Regulatory Changes for Texas Hospitals in Response to COVID-19

March 31, 2020

On March 27, 2020, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (“HHSC”) issued a Health Facility Licensing Guidance Letter for Texas general and special hospitals related to the emergency rules adopted in response to COVID-19. Texas general and special hospitals are now permitted to use certain off-site locations temporarily to treat and/or house patients. Under this emergency rule, a Texas general or special hospital may provide inpatient care at an off-site facility under the hospital’s existing license. Applicable off-site facilities include, among others, the following types of facilities:

  • a mobile, transportable or relocatable unit meeting the requirements of the applicable section of the Texas Administrative Code;

  • an ambulatory surgical center licensed under Texas law either currently or within the past 36 months, or a facility with a pending application for such a license that has passed its final architectural review inspection;

  • a freestanding emergency medical care facility licensed under Texas law either currently or within the past 36 months, or a facility with a pending application for such a license that has passed its final architectural review inspection; and

  • an outpatient facility operated by the hospital, either currently or within the past 36 months.

Hospitals must submit an application to operate an off-site location at one of the allowed facilities and receive approval from HHSC prior to using such facility. HHSC may require an inspection or additional documentation prior to approval and may withdraw approval at any time. The application to operate an off-site location at one of the allowed facilities can be found here and should be submitted to INFOHFLC@hhsc.state.tx.us .

The full text of the Guidance Letter, which includes the full list of potential off-site facility types, can be found here .


Weaver Johnston & Nelson, PLLC
10440 N. Central Expressway, Suite 1400
Dallas, Texas 75231
Phone: (214) 705-3515 
Ashley E. Johnston
Phone: (214) 763-8296
Board Certified – Health Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Joshua M. Weaver
Phone: (214) 705-3516
Board Certified – Health Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Joseph E. Nelson
Phone: (214) 705-3907
Board Certified – Health Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Steve Litke
Phone: (972) 427-7685
Chris Reed
Phone: (214) 705-3935
Kevin Mitchell
Phone: (469) 680-9049
Shannon Cahalan
Phone: (214) 938-9898
Stephanie Toth
Phone: (469) 480-9729
Rachael Nelson Gearing
Phone: (469) 680-9609
Vicki Wanjura
Phone: (214) 587-6026
Paul Wehrmann
Phone: (214) 957-0919
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