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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: Friday, April 17, 2015
The House of Representatives today takes up two controversial bills certain to elicit extensive debate. One bill would allow Texans with concealed handgun licenses to carry those weapons openly in public. The other would restrict cities’ authority to limit hydraulic fracking of oil and gas within their boundaries. None of medicine’s key bills are on the calendar.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Thursday, April 23, 2015
As expected, the House of Representatives yesterday rejected the Senate’s version of the 2016-17 state budget and decided to stick with its own $209 billion spending plan. Speaker Joe Straus appointed these House members to serve on the conference committee, where the final budget decisions will be made: Reps. John Otto (R-Dayton), chair; Sylvester Turner (D-Houston); Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin); Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock); and Sarah Davis (R-West University Place).
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The Texas House of Representatives is scheduled to consider House Bill 2089 by Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), one of several bills aiming to eliminate Texas’ occupation tax. Physicians are among the 12 professional licensees taxed approximately $200 annually, even though they’re also subject to the state’s franchise tax. This is part of Representative Darby’s double-barrel approach to cut the tax, as he previously successfully maneuvered House Bill 7, which also contains an occupation tax-repeal provision, through the House Appropriations Committee.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Tuesday, April 21, 2015
OIG: Today, the Texas Senate unanimously adopted Senate Bill 207 by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen), the Medicaid Office of Inspector General (OIG) reform bill. The measure improves OIG’s accountability and institutes fair rules and processes for physicians accused of waste, fraud, or abuse. It clarifies that “fraud” does not include unintentional technical, clerical, or administrative errors; requires probable cause of fraud for payment holds; and keeps informal settlement meetings with physicians and other providers under investigation confidential.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Monday, April 20, 2015
OIG: Today, the Texas Senate is expected to take up the Medicaid Office of Inspector General (OIG) bill, Senate Bill 207 by Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen), which improves the OIG’s accountability and institutes fair rules and processes for physicians accused of waste, fraud, or abuse. The bill clarifies that “fraud” does not include unintentional technical, clerical, or administrative errors; requires probable cause of fraud for payment holds; and keeps informal settlement meetings with physicians and other providers under investigation confidential.