Advocacy in Action

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Expressing support or opposition for legislation is a key component of THA’s advocacy. Listen to THA’s testimony to get the topline messages on the issues impacting Texas hospitals.

John Hawkins Testified in Support of Hospital Workforce in Senate HHS (5/14/2024)

THA president/CEO, John Hawkins testified before the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on May 14, 2024. THA voiced support for hospital workforce rebuilding efforts and pushed for lawmakers to continue supporting medical professionals.


Brad Holland Testified on Insurance Practices and Hospital Care in Senate HHS (5/14/2024)

Brad Holland, chair of THA’s Board of Trustees, spoke with lawmakers during the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services interim hearing. Speaking on behalf of THA, Holland testified on coverage for Texans and explained Texas hospital’s battle to maintain quality of care while under-reimbursed.


THA Testified to Oppose COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Ban for Private Employers
(10/10/23)

THA attorney Cesar Lopez, J.D. testified on Oct. 10 during Special Session #3 to carve Texas hospitals out of a ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandates for private employers.

THA Testified in Support of HB 1236 in Senate Committee on HHS
(5/10/23)

THA attorney Cesar Lopez testified in support of House Bill 1236 in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. THA remains supportive of reinforcing the ‘prudent layperson’ standard for fair coverage of emergency care.

THA Testified On HB 711 in Senate Committee on HHS
(5/10/23)

THA attorney Heather De La Garza testified on House Bill 711 in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. THA, originally against the bill, is now testifying neutral but brings up concerns about the immediacy of voiding prohibited actions and advocates for a delay to allow hospitals to renegotiate.

THA Testified In Support of SB 25 in House Committee on Higher Education
(5/8/23)

THA attorney Heather De La Garza testified in support of SB 25 in the House Committee on Higher Education on May 8. THA supports the legislature’s effort to reinforce Texas’ workforce by funding and supporting nurse training and education programs.

University Health SA Testified in Support of SB 1156 on Behalf of THA in Senate HHS
(5/3/23)

University Health San Antonio’s Dr. Anna Taranova testified in support of Senate Bill 1156 on behalf of THA in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on May 3. THA, echoing Dr. Taranova’s testimony, supports coverage of hospital-at-home programs as a cost-effective and efficient treatment option that allows patients to stay with their families and communities.

THA Testified on SB 2628 in Senate Committee on Health And Human Services
(5/3/23)

THA attorney Steve Wohleb testified on Senate Bill 2628 in Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on May 3. THA testified with concerns that requiring physical examination prior to admission would impede the process of care and put burdens on behavioral health facilities. Meanwhile, there are already policies in place to provide physical examinations after admission by qualified personnel.

THA Testified in Opposition to HB 1767 in House Committee on Public Health
(5/1/23)

THA attorney Steve Wohleb testified against House Bill 1767 in House Committee on Public Health on May 1. THA opposes efforts to overstep hospital governing body decisions on the qualification and privileges of physicians as it relates to patient safety and care.

THA Testified On HB 2417 in House Committee on Public Health
(5/1/23)

THA attorney Steve Wohleb testified on House Bill 2417 with concerns in House Committee on Public Health on May 1. THA has concerns that telling patients Miranda Rights would confuse patients under detention orders which is not an arrest and could complicate treatment.

THA Testified in Support of HB 4989 in House Committee on Public Health
(5/1/23)

THA attorney Cesar Lopez testified in support of House Bill 4989 in the House Committee on Public Health on May 1. THA has worked with Rep. Bhojani on the language of the bill and supports ease of patient decision in utilizing attorneys in medical decisions.

THA Testified in Support of HB 2507 in House Committee on Public Health
(5/1/23)

THA attorney Steve Wohleb testified in support of House Bill 2507 in the House Committee on Public Health on May 1. THA supports efficient care for mental health patients through electronic detention orders which would ensure behavioral health crises are resolved without delay.

West Oaks Hospital Testified in Support of HB 5265 in House Committee on Human Services
(4/25/23)

West Oak Hospital CEO Ashley Sacriste testified in support of House Bill 5265 on behalf of THA on April 25. Sacriste advocated for lifting the age and duration of stay restrictions that currently restrict Medicaid coverage for patients that need mental health care at Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD).

THA Testified in Support of HB 3930 in House Committee on Higher Education
(4/24/23)

THA attorney Heather De La Garza testified in support of House Bill 3930 in the House Committee on Higher Education on April 24. THA supported grant programs for nursing education and workforce training.

THA Testified For SB 840 in Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
(4/18/23)

THA attorney Steve Wohleb testified in support of Senate Bill 840 in the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice on April 18. THA applauds SB 840 for protecting hospital personnel and addressing the increasing violence against the hospital workforce.

THA Testified in Support HB 3547 in House Committee on Corrections
(4/17/23)

THA attorney Steve Wohleb testified in support of House Bill 3547 in House Committee on Corrections on April 17. THA supports protections for hospital staff and patients. The bill would require supervision for those released on parole in hospital visits, providing an extra layer of protection for the Texas health care workforce.

THA Testified on HB 3162 in House Committee on Public Health
(4/17/23)

THA attorney Cesar Lopez testified on House Bill 3162 before the House Committee on Public Health on April 17. THA has been working extensively with the bill authors to come to a compromise and modify the language of the bill. HB 3162 relates to the decisions and health directives of patients.

THA Testified on HB 4365 in House Committee on Public Health
(4/17/23)

THA attorney Cesar Lopez testified on House Bill 4365 on April 17 in the House Committee on Public Health. THA has worked with the author to make sure the bill does not mandate the usage of equipment or procedures that contradict professional medical decisions.

THA Testified in Opposition to HB1692 in House Select Committee On Health Care Reform
(4/13/23)

THA attorney Steve Wohleb testified against House Bill 1692 on April 13 in House Select Committee on Health Care Reform. THA staunchly opposes the ban on outpatient hospital fees that would place financial burdens on hospitals and prohibit fees hospitals use to pay for services provided.

THA Testified in Support of SB2059 in Senate Committee on Higher Education
(4/13/23)

THA attorney Heather De La Garza testified in support of Senate Bill 2059 on April 13 in Senate Committee on Higher Education. THA supports additional funding for nursing training and education that would improve Texas’ struggling health care workforce.

Clarity Child Guidance Center Testified on Behalf of THA in Support of SB 1903
(4/12/23)

Chris Bryan, VP of Information Technology and Public Policy at Clarity Child Guidance Center testified on April 12 on behalf of THA in support of Senate Bill 1903. Clarity spoke in support of a grant program to modernize behavioral health facilities’ information technology and catch up with the assistance afforded to physical health hospitals.

THA Testified in Opposition to SB 1193 In Senate Committee on HHS
(4/12/23)

THA attorney Steve Wohleb testified on April 12 in opposition to HB 1193 in Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. THA showed concern for physician requirements in hospitals which would be possible for metropolitan hospitals but adversely affect rural hospitals.

THA Testified in Support of SB 945 in Senate Committee on HHS
(4/12/23)

THA attorney Cesar Lopez testified on April 12 in support of Senate Bill 945 before the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. THA voiced support for price information transparency which is vital to the consumer’s ability to make decisions and seeks to continue to operate in compliance with transparency guidelines.

THA Testified in Opposition to HB 5186 in House Committee
(4/12/23)

THA attorney Heather De La Garza testified against House Bill 5186 on April 12 in the House Committee on Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services. THA opposed rate capping for health care services which would place a financial strain on hospitals and increase deficits for services provided.

THA Testified in Opposition to SB 1534 in Senate Committee on HHS
(4/5/23)

THA Attorney Steve Wohleb testified on April 5 in opposition to Senate Bill 1534 before the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. THA opposes efforts to restrict physician non-competes and disrupt negotiations between hospitals and physicians.

THA Testified in Opposition to SB 730 in Senate Committee on HHS
(4/5/23)

THA attorney Steve Wohleb testified in opposition to Senate Bill 730 in Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. THA supports hospital experts and hospital governing decisions to decide medical privileges.

THA Testified in Opposition to SB 1275 in Senate Committee on HHS
(4/5/23)

THA Attorney Steve Wohleb testified on April 5 in opposition to SB 1275 in Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. THA testified against banning hospital outpatient payments which would cripple dwindling hospital finances.

THA Testified in Opposition to HB 2960 in House Select Committee on Community Safety
(4/4/23)

THA Attorney Steve Wohleb testified on April 4 in opposition to House Bill 2960 in House Select Committee on Community Safety. THA opposes the bill that would make medical staff personally confront gun owners about firearm prohibition as workforce violence remains an ongoing issue and hospital staff need to divert attention to saving lives.

Clarity Child Guidance Center Testified On Behalf on THA in Support of HB 2337
(4/4/23)

Clarity Child Guidance Center Christine Bryan testified on behalf of THA on April 4 in support of House Bill 2337 in House Committee on Human Services. THA supports Medicaid coverage for intensive outpatient and partial hospital services which would greatly benefit behavioral health patients.

Memorial Hermann Testified on Behalf of THA Against HB 1973 in House Committee on Public Health
(4/3/23)

Memorial Hermann’s Michelle Lindsley testified on April 3 on behalf of THA against House Bill 1973 in House Committee on Public Health. THA opposes mandatory itemized billing which would put unnecessary burdens on hospitals while itemized statements are already available on request.

THA Testified on HB 2189 and HB 3548 in House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
(3/28/23)

THA testified in support of identical House Bills 2189 and 3548 on March 28 in the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence. THA applauded the bill’s ability to ensure hospital workforce safety and reduce workforce violence.

Memorial Hermann Testified on HB 1647 in House Committee on Insurance
(3/28/23)

Memorial Hermann Health System’s VP of Pharmacy Services Dr. Binita Patel testified on March 28 on HB 1647 in House Committee on Insurance on behalf of THA. Dr. Patel voiced concerns about the exclusion of hospitals from the bill and voiced opposition to white bagging.

THA Testified Neutral on HB 3212 in House Committee on Public Health
(3/27/23)

THA Attorney Steve Wohleb testified on March 27 in neutrality on House Bill 3212 in The House Committee on Public Health. THA supported recent language changes that would eliminate the penalty for birthing facilities and agreement to include newborn discharge without screening risk information on preexisting informational pamphlets.

THA Testified in Opposition to HB 633 in House Select Committee on Health Care Reform
(3/23/23)

THA Assistant General Counsel Heather De La Garza testified on March 23 in opposition to HB 633 before House Select Committee on Health Care Reform. THA voiced opposition to capping hospitals rates to the lowest negotiated price which would force hospitals provide services at a financial loss and unable to adapt to market forces dictating services.

THA Testified In Opposition to SB 177 in Senate Committee on HHS
(3/22/23)

THA attorney Cesar Lopez testified on March 22 in opposition to Senate Bill 177 in Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. THA raised concerns about coming into conflict with the federal mandate to vaccinate employees.

THA Testified In Opposition to SB 299 In Senate Committee on HHS
(3/22/23)

THA attorney Steve Wohleb testified on March 22 in opposition to SB 299 in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. THA opposes unqualified and unvetted non-hospital staff physicians’ unfettered access to hospital patients and treatment by such physicians.

THA Testified on SB 1024 In Senate Committee on HHS
(3/22/23)

THA attorney Cesar Lopez testified against Senate Bill 1024 on March 22 at Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. THA raised concerns about the vaccine mandate ban, mask ban, vaccine discrimination, and reporting requirements which put hospitals in a difficult regulatory and public health standpoint.


THA Testified In Support of SB 25 in Senate Committee on HHS

(3/22/23)

THA assistant general counsel Heather De La Garza testified on March 22 in support of Senate Bill 25. THA supports funding for nursing grants, scholarships, and financial assistance programs such as loan repayment programs to assist nursing students and limit workforce shortages.

University Health San Antonio Testified On Behalf of THA in Support of HB 1980
(3/20/23)

University Health San Antonio’s Dr. Anna Taranova testified in support of HB 1980 in House Committee on Public Health on March 20. Dr. Taranova testified in support of Texas’ hospital-at-home program and the benefits of the program on patient health, patient accessibility, and hospitals.

THA Testified In Opposition To HB 1998 in House Committee on Public Health
(3/20/23)

THA Attorney Steve Wohleb testified on March 20 against HB 1998 in House Committee on Public Health. THA opposed the language of HB 1998 reporting requirements which are currently too broad and require reporting of includes minor infractions.

THA Stood Neutral HB 81 in House Committee on Public Health
(3/20/23)

THA Attorney Cesar Lopez testified neutrality to HB 81 on March 20 in the House Committee on Public Health. THA has been working with the bill’s authors to determine hospitals’ unique position in response to COVID mandates and supports hospitals’ choice on COVID vaccination mandates.

THA Testified in Opposition to HB 44 in House Committee on Public Health
(3/20/23)

THA testified in opposition to HB 44 on March 20 in House Committee on Public Health. THA supports new language in the bill that would make exceptions for vaccine mandates in hospitals for oncology or transplant care.

THA Testified in Opposition to HB 1001 in House Select Committee on Health Care Reform
(3/16/23)

Assistant General Counsel Heather De La Garza, J.D. testified in opposition to House Bill 1001 before House Select Committee on Health Care Reform on March 16. THA spoke out about the language of HB 1001 which would erode quality coverage and deregulate insurance.

THA Testified Against SB 1197 Before Senate Committee on Health and Human Services
(3/15/23)

General Counsel Steve Wohleb, J.D. testified on March 15 against Senate Bill 1197. THA spoke in support of hospitals’ ability to report abuse and opposes the bill’s unnecessary burdens on top of a lack of infrastructure to support the requirements.

THA Testified in Support of SB 240 and Workforce Safety
(3/15/23)

Assistant General Counsel Heather De La Garza, J.D. testified on March 15 in support of Senate Bill 240. THA stood in support of SB 240 proposed hospital requirements for training, preparation, open reporting, and committee formation which would insure health care workers are prepared for workplace violence.

THA Testified in Support of Rural Hospital on House Committee on County Affairs
(3/8/2023)

THA’s CEO John Hawkins appears on March 8 before the House Committee on County Affairs in support issues important to rural health and rural hospitals. THA spoke in support of behavioral health, Medicare and Medicaid funding, and workforce funding to decrease the financial strain on rural hospitals.

THA Testified In Support of HB 112 Before The House Committee on Public Health
(3/6/2023)

THA’s Assistant General Counsel Heather De La Garza, J.D. testified on March 6 in support of House Bill 112 which aims to reduce workforce violence and protect health care workers. THA supports efforts to create plans for workforce violence and ensure hospitals are prepared and safe in the worst-case scenario.

THA Testified In Support of HB 49 Before The House Committee on Public Health
(3/6/2023)

THA’s Associate General Counsel Cesar Lopez, J.D. testified on March 6 in support of House Bill 49 to increase transparency for hospital investigations information. THA wants to ensure that the information is both public and clearly displayed while also respecting patient privacy through exclusion of patient records in investigation publication.

THA Testified Before Texas House Appropriations Committee in Support of Critical Post-COVID-19 Funding
(2/28/23)

SVP of Advocacy and Public Policy at THA, Jennifer Banda, J.D., testified before the Texas House Appropriation Committee on Feb. 28 on Article II in support of HB 1. Banda voiced support for workforce funding, Medicaid add-on, patient services, especially for rural hospitals with increased financial risk. THA supports 12-months post-partum coverage and the IMD exclusion waiver to help mothers, children and those in need of behavioral health care. Additionally, THA supports modernizing and updating hospitals to provide higher capacity and better technology for care.

THA Testified on Article III in House Appropriation Sub-Committee
(2/21/23)

Heather De La Garza, J.D., Assistant General Counsel at THA testifies on Feb. 21 in support of the HB 1 funding to support growing a health care workforce. THA supports the efforts of HB 1 to increase funding and GME capacity for training new medical staff.

THA Testified on Senate Committee on Finance In Support of Rural Hospitals and Coverage Expansion
(2/21/23)

THA’s Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy Jennifer Banda, J.D. testified on Feb. 21 in front of the Texas Senate Committee on Finance in support of budget items proposed in SB 1. In the testimony, THA voiced support for increases for rural hospital add-ons, maternal Medicaid funding, behavioral health coverage and expansion, and expansion of contracted hospital bed capacity.

THA Testified in front of the Senate Committee on Finance in support of TWC programs
(2/14/23)

Heather De La Garza, J.D., Assistant General Counsel at THA testifies before the Senate Committee on Finance on Feb. 14 in support of Texas Workforce Commission programs to enhance workforce training in Texas. THA supports items on SB1 that would fund apprenticeship and skills development funds and requests additional funding for outstanding TWC requests.

THA Testified Before Senate Committee on Finance in Support of SB 1
(2/2/23)

Jennifer Banda, J.D., Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy at THA testified Feb. 7 before the Senate Committee on Finance in support of SB 1, regarding the allocation of state funds for efforts to increase the workforce. The proposed state budget provides significant funds to graduate medical education and increases to health care professional training. Additionally, THA is in support of expanding nursing faculty loan repayment program and fund increases for hospital preceptors to allow for more nurse teaching faculties.

THA Testimony from the 2021 Legislative Special Session

THA Testimony from the 2021 Legislative Session

THA Testimony from the 2019-2020 Interim