82nd Texas Legislature Testimonies and Letters

Physicians Testify at Legislative Hearings

TMA is hard at work guiding health care policy through the Texas Legislature. House and Senate committee chairs are holding legislative hearings on dramatic budget cuts, physician employment, expansion of scope, and a myriad of public health issues. At each hearing, TMA has a physician leader present to ensure legislators understand our position and act in the best interest of patients.  We are also presenting a variety of letters to state lawmakers.

Advanced Directives 

Budget 

 Corporate Practice of Medicine 

GME 

Health Care Collaborative 

Health Care Delivery 

Health Insurance 

HIT 

 Medicaid 

Patient Privacy Protections 

Public Health 

Immunizations 

Scope of Practice 

  TMB 

Trauma 

Workforce 

  

  Texas Legislature  


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    I am a physician who after 23 years in prívate practice now spends half my time working with other physicians to help them improve their quality of care by using evidence based care guidelines and improves their resource management to help reign in medical costs. Obviously there is increasing pressure on physicians and hospitals to improve quality AND control costs. I would draw your attention to an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine towards the end of 2009 entitled “Fiscal Responsibility and Health Care Reform” by Robert Levine, M.D. I believe this makes a very important point, pertinent to the debate at hand of forcing physicians to order an ultrasound prior to a woman having an abortion. “Unnecessary care is believed to be responsible for as much as 30% of health care spending, or up to $830 billion this year alone.” Passing a requirement that a physician order an ultrasound prior to a woman having an abortion is asking a physician to order an unnecessary test that adds nothing to the quality of patient care and only adds to cost.
    Currently there is a huge concern over the United States spending more than any other country on health care and yet there being a substantial concern over the quality of the care paid for. It seems to me that a complaint frequently stated about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that the government is going to take over medicine, physicians practices… and dictate what physicians can and cannot do and take away the freedoms of the patients. And yet this bill has nothing to do with the ACA but instead appears to be a not to veiled attempt to impede abortions doing exactly what the criticism of the ACA says it does, i.e. have government dictation to a physician how to practice, and a very substandard way at that, and telling a patient what test they must have
    I am unable to find TMA’s position and work with the legislature on this.

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