The Facility Licensing Group develops rules that establish minimum standards for abortion facility licensing procedures, for licensing fees; for granting, denying, suspending, and revoking a license; for requirements for reporting abortions performed; for complaints; and for reporting incidents. The Health & Safety Code, Chapter 245. Abortion Facilities (statute) requires a "universal reporting" of abortion procedures by ALL providers of abortion services.
The statute contains strict confidentiality provisions relating to the release by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) of any information pertaining to an abortion facility. The statute does allow for the release of statistical information reported to the DSHS by January 31 of each year. This information is compiled with assistance of the DSHS Bureau for Vital Statistics. The latest abortion information may be found within the DSHS Center for Health Statistics Vital Statistics Annual Reports.
Proposed Amendments to Rules Concerning the Regulation of Abortion Facilities are being published for a 30 Day Public Comment Period on September 27, 2013, in the Texas Register. To review and comment on the Proposed Rule Changes, go to the Texas Register Web Site: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/index.shtml.
Current Health Facility Licensing Rule Sets, including those for Ambulatory Surgical Centers and Abortion Facilities, are available for reference on the Department of State Health Services web site at: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/HFP/rules.shtm.
Notice to Abortion Facilities Regarding Office of Attorney General Opinion
The Office of Attorney General (OAG) has issued an opinion that impacts licensed abortion facilities in Texas. OAG Opinion No. GA-0802, relates to whether an abortion facility may use a prerecorded telephone message or a one-way conference call to furnish the information required to be provided by section 171.012 of the Texas Health and Safety Code (Woman’s Right to Know Act) to a patient before an abortion is performed.
The AG found that the legislature intended section 171.012 to preclude an abortion facility from using a prerecorded telephone message or a one-way conference call to provide the required information under section 171.012.
If an abortion facility currently uses pre-recorded messages or one-way conference calls to convey the information required by this law, the abortion facility must change this practice immediately. The required information must be provided through live dialogue with the patient by phone or in person. The information under section 171.012(a)(1) must be provided by the physician who is to perform the abortion or the referring physician. The information under Section 171.012(a)(2) must be provided by the physician who is to perform the abortion or the physician’s agent.
This change will not require any rule modifications. This information is being provided to all licensed abortion facilities.
If you have questions please email Mary Smith or Ellen Cooper.
Notice to Medicaid Women’s Health Program Providers
Section 32.0248, Human Resources Code, prohibits the payment of Medicaid Women's Health Program funds to a provider that performs elective abortions. This provision also applies to licensed abortion facilities. A provider that has performed elective abortions (through either surgical or medical methods) for any patient is ineligible to serve Medicaid Women's Health Program clients and cannot be reimbursed for those services. This prohibition has been in effect since September 1, 2005. This prohibition does not prohibit providers from delivering services to other Medicaid clients. The Health and Human Services Commission may recoup Medicaid Women's Health Program funds that it determines were paid to providers that have performed elective abortions.
For more information please call Alex Melis, Medicaid/CHIP Division, Health and Human Services Commission, at (512) 491-1451.
The staff of the Facility Licensing Group is responsible for licensing abortion facilities. To become licensed please see the How to Become a Licensed Abortion Facility and License Application.
A survey for abortion services rendered will be conducted within 60 days after the issuance of an initial license. Entrance conference with key facility personnel and department zone office staff. During the survey, zone office staff will explain the survey process and answer questions.
- Review clinical records
- Review facility policies and procedures
- Review quality assurance activities
- Review personnel records
- Interview staff
- Conduct site visits as applicable
- Exit conference with key facility personnel. Discuss survey findings.
Please see applicable state and federal rules and regulations.