Certificate of Public Advantage

House Bill (H.B.) 3301, 86th Legislature, 2019, Regular Session, added Chapter 314A to the Texas Health and Safety Code (HSC). In H.B. 3301, the legislature found that a hospital merger may benefit the public by maintaining or improving the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of health care services offered to the public; and these benefits may outweigh any anticompetitive effects of joining together competitors to address unique challenges in providing health care services in rural areas. HSC Chapter 314A permits qualifying hospitals in certain low-population counties to apply for a COPA, which grants merging hospitals immunity from federal and state antitrust laws. In addition to rulemaking, HSC Chapter 314A requires HHSC, as the agency designated by the governor under HSC Section 314A.004, to review and approve or deny COPA applications and to supervise the activities for which a COPA is issued.

Under HSC Section 314A.052(b), an applicant may submit two versions of the application: one version for HHSC’s use that is unredacted, and one version for public release that has proprietary information redacted. The applicant is solely responsible for any redactions made to the public version of a COPA document, which HHSC will post as received.

Laws and Rules

Texas Laws

Rules

Eligible Counties

Angelina 
Bowie
Cherokee
Colorado
Taylor
Tom Green
Wichita 
Wood

Apply for a COPA

To apply for a COPA, applicants must submit a $75,000 application fee and all required information to HHSC. Applicants must also provide all application information to the Attorney General. For directions on how to apply for a COPA review the COPA Application Checklist (PDF).

Pending COPA Applications

Below are the currently pending COPA applications:

  • There are currently no pending COPA applications.

Commenting on Pending COPA Applications:

HHSC accepts comments on pending COPA applications. To comment on a currently pending COPA application, email your comments to COPA@hhs.texas.gov.

Approved COPAs

Shannon Health System- San Angelo, Texas (Tom Green County)

HHSC granted Shannon Health System a COPA on October 2, 2020. Below are the approval documents for the merger.

Public Comments Received on the Shannon Application

Baseline Reporting Information

Note: HHSC permits COPA holders to submit two versions of a report: one version for HHSC’s use that is unredacted, and one version for public release that has proprietary information redacted. The COPA holder is solely responsible for any redactions made to the public version of a report, which HHSC will post as received.

Hendrick Health System- Abilene, Texas (Taylor County)

HHSC granted Hendrick Health System a COPA on October 2, 2020. Below are the approval documents for the merger.

Public Comments Received on the Hendrick Application

Baseline Reporting Information

Note: HHSC permits COPA holders to submit two versions of a report: one version for HHSC’s use that is unredacted, and one version for public release that has proprietary information redacted. The COPA holder is solely responsible for any redactions made to the public version of a report, which HHSC will post as received.

Complaints

For information on how to file a complaint, please visit our File a Complaint for a Health Facility webpage.

Open Records Requests

Texas Health and Human Services is committed to providing full access to public information. For information on how to submit an open records request, please visit our Open Records Policy & Procedures webpage.

To request records under the Texas Public Information Act:

  • Submit a request in writing via U.S. Mail, fax or email.
  • Include your name, address or other contact information and a clear description of the records you are requesting.
  • Send your request to:

Contact Information

  • Email: COPA@hhs.texas.gov
  • Mailing Address for COPA Application Fees:
    HHSC – ARTS
    Mail Code 1470 
    P.O. Box 149055 
    Austin, Texas 78714-9055