Texas Legislature

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    Capitol Decisions Ahead

    New state leadership, a ballooning budget, a spotlight on health care shortages, and wholesale review of the state's major health care agencies promise to hold some potentially big shifts for the 2015 legislative session and for organized medicine. However the tables turn, when the session opens Jan. 13, TMA is poised with an ambitious agenda to ensure the patient-physician relationship stays front and center and that legislators take it into consideration as bills make their way through the legislative process. 
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Advocacy Articles

  • Medicare
    Feds Say They Cut Burden of RAC AuditsIn response to industry feedback, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last month released 20 improvements to its Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC) program to reduce its burden on physicians, enhance oversight, and increase transparency. The changes take effect when the next recovery auditor contracts are awarded and are listed on the CMS website.
  • Health Insurance
    TMA Calls for Tougher HMO Network Adequacy RulesTMA and 11 state specialty societies filed a 34-page letter with the Texas Department of Insurance  (TDI), commenting on the network adequacy and out-of-network payment provisions of TDI’s informal working draft rule proposal on HMOs. The letter says the draft proposal would reduce the value of HMO products available to consumers and increase consumer out-of-pocket expenses.
  • ACA
    ACA Gaps Leaves More than 1 Million Texans UninsuredTexas is one of about 20 states that chose not to expand Medicaid eligibility in 2014 as provided under the Affordable Care Act, leaving more than 1 million uninsured. Medicaid covers only people with disabilities, low-income pregnant women, and children of low-income parents or parents with disabilities.
  • Medicaid
    Sun to Set on Overzealous Fraud InvestigationsThe Texas Sunset Advisory Commission is considering the sunset staff's scathing report of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Office of Inspector General (OIG). The report says the OIG — tasked with preventing, detecting, and investigating fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicaid system — fails at fraud prevention, takes more than three years to resolves cases, and wins back only a fraction of the amount of allegedly abusive or wasteful spending it identifies.
  • Legislature
    First Tuesdays at the CapitolThe "White Coat Invasion" has been the key to physicians' successes in the Texas legislature since the inception of First Tuesdays at the Capitol in 2003. Our senators and representatives listen when their hometown doctors appear in their offices. Our influence is so much greater when physicians and alliance members arrive en masse in the House and Senate galleries. It's time again to bring out Texas medicine's strongest weapon.
  • Legal
    Guidance on Prescribing Schedule II Hydrocodone ProductsOver TMA's objections, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last month published a final rule in the Federal Register reclassifying drugs that contain hydrocodone combinations from Schedule III to Schedule II.
  • Health System Reform
    ACA Exchange Plans: Q&A for Texas PhysiciansUpdated: December 2014. Confused by all you've heard about the Affordable Care Act marketplace insurance plans? Do you know whether you're in — or out — of the narrow networks? How will you tell if a patient is on an exchange plan? What happens to you if patients don't make their premium payments? What, if anything, can you do about all of this? TMA answers these and other tough marketplace exchange questions. MembersOnlyRed

Special Report

Healthy Vision 2020

The fields of engagement — the Texas Legislature, U.S. Congress, courts, state and federal bureaucracies — are many. The issues are all-encompassing. But TMA’s approach is clear in this second edition. Read More