Have you all heard about Texas HOUSE BILL 1341?
It was allowed to die in committee during this past session.
I am placing the bill in this forum because I want you all to look at it and tell me what you all think of it. Do you like it? do you hate it? If you don't like it, what would you change?
If you are opposed to it, tell me why.
H.B. No. 1341
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT relating to the creation of an advisory committee to establish qualifications for certain health care translators and interpreters.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Chapter 531, Government Code, is amended by adding Subchapter M to read as follows:
SUBCHAPTER M. ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON QUALIFICATIONS FOR HEALTH CARE
TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS
Sec. 531. 451. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
(1) "Advisory committee" means the Advisory Committee on Qualifications for Health Care Translators and Interpreters.
(2) "Health care" means medical care, surgical care, hospital care, or any remedial care provided to diagnose, prevent, alleviate, or cure a patient's injury or illness, including mental health care.
(3) "Health care interpreter" means a person who is trained to orally communicate with a person with limited English proficiency by accurately conveying oral health care related statements into English and the language of the person with limited English proficiency.
(4) "Health care practitioner" means an individual who furnishes patient health care services under a license, certification, or registration issued by this state.
(5) "Health care translator" means a person who is trained to communicate in writing with a person with limited English proficiency by accurately translating written health care related statements into English and the language of the person with limited English proficiency.
(6) "Person with limited English proficiency" means a person who:
a. because of the person's place of birth or culture, speaks a language other than English; and
b. does not speak English adequately enough to communicate effectively with a health care practitioner.
Sec. 531.452. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAW. Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter or a rule adopted by the executive commissioner, the advisory committee is subject to
Sec. 531.453. APPLICATION OF SUNSET ACT. The Advisory Committee on Qualifications for Health Care Translators and Interpreters is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas
Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as provided by this chapter, the committee is abolished September 1, 2017.
Sec. 531.454. ESTABLISHMENT. The executive commissioner shall establish the Advisory Committee on Qualifications for Health Care Translators and Interpreters.
Sec. 531.455. MEMBERS.
(a) The Advisory Committee on Qualifications for Health Care Translators and Interpreters is composed of not less than 10 members appointed by the executive commissioner as provided by this section.
(b) The advisory committee must include:
i. one member who is a representative of a professional Translators and Interpreters Association;
ii. one member who is a health care interpreter;
iii. one member who is a representative of a mental health services provider;
iv. one member who is a risk manager for a hospital;
v. one member who represents the insurance industry;
vi. one member who represents a business entity that provides translators and interpreters to health care practitioners;
vii. one member who represents an organization that provides services to immigrants and refugees; and
viii. one member who is a representative of an institute of higher education.
(c) The remaining members of the advisory committee must include at least one health care practitioner and additional members, as determined by the executive commissioner, who represent the interests of consumers.
Sec. 531.456. DUTIES. (a) The advisory committee shall establish and recommend qualifications for health care interpreters and health care translators that include:
(1) for a person to be qualified as a health care interpreter or a health care translator, requiring the person to:
a. fluently interpret another language and convey that language into English and English into the other language:
b. have successfully completed at least 60 hours of training that includes training in anatomy, physiology, and medical interpretation, interpreter ethics; and
c. have practical experience as an interpreter or translator; and
(2) for a person to be certified as a health care interpreter, requiring the person, in addition to meeting the requirements under Subsection (1), to pass a written and oral exam on medical terminology in English and at least one other language.
(b) The advisory committee shall advise the commission on:
(1) the language proficiency required for certification as a health care interpreter or health care translator;
(2) training requirements for health care interpreters and health care translators;
(3) standards of practice for health care interpreters and health care translators;
(4) the requirements, content, and administration of certification examinations for health care interpreters and health care translators;
(5) the procedures for testing, qualifying, and certifying health care interpreters and health care translators; and
(6) reciprocity agreements with other states.
(c) The advisory committee shall:
(1) develop strategies for implementing the regulation of health care interpreters and health care translators;
(2) make recommendations to the commission for any legislation necessary to establish and enforce qualifications for health care interpreters and health care translators or for the adoption of rules by state agencies regulating health care practitioners, hospitals, physician offices, and health care facilities that hire health care interpreters or health care translators; and
(3) perform other activities assigned by the commission related to health care interpreters or health care translators.
Sec. 531.457. COMPENSATION; REIMBURSEMENT. A member of the advisory committee may not receive compensation, but is entitled to reimbursement of the travel expenses incurred by the member while conducting the business of the advisory committee, as provided by the General Appropriations Act.
SECTION 2. Not later than January 1, 2006, the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission shall establish the Advisory Committee on Qualifications for Health Care
Translators and Interpreters as required by Subchapter M, Chapter 531, Government Code, as added by this Act.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2005
Personally, I think it is pretty strighforward but there is some opposition to it. The reasoning for the opposition is unclear. Maybe you all can clarify for me.
[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-08-01 21:25]
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