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RULE §351.827Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council

(a) Statutory authority. The Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council (Council) is established in accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 118.

(b) Purpose. The Council assesses the availability of patient-centered and family-focused, interdisciplinary team-based palliative care in Texas for patients and families facing serious illness. The Council works to ensure that relevant, comprehensive, and accurate information and education about palliative care is available to the public, health care providers, and health care facilities. This includes information and education about complex symptom management, care planning, and coordination needed to address the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual suffering associated with serious illness.

(c) Tasks. The Council performs the following tasks:

  (1) consults with and advises HHSC on matters related to the establishment, maintenance, operation, and outcome evaluation of the palliative care consumer and professional information and education program established under Texas Health and Safety Code §118.011;

  (2) studies and makes recommendations to remove barriers to appropriate palliative care services for patients and families facing serious illness in Texas of any age and at any stage of illness; and

  (3) pursues other deliverables consistent with its purpose as requested by the Executive Commissioner or adopted into the work plan or bylaws of the council.

(d) Reporting requirements.

  (1) Reporting to Executive Commissioner. By December 31 of each year, the Council files a written report with the Executive Commissioner that covers the meetings and activities in the immediately preceding fiscal year. The report includes:

    (A) a list of the meeting dates;

    (B) the members' attendance records;

    (C) a brief description of actions taken by the committee;

    (D) a description of how the committee accomplished its tasks;

    (E) a summary of the status of any rules that the committee recommended to HHSC;

    (F) a description of activities the committee anticipates undertaking in the next fiscal year;

    (G) recommended amendments to this section; and

    (H) the costs related to the committee, including the cost of HHSC staff time spent supporting the committee's activities and the source of funds used to support the committee's activities.

  (2) Reporting to Executive Commissioner and Texas Legislature. By October 1 of each even-numbered year, the Council submits a written report to the Executive Commissioner and the standing committees of the Texas senate and house with primary jurisdiction over health matters. The report:

    (A) assesses the availability of palliative care in Texas for patients in the early stages of serious disease;

    (B) analyzes barriers to greater access to palliative care;

    (C) analyzes policies, practices, and protocols in Texas concerning patients' rights related to palliative care, including:

      (i) whether a palliative care team member may introduce palliative care options to a patient without the consent of the patient's attending physician or practitioner;

      (ii) the practices and protocols for discussions between a palliative care team member and a patient on life-sustaining treatment or advance directives decisions; and

      (iii) the practices and protocols on informed consent and disclosure requirements for palliative care services; and

    (D) provides recommendations consistent with the purposes of the Council.

(e) Open meetings. The Council complies with the requirements for open meetings under Texas Government Code Chapter 551 as if it were a governmental body.

(f) Membership.

  (1) The Council is composed of at least 15 voting members appointed by the Executive Commissioner and nonvoting agency, ex officio representatives as determined by the Executive Commissioner. Total membership on the Council will not exceed 24.

  (2) Voting membership.

    (A) The Council must include:

      (i) at least five physician members, including:

        (I) two who are board certified in hospice and palliative care; and

        (II) one who is board certified in pain management;

      (ii) three palliative care practitioner members, including:

        (I) two advanced practice registered nurses who are board-certified in hospice and palliative care; and

        (II) one physician assistant who has experience providing palliative care;

      (iii) four health care professional members, including:

        (I) a nurse;

        (II) a social worker;

        (III) a pharmacist; and

        (IV) a spiritual-care professional; and

      (iv) at least three members:

        (I) with experience as an advocate for patients and the patients' family caregivers;

        (II) who are independent of a hospital or other health care facility; and

        (III) at least one of whom represents an established patient advocacy organization.

    (B) Health care professional members listed in subparagraph (A)(iii) of this paragraph must meet one or more of the following qualifications:

      (i) experience providing palliative care to pediatric, youth, or adult populations;

      (ii) expertise in palliative care delivery in an inpatient, outpatient, or community setting; or

      (iii) expertise in interdisciplinary palliative care.

    (C) In selecting voting members, the Executive Commissioner considers ethnic and minority representation and geographic representation.

    (D) Members are appointed to staggered terms so that the terms of approximately one-quarter of the members' terms expire on December 31 of each year.

    (E) Except as necessary to stagger terms, the term of each voting member is four years.

(g) Officers. The Council selects from its members a presiding officer and an assistant presiding officer.

  (1) The presiding officer serves until December 31 of each odd-numbered year. The assistant presiding officer serves until December 31 of each even-numbered year.

  (2) The presiding officer and the assistant presiding officer remain in their positions until the Council selects a successor; however, the individual may not remain in office past the individual's membership term.

(h) Required Training. Each member shall complete all training on relevant statutes and rules, including this section and §351.801 of this subchapter (relating to Authority and General Provisions) and Texas Government Code §531.012, and Texas Government Code Chapters 551 and 2110. HHSC will provide the training.

(i) Abolition. The Council is required by statute and will continue as long as the state law that requires it remains in effect.

Source Note: The provisions of this §351.827 adopted to be effective July 1, 2016, 41 TexReg 4432; amended to be effective January 27, 2020, 45 TexReg 523; amended to be effective December 8, 2020, 45 TexReg 8769

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