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Hotline is a daily electronic newsletter for TMA members only that reports the legislature's latest actions on bills affecting Texas medicine. The hotline is delivered each legislative day before noon beginning Jan. 1. A weekly recap, delivered each Sunday, is also available.
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Latest issues of TMA's Legislative News Hotline
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Monday, March 30, 2015
it’s budget week in the Texas House of Representatives, as tomorrow members take up the House Appropriations Committee’s 2016-17 state budget proposal, House Bill 1. Last week the committee passed the $209.8 billion House budget by a unanimous 24-0 vote. The bill includes $460 million in general revenue funds to increase Medicaid payments to Medicare levels for many primary care physicians and providers. The funds reinstate a pay boost provided by the Affordable Care Act that expired in December. The House budget is $2 billion under the spending cap.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Friday, March 27, 2015
This week’s TMA Legislative News Hotline video brings you a quick summary of the top news at the Capitol affecting your patients and your practice: Hear John Holcomb, MD, describe improvements to how Medicaid investigates doctors’ practices for fraud; watch Dawn Buckingham, MD, describe pros and cons of a plan to change mediation for claim disputes — including a proposal that could cost doctors money; see C.M. Schade, MD’s, insight into eliminating the state’s controlled substance registration; see Jason Terk, MD, describe why e-cigarettes are harming Texas’ kids and what should be done about it; and finally, Arlo Weltge, MD, details a new plan aiming to provide critical direction during urgent-care situations.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Thursday, March 26, 2015
The Senate Finance Committee took up Senate Bill 18 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) today. The measure aims to improve Texas’ physician workforce by allocating an additional $60 million for graduate medical education (GME) expansions. The funding would sustain the 2013 GME expansion programs while building other programs to improve access to care.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Wednesday, March 25, 2015
San Antonio pediatrician Ryan Van Ramshorst, MD, testified twice today before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on behalf of TMA, the Texas Pediatric Society, and the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. He told committee members that Texas physicians strongly support Senate Bill 760 by Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown), that would improve oversight and accountability of Medicaid HMOs’ physician networks. This issue is one of TMA’s top legislative items.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
TMA and the Texas Pediatric Society submitted a letter supporting House Bill 1282 by Rep. John Zerwas, MD (R-Richmond), today in House Public Health. The measure directs the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to develop a strategic plan to reduce morbidity and mortality from human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated cancers. TMA worked with DSHS in 2006-07 to develop a strategic plan addressing Texas’ limited progress to reduce cervical cancer morbidity and mortality. DSHS brought together health professionals, public and community health experts, the academic community, and other interested stakeholders to reduce cervical cancer deaths.