1994 Texas Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (1994)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0057 and id is 1 raw text is: office of the O(ttornep @eneral
state of      cxas
DAN MORALES                               January 3, 1994
XII )RNEI (dNER.
Honorable Ron Wilson                       Letter Opinion No. 94-001
Chair
Committee on Licensing                     Re: Whether     a   private  psychiatric
and Administrative Procedures             treatment facility may provide airfare to a
Texas House of Representatives             patient (ID# 22815)
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768-2910
Dear Representative Wilson:
You ask whether a private psychiatric treatment facility may provide airfare to a
patient. We understand that you are concerned about a Texas facility which pays the
airfare of insured patients who live out of state and would not otherwise be able to afford
to travel to the facility. Generally, it is beyond the purview of the opinion process to
scrutinize particular contractual arrangements, especially those between private individuals
or entities, and to determine whether they satisfy specific statutory requirements or are
otherwise legally permissible. See generally Attorney General Opinions JM-697 (1987) at
6; DM-192 (1992) at 10. Although we are unable to provide a definitive response, we
have identified at least two state statutes which may be relevant to your query.
Section 161.091 of the Health and Safety Code was recently amended to provide
in pertinent part:
(a) A person' commits an offense if the person intentionally or
knowingly offers to pay or agrees to accept any remuneration
directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to or
from any person, firm, association of persons, partnership, or
corporation for securing or soliciting patients or patronage for or
from a person licensed, certified, or registered by a state health care
regulatory agency. [Footnote added.]
Health & Safety Code  161.091, as amended by Acts 1993, 73d Leg., ch. 573,  5.01
(eff. Sept. 1, 1993) and Acts 1993, 73d Leg., ch. 706,  I (eff. Sept. 1, 1993). Subsection
(d) of section 161.091 provides that:
[e]xcept as provided by this section, an offense under this section is a
Class A misdemeanor. If it is shown on the trial of a person under
IThe Code Construction Act defines the term person to include a corporation, organization,
government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association,
and any other legal entity. Gov't Code  311.005(2), see also Attorney General Opinion DM-138 (1992)
at 1.

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