The Committee Substitute for House Bill 2134 improves the accuracy of the medical information provided to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) by a health care provider in connection with an investigation into suspected abuse or neglect. This bill recognizes that certain underlying medical conditions present symptoms that can be mistakenly diagnosed as resulting from abuse or neglect. C.S.H.B. 2134 mitigates the risk of misdiagnosis of abuse or neglect by providing a process for obtaining a second opinion to either confirm or rule out certain so-called “medical mimics.”
C.S.H.B. 2134 also recognizes inherent conflicts of interest that arise when a medical professional who reports a suspected case of abuse or neglect to DFPS is later called upon to provide DFPS investigators with expert analysis in the case. This legislation eliminates this conflict and improves the quality of DFPS investigations by requiring that the expert analysis provided to DFPS in furtherance of an investigation come from an appropriately licensed physician who was not involved with the initial report of suspected abuse or neglect.