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    Members, before we move into the omnibus Welfare Reform Legislation, I would like to lay out House Bill 3386 and recognize its author, Chairman Harvey Hilderbran. And welcome, Harvey, to the committee.
    Good afternoon, members. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman. Thanks for hearing the Health Bill 3386, in which I believe you are a joint author, and if you are not, you will be one tomorrow. I believe that is one of the ones I gave you last week to sign up on.
    House Bill 3386 is an important piece of legislation and it came to my attention during the interim that the current registry system, which is maintained by DHS of nurses aides in Texas nursing facilities, hasn’t worked as well as we liked it to. The registry is utilized in performing background checks on nurses aides that have applied for jobs in nursing facilities. However, there has been instances in which the nurse aide who has a history of abusing residents has been overlooked during the background check, because of such factors as illegible handwriting, incorrect gender identification, or change or actually transposed numbers on driver’s license information. Health Bill 3386 requires that during the background check of a nurses aide certain factors be required in order to accurately access the identity and history of the person seeking employment in a nursing facility. These criteria include the complete name, race and sex of the employee and identifying numbers such as social security number, driver’s license or state identification number, birth date and mailing address, all of which are to be submitted on typewritten form. This is in an effort to avoid some of the mishaps which have been encountered during the background check process.
    Members, I am preparing a committee substitute that will be presented to the committee, hopefully by next week. The two things that the committee substitute does is: 1) it eliminates the need for the physical note. The reason it has a physical note to my understanding is that because we have asked in this bill for it to cover more than DHS jurisdiction, including the Texas Dept. of Health, which has oversight over home health agencies and other personal care homes and other entities that are all regulated by DHS because we added that and broadened the bill quite a bit from what current law is, that is the reason given for the physical note. So, in order to pass the bill and eliminate physical note, we are going to propose a committee substitute that will narrow it just to DHS jurisdiction and oversight. Another important thing that is actually an inadvertent error and oversight in the original draft, I don’t know if that was listed by counsel oversight or what, but we had intended for the bill to specifically require a typed form, typewritten requirement there, I mentioned it in my opening statement, I did not find it in my perusal of the bill this morning as I was getting ready for this afternoon and if in fact this is confirmed, we will include that in the committee substitute because one of the examples that my witness will talk about is that handwritten form that included some errors but also included, for
    instance, the name “Gordon” to be recorded as “Cordon”, causing a specific incident where people suffered.

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