibility of a systemic issue in the center's provision of services;

(7) conduct biennial on-site audits at each center of:

(A) the ratio of direct care employees to residents;

(B) the provision and adequacy of training to:

(i) center employees; and

(ii) direct care employees; and

(C) if the center serves alleged offender residents, the provision of specialized training to direct care employees;

(8) conduct an annual audit of each center's policies, practices, and procedures to ensure that each resident and client is encouraged to exercise the resident's or client's rights, including:

(A) the right to file a complaint; and

(B) the right to due process;

(9) prepare and deliver an annual report regarding the findings of each audit to the:

(A) executive commissioner;

(B) commissioner;

(C) Aging and Disability Services Council;

(D) governor;

(E) lieutenant governor;

(F) speaker of the house of representatives;

(G) standing committees of the senate and house of representatives with primary jurisdiction over state supported living centers; and

(H) state auditor;

(10) require a center to provide access to all records, data, and other information under the control of the center that the independent ombudsman determines is necessary to investigate a complaint or to conduct an audit under this section;

(11) review all final reports produced by the Department of Family and Protective Services, the regulatory services division of the department, and the inspector general regarding a complaint referred by the independent ombudsman;

(12) provide assistance to a resident, client, authorized representative of a resident or client, or family member of a resident or client who the independent ombudsman determines is in need of assistance, including advocating with an agency, provider, or other person in the best interests of the resident or client;

(13) make appropriate referrals under any of the duties and powers listed in this subsection; and

(14) monitor and evaluate the department's actions relating to any problem identified or recommendation included in a report received from the Department of Family and Protective Services relating to an investigation of alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident or client.

(b) The independent ombudsman may apprise a person who is interested in a resident's or client's welfare of the rights of the resident or client.

(c) To assess whether a resident's or client's rights have been violated, the independent ombudsman may, in any matter that does not involve an alleged criminal offense or the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident or client, contact or consult with an administrator, employee, resident, client, family member of a resident or client, expert, or other individual in the course of the investigation or to secure information.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the independent ombudsman may not investigate an alleged criminal offense or the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident or client.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1354, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 555.060: Retaliation Prohibited

The department or a center may not retaliate against a department employee, center employee, or any other person who in good faith makes a complaint to the office of independent ombudsman or cooperates with the office in an investigation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Sec. 555.061: Toll-Free Number

(a) The office shall establish a permanent, toll-free number for the purpose of receiving any information concerning the violation of a right of a resident or client.

(b) The office shall ensure that:

(1) the toll-free number is prominently displayed in the main administration area and other appropriate common areas of a center; and

(2) a resident, a client, the legally authorized representative of a resident or client, and a center employee have confidential access to a telephone for the purpose of calling the toll-free number.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Subchapter D

Sec. 555.101: Assisting Law Enforcement Agencies with Certain Investigations

The inspector general shall employ and commission peace officers for the purpose of assisting a state or local law enforcement agency in the investigation of an alleged criminal offense involving a resident or client of a center. A peace officer employed and commissioned by the inspector general is a peace officer for purposes of Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Sec. 555.102: Summary Report

(a) The inspector general shall prepare a summary report for each investigation conducted with the assistance of the inspector general under this subchapter. The inspector general shall ensure that the report does not contain personally identifiable information of an individual mentioned in the report.

(b) The summary report must include:

(1) a summary of the activities performed during an investigation for which the inspector general provided assistance;

(2) a statement regarding whether the investigation resulted in a finding that an alleged criminal offense was committed; and

(3) a description of the alleged criminal offense that was committed.

(c) The inspector general shall deliver the summary report to the:

(1) executive commissioner;

(2) governor;

(3) lieutenant governor;

(4) speaker of the house of representatives;

(5) standing committees of the senate and house of representatives with primary jurisdiction over centers;

(6) state auditor;

(7) independent ombudsman and the assistant ombudsman for the center involved in the report; and

(8) alleged victim or the alleged victim's legally authorized representative.

(d) A summary report regarding an investigation is subject to required disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code. All information and materials compiled by the inspector general in connection with an investigation are confidential, and not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, and not subject to disclosure, discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for their release to anyone other than the inspector general or the inspector general's employees or agents involved in the investigation, except that this information may be disclosed to the office of the attorney general, the state auditor's office, and law enforcement agencies.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 573 (S.B. 241), Sec. 1.33, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 555.103: Annual Status Report

(a) The inspector general shall prepare an annual status report of the inspector general's activities under this subchapter. The annual report may not contain personally identifiable information of an individual mentioned in the report.

(b) The annual status report must include information that is aggregated and disaggregated by individual center regarding:

(1) the number and type of investigations conducted with the assistance of the inspector general;

(2) the number and type of investigations involving a center employee;

(3) the relationship of an alleged victim to an alleged perpetrator, if any;

(4) the number of investigations conducted that involve the suicide, death, or hospitalization of an alleged victim; and

(5) the number of completed investigations in which commission of an alleged offense was confirmed or unsubstantiated or in which the investigation was inconclusive, and a description of the reason that allegations were unsubstantiated or the investigation was inconclusive.

(c) The inspector general shall submit the annual status report to the:

(1) executive commissioner;

(2) governor;

(3) lieutenant governor;

(4) speaker of the house of representatives;

(5) standing committees of the senate and house of representatives with primary jurisdiction over centers;

(6) state auditor; and

(7) comptroller.

(d) An annual status report submitted under this section is public information under Chapter 552, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 573 (S.B. 241), Sec. 1.34, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 555.104: Retaliation Prohibited

The department or a center may not retaliate against a department employee, a center employee, or any other person who in good faith cooperates with the inspector general under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (S.B. 643), Sec. 22, eff. June 11, 2009.

Subchapter E

Sec. 555.151: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Authorized electronic monitoring" means the placement of an electronic monitoring device in a resident's room and making tapes or recordings with the device after making a request to the center to allow electronic monitoring.

(2) "Electronic monitoring device":

(A) includes:

(i) video surveillance cameras installed in a resident's room; and

(ii) audio devices installed in a resident's room designed to acquire communications or other sounds occurring in the room; and

(B) does not include an interception device that is specifically used for the nonconsensual interception of wire or electronic communications.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058 (H.B. 2931), Sec. 3.14, eff. January 1, 2019.

Sec. 555.152: Criminal and Civil Liability

(a) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 16.02, Penal Code, or any other statute of this state under which it is an offense to intercept a communication or disclose or use an intercepted communication, that the communication was intercepted by an electronic monitoring device placed in a resident's room.

(b) This subchapter does not affect whether a person may be held to be civilly liable under other law in connection with placing an electronic monitoring device in a resident's room or in connection with using or disclosing a tape or recording made by the device except:

(1) as specifically provided by this subchapter; or

(2) to the extent that liability is affected by:

(A) a consent or waiver signed under this subchapter; or

(B) the fact that authorized electronic monitoring is required to be conducted with notice to persons who enter a resident's room.

(c) A communication or other sound acquired by an audio electronic monitoring device installed under the provisions of this subchapter concerning authorized electronic monitoring is not considered to be:

(1) an oral communication as defined by Article 18A.001, Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(2) a communication as defined by Section 123.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058 (H.B. 2931), Sec. 3.15, eff. January 1, 2019.

Sec. 555.153: Covert Use of Electronic Monitoring Device; Liability of Department Or Center

(a) For purposes of this subchapter, the placement and use of an electronic monitoring device in a resident's room are considered to be covert if:

(1) the placement and use of the device are not open and obvious; and

(2) the center and the department are not informed about the device by the resident, by a person who placed the device in the room, or by a person who is using the device.

(b) The department and the center may not be held to be civilly liable in connection with the covert placement or use of an electronic monitoring device in a resident's room.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Sec. 555.154: Required Form on Admission

The executive commissioner by rule shall prescribe a form that must be completed and signed on a resident's admission to a center by or on behalf of the resident. The form must state:

(1) that a person who places an electronic monitoring device in a resident's room or who uses or discloses a tape or other recording made by the device may be civilly liable for any unlawful violation of the privacy rights of another;

(2) that a person who covertly places an electronic monitoring device in a resident's room or who consents to or acquiesces in the covert placement of the device in a resident's room has waived any privacy right the person may have had in connection with images or sounds that may be acquired by the device;

(3) that a resident or the resident's guardian or legal representative is entitled to conduct authorized electronic monitoring under this subchapter, and that if the center refuses to permit the electronic monitoring or fails to make reasonable physical accommodations for the authorized electronic monitoring the person should contact the department;

(4) the basic procedures that must be followed to request authorized electronic monitoring;

(5) the manner in which this subchapter affects the legal requirement to report abuse, neglect, or exploitation when electronic monitoring is being conducted; and

(6) any other information regarding covert or authorized electronic monitoring that the executive commissioner considers advisable to include on the form.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Sec. 555.155: Authorized Electronic Monitoring: Who May Request

(a) If a resident has capacity to request electronic monitoring and has not been judicially declared to lack the required capacity, only the resident may request authorized electronic monitoring under this subchapter.

(b) If a resident has been judicially declared to lack the capacity required for taking an action such as requesting electronic monitoring, only the guardian of the resident may request electronic monitoring under this subchapter.

(c) If a resident does not have capacity to request electronic monitoring but has not been judicially declared to lack the required capacity, only the legal representative of the resident may request electronic monitoring under this subchapter. The executive commissioner by rule shall prescribe:

(1) guidelines that will assist centers, family members of residents, advocates for residents, and other interested persons to determine when a resident lacks the required capacity; and

(2) who may be considered to be a resident's legal representative for purposes of this subchapter, including:

(A) persons who may be considered the legal representative under the terms of an instrument executed by the resident when the resident had capacity; and

(B) persons who may become the legal representative for the limited purpose of this subchapter under a procedure prescribed by the executive commissioner.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Sec. 555.156: Authorized Electronic Monitoring: Form of Request; Consent of Other Residents in Room

(a) A resident or the guardian or legal representative of a resident who wishes to conduct authorized electronic monitoring must make the request to the center on a form prescribed by the executive commissioner.

(b) The form prescribed by the executive commissioner must require the resident or the resident's guardian or legal representative to:

(1) release the center from any civil liability for a violation of the resident's privacy rights in connection with the use of the electronic monitoring device;

(2) choose, when the electronic monitoring device is a video surveillance camera, whether the camera will always be unobstructed or whether the camera should be obstructed in specified circumstances to protect the dignity of the resident; and

(3) obtain the consent of other residents in the room, using a form prescribed for this purpose by the executive commissioner, if the resident resides in a multiperson room.

(c) Consent under Subsection (b)(3) may be given only:

(1) by the other resident or residents in the room;

(2) by the guardian of a person described by Subdivision (1), if the person has been judicially declared to lack the required capacity; or

(3) by the legal representative who under Section 555.155(c) may request electronic monitoring on behalf of a person described by Subdivision (1), if the person does not have capacity to sign the form but has not been judicially declared to lack the required capacity.

(d) The form prescribed by the executive commissioner under Subsection (b)(3) must condition the consent of another resident in the room on the other resident also releasing the center from any civil liability for a violation of the person's privacy rights in connection with the use of the electronic monitoring device.

(e) Another resident in the room may:

(1) when the proposed electronic monitoring device is a video surveillance camera, condition consent on the camera being pointed away from the consenting resident; and

(2) condition consent on the use of an audio electronic monitoring device being limited or prohibited.

(f) If authorized electronic monitoring is being conducted in a resident's room and another resident is moved into the room who has not yet consented to the electronic monitoring, authorized electronic monitoring must cease until the new resident has consented in accordance with this section.

(g) The executive commissioner may include other information that the executive commissioner considers to be appropriate on either of the forms that the executive commissioner is required to prescribe under this section.

(h) The executive commissioner by rule may prescribe the place or places that a form signed under this section must be maintained and the period for which it must be maintained.

(i) Authorized electronic monitoring:

(1) may not commence until all request and consent forms required by this section have been completed and returned to the center; and

(2) must be conducted in accordance with any limitation placed on the monitoring as a condition of the consent given by or on behalf of another resident in the room.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Sec. 555.157: Authorized Electronic Monitoring: General Provisions

(a) A center shall permit a resident or the resident's guardian or legal representative to monitor the resident's room through the use of electronic monitoring devices.

(b) The center shall require a resident who conducts authorized electronic monitoring or the resident's guardian or legal representative to post and maintain a conspicuous notice at the entrance to the resident's room. The notice must state that the room is being monitored by an electronic monitoring device.

(c) Authorized electronic monitoring conducted under this subchapter is not compulsory and may be conducted only at the request of the resident or the resident's guardian or legal representative.

(d) A center may not refuse to admit an individual to residency in the center and may not remove a resident from the center because of a request to conduct authorized electronic monitoring. A center may not remove a resident from the center because covert electronic monitoring is being conducted by or on behalf of a resident.

(e) A center shall make reasonable physical accommodation for authorized electronic monitoring, including:

(1) providing a reasonably secure place to mount the video surveillance camera or other electronic monitoring device; and

(2) providing access to power sources for the video surveillance camera or other electronic monitoring device.

(f) The resident or the resident's guardian or legal representative must pay for all costs associated with conducting electronic monitoring, other than the costs of electricity. The resident or the resident's guardian or legal representative is responsible for:

(1) all costs associated with installation of equipment; and

(2) maintaining the equipment.

(g) A center may require an electronic monitoring device to be installed in a manner that is safe for residents, employees, or visitors who may be moving about the room. The executive commissioner by rule may adopt guidelines regarding the safe placement of an electronic monitoring device.

(h) If authorized electronic monitoring is conducted, the center may require the resident or the resident's guardian or legal representative to conduct the electronic monitoring in plain view.

(i) A center may but is not required to place a resident in a different room to accommodate a request to conduct authorized electronic monitoring.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Sec. 555.158: Reporting Abuse, Neglect, Or Exploitation

(a) A person who is conducting authorized electronic monitoring under this subchapter and who has cause to believe, based on the viewing of or listening to a tape or recording, that a resident is in a state of abuse, neglect, or exploitation or has been abused, neglected, or exploited shall:

(1) report that information to the Department of Family and Protective Services as required by Section 48.051, Human Resources Code; and

(2) provide the original tape or recording to the Department of Family and Protective Services.

(b) If the Department of Family and Protective Services has cause to believe that a resident has been abused, neglected, or exploited by another person in a manner that constitutes a criminal offense, the department shall immediately notify law enforcement and the inspector general as provided by Section 48.1522, Human Resources Code, and provide a copy of the tape or recording to law enforcement or the inspector general on request.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Sec. 555.159: Use of Tape Or Recording By Agency Or Court

(a) Subject to applicable rules of evidence and procedure and the requirements of this section, a tape or recording created through the use of covert or authorized electronic monitoring described by this subchapter may be admitted into evidence in a civil or criminal court action or administrative proceeding.

(b) A court or administrative agency may not admit into evidence a tape or recording created through the use of covert or authorized electronic monitoring or take or authorize action based on the tape or recording unless:

(1) if the tape or recording is a video tape or recording, the tape or recording shows the time and date that the events acquired on the tape or recording occurred;

(2) the contents of the tape or recording have not been edited or artificially enhanced; and

(3) if the contents of the tape or recording have been transferred from the original format to another technological format, the transfer was done by a qualified professional and the contents of the tape or recording were not altered.

(c) A person who sends more than one tape or recording to the department shall identify for the department each tape or recording on which the person believes that an incident of abuse or exploitation or evidence of neglect may be found. The executive commissioner by rule may encourage persons who send a tape or recording to the department to identify the place on the tape or recording where an incident of abuse or evidence of neglect may be found.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Sec. 555.160: Notice at Entrance to Center

Each center shall post a notice at the entrance to the center stating that the rooms of some residents may be being monitored electronically by or on behalf of the residents and that the monitoring is not necessarily open and obvious. The executive commissioner by rule shall prescribe the format and the precise content of the notice.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Sec. 555.161: Enforcement

The department may impose appropriate sanctions under this chapter on a director of a center who knowingly:

(1) refuses to permit a resident or the resident's guardian or legal representative to conduct authorized electronic monitoring;

(2) refuses to admit an individual to residency or allows the removal of a resident from the center because of a request to conduct authorized electronic monitoring;

(3) allows the removal of a resident from the center because covert electronic monitoring is being conducted by or on behalf of the resident; or

(4) violates another provision of this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.

Sec. 555.162: Interference with Device; Criminal Penalty

(a) A person who intentionally hampers, obstructs, tampers with, or destroys an electronic monitoring device installed in a resident's room in accordance with this subchapter or a tape or recording made by the device commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.

(b) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that the person took the action with the effective consent of the resident on whose behalf the electronic monitoring device was installed or the resident's guardian or legal representative.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 184 (S.B. 33), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013.