AUSTIN, TX (News Release) - House Bill 1247 was approved by the Legislature today in a joint effort by State Representative Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) and State Senator Robert Nichols (R- Jacksonville) to allow Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital to directly hire physicians.
In 2011, the Legislature gave hospitals in certain rural counties the ability to employ doctors, as long the physicians were allowed to continue their independent medical judgment. HB 1247 extends this same provision to Nacogdoches.
"This bill merely levels the playing field by giving Nacogdoches Memorial the same right so many other hospitals around the state have," Nichols said.
Clardy added, "The late Tim Hayward, CEO of Nacogdoches Memorial, who passed away late last year, had long expressed the need for the hospital to be able to employ physicians directly so that Nacogdoches could attract world-class doctors and no longer be put at a disadvantage with other entities. Above all, Mr. Hayward wanted doctors to decide where they wanted to work, and wanted to give Nacogdoches Memorial the legal means to attract the best physicians."
"This is the same idea behind capitalism: market-based incentive and personal choice," Nichols said. "Representative Clardy and I are pleased Memorial Hospital District will soon be empowered to better serve its patients and the East Texas region."
After passing out of the House recently and the Senate today, the bill now heads to Governor Perry for his signature.