The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall
have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates
(1) Act--The Texas Hospital Licensing Law, Health and
Safety Code, Chapter 241.
(2) Action plan--A written document that includes specific
measures to correct identified problems or areas of concern; identifies
strategies for implementing system improvements; and includes outcome
measures to indicate the effectiveness of system improvements in reducing,
controlling or eliminating identified problem areas.
(3) Advanced practice nurse (APN)--A registered nurse
who is currently licensed and authorized by the Board of Nurse Examiners
for the State of Texas to practice as a nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife,
nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist.
(4) Adverse event--An event that results in unintended
harm to the patient by an act of commission or omission rather than
by the underlying disease or condition of the patient.
(5) Applicant--The person legally responsible for the
operation of the hospital, whether by lease or ownership, who seeks
a hospital license from the department.
(6) Available--When referring to on-site personnel,
on the premises and able to rapidly perform hands-on care in an emergency
(7) Chemical dependency services--A planned, structured,
and organized program designed to initiate and promote a person's
chemical-free status or to maintain the person free of illegal drugs.
It includes, but is not limited to, the application of planned procedures
to identify and change patterns of behavior related to or resulting
from chemical dependency that are maladaptive, destructive, or injurious
to health, or to restore appropriate levels of physical, psychological,
or social functioning lost due to chemical dependency.
(8) Community-wide plan--An agreement entered into
between one or more health care facilities, entities administering
a sexual assault program, district attorney's offices, or law enforcement
agencies that designates one or more health care facilities in the
community as a primary health care facility to furnish emergency medical
services and evidence collection to sexual assault survivors on a
community or area-wide basis.
(9) Comprehensive medical rehabilitation--The provision
of rehabilitation services that are designed to improve or minimize
a person's physical or cognitive disabilities, maximize a person's
functional ability, or restore a person's lost functional capacity
through close coordination of services, communication, interaction,
and integration among several professions that share responsibility
to achieve team treatment goals for the person.
(10) Comprehensive medical rehabilitation hospital--A
general hospital that specializes in providing comprehensive medical
rehabilitation services, including surgery and related ancillary services.
(11) Comprehensive medical rehabilitation unit--An
identifiable part of a hospital which provides comprehensive medical
rehabilitation services to patients admitted to the unit.
(12) Cooperative agreement--An agreement among two
or more hospitals for the allocation or sharing of health care equipment,
facilities, personnel, or services.
(13) Dentist--A person licensed to practice dentistry
by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. This includes a doctor
of dental surgery or a doctor of dental medicine.
(14) Department--The Department of State Health Services,
1100 West 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756-3199.
(15) Dietitian--A person who is currently licensed
by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Dietitians as a licensed
dietitian or provisional licensed dietitian, or who is a registered
dietitian with the American Dietetic Association.
(16) Director--The hospital licensing director, Department
of State Health Services.
(17) Emergency medical condition--A medical condition
manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including
severe pain, psychiatric disturbances or symptoms of substance abuse)
such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably
be expected to result in one or all of the following:
(A) placing the health of the individual (or with
respect to a pregnant woman, the health of the woman or her unborn
child) in serious jeopardy;
(B) serious impairment to bodily functions;
(C) serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part;
(D) with respect to a pregnant woman who is having
(i) that there is inadequate time to effect a safe
transfer to another hospital before delivery; or
(ii) that transfer may pose a threat to the health
or safety of the woman or the unborn child.
(18) Freestanding emergency medical care facility--A
facility that is structurally separate and distinct from a hospital
and receives individuals for the provision of emergency care. The
facility is owned and operated by the hospital, and is exempt from
the licensing requirements of Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter
254, under §254.052(7) or (8).
(19) General hospital--An establishment that:
(A) offers services, facilities, and beds for use for
more than 24 hours for two or more unrelated individuals requiring
diagnosis, treatment, or care for illness, injury, deformity, abnormality,
or pregnancy; and
(B) regularly maintains, at a minimum, clinical laboratory
services, diagnostic X-ray services, treatment facilities including
surgery or obstetrical care or both, and other definitive medical
or surgical treatment of similar extent.
(20) Governing body--The governing authority of a hospital
which is responsible for a hospital's organization, management, control,
and operation, including appointment of the medical staff; includes
the owner or partners for hospitals owned or operated by an individual
(21) Governmental unit--A political subdivision of
the state, including a hospital district, county, or municipality,
and any department, division, board, or other agency of a political
(22) Hospital--A general hospital or a special hospital.
(23) Hospital administration--Administrative body of
a hospital headed by an individual who has the authority to represent
the hospital and who is responsible for the operation of the hospital
according to the policies and procedures of the hospital's governing
(24) Inpatient--An individual admitted for an intended
length of stay of 24 hours or greater.
(25) Inpatient services--Services provided to an individual
admitted to a hospital for an intended length of stay of 24 hours
(26) Intellectual Disability--Significantly sub-average
general intellectual functioning that is concurrent with deficits
in adaptive behavior and originates during the developmental period.
(27) Licensed vocational nurse (LVN)--A person who
is currently licensed under the Nursing Practice Act by the Board
of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas as a licensed vocational
nurse or who holds a valid vocational nursing license with multi-state
licensure privilege from another compact state.
(28) Licensee--The person or governmental unit named
in the application for issuance of a hospital license.
(29) Medical staff--A physician or group of physicians
and a podiatrist or group of podiatrists who by action of the governing
body of a hospital are privileged to work in and use the facilities
of a hospital for or in connection with the observation, care, diagnosis,
or treatment of an individual who is, or may be, suffering from a
mental or physical disease or disorder or a physical deformity or
(30) Mental health services--All services concerned
with research, prevention, and detection of mental disorders and disabilities
and all services necessary to treat, care for, supervise, and rehabilitate
persons who have a mental disorder or disability, including persons
whose mental disorders or disabilities result from alcoholism or drug
(31) Niche hospital--A hospital that:
(A) classifies at least two-thirds of the hospital's
Medicare patients or, if data is available, all patients:
(i) in not more than two major diagnosis-related groups;
(ii) in surgical diagnosis-related groups.
(B) specializes in one or more of the following areas:
(iii) surgery; or
(iv) women's health; and
(C) is not:
(i) a public hospital;
(ii) a hospital for which the majority of inpatient
claims are for major diagnosis-related groups relating to rehabilitation,
psychiatry, alcohol and drug treatment, or children or newborns; or
(iii) a hospital with fewer than 10 claims per bed
(32) Nurse--A registered, vocational, or advanced practice
registered nurse licensed by the Texas Board of Nursing or entitled
to practice in this state under Occupations Code, Chapters 301, 304,
(33) Outpatient--An individual who presents for diagnostic
or treatment services for an intended length of stay of less than
24 hours; provided, however, that an individual who requires continued
observation may be considered as an outpatient for a period of time
not to exceed a total of 48 hours.
(34) Outpatient services--Services provided to patients
whose medical needs can be met in less than 24 hours and are provided
within the hospital; provided, however, that services that require
continued observation may be considered as outpatient services for
a period of time not to exceed a total of 48 hours.
(35) Owner--One of the following persons or governmental
unit which will hold or does hold a license issued under the statute
in the person's name or the person's assumed name:
(A) a corporation;
(B) a governmental unit;
(C) a limited liability company;
(D) an individual;
(E) a partnership if a partnership name is stated in
a written partnership agreement or an assumed name certificate;
(F) all partners in a partnership if a partnership
name is not stated in a written partnership agreement or an assumed
name certificate; or
(G) all co-owners under any other business arrangement.
(36) Patient--An individual who presents for diagnosis
(37) Pediatric and adolescent hospital--A general hospital
that specializes in providing services to children and adolescents,
including surgery and related ancillary services.
(38) Person--An individual, firm, partnership, corporation,
association, or joint stock company, and includes a receiver, trustee,
assignee, or other similar representative of those entities.
(39) Physician--A physician licensed by the Texas Medical
(40) Physician assistant--A person licensed as a physician
assistant by the Texas State Board of Physician Assistant Examiners.
(41) Podiatrist--A podiatrist licensed by the Texas
State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners.
(42) Practitioner--A health care professional licensed
in the State of Texas, other than a physician, podiatrist, or dentist.
A practitioner shall practice in a manner consistent with their underlying
(43) Premises--A premises may be any of the following:
(A) a single building where inpatients receive hospital
(B) multiple buildings where inpatients receive hospital
services provided that the following criteria are met:
(i) all buildings in which inpatients receive hospital
services are subject to the control and direction of the same governing
(ii) all buildings in which inpatients receive hospital
services are within a 30-mile radius of the primary hospital location;
(iii) there is integration of the organized medical
staff of each of the hospital locations to be included under the single
(iv) there is a single chief executive officer for
all of the hospital locations included under the license who reports
directly to the governing body and through whom all administrative
authority flows and who exercises control and surveillance over all
administrative activities of the hospital;
(v) there is a single chief medical officer for all
of the hospital locations under the license who reports directly to
the governing body and who is responsible for all medical staff activities
of the hospital;
(vi) each hospital location to be included under the
license that is geographically separate from the other hospital locations
contains at least one nursing unit for inpatients which is staffed
and maintains an active inpatient census, unless providing only diagnostic
or laboratory services, or a combination of diagnostic or laboratory
services, in the building for hospital inpatients; and
(vii) each hospital that is to be included in the license
complies with the emergency services standards: