Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce Emergency Rule To Allow Off-Site Outpatient ESRD Facilities

April 7, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has adopted an emergency rule to allow end stage renal disease (ESRD) facilities to treat patients more effectively during the COVID-19 response. This emergency rule provides increased flexibility to providers to serve dialysis patients. This will be helpful in providing appropriate social distancing and/or provide locations for patients that have tested positive for COVID-19 at a location separate from other dialysis patients to reduce the chance of spreading the virus.

This emergency rule will allow currently licensed ESRD facilities to operate off-site outpatient facilities without obtaining a new license at the following:

  • An ESRD that is no longer licensed that closed within the past 36 months;
  • A mobile, transportable, or relocatable medical unit;
  • A physician’s office;
  • An ambulatory surgical center or freestanding emergency medical care facility that is no longer licensed that closed within the past 36 months.

"This emergency rule will bolster our response to COVID-19 by reducing potential spread among patients at ESRD facilities," said Governor Abbott. "As we continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, we are committed to maximizing flexibility and efficiency available to our medical providers to protect public health and keep Texans safe."