Volume 15, No 24
June 17, 2013
GOVERNOR PERRY SIGNS STATE BUDGET, TMA RED TAPE BILLS, MANY MORE:In a flurry of black ink, Gov. Rick Perry signed into law more than a dozen TMA-backed bills, cementing 2013 as one of our most effective legislative sessions in decades. The bills:
- Stop silent PPOs’ theft of physician services;
- Cut red tape and excessive regulations;
- Rein in Medicaid fraud-and-abuse investigations;
- Gain tax relief for physicians;
- Establish a more streamlined, less bureaucratic way of supervising allied health practitioners;
- Protect your independent medical judgment;
- Battle physician shortages;
- Reverse budget cuts, and invest more state money into mental health and women’s health care services; and
- Protect young Texans.
Meanwhile, we rejected every single attack on our 2003 liability reforms and every single inappropriate attempt to expand scope of practice. For more details on all of this, see the special issue of TMA Action coming out this week and August’s edition of Texas Medicine.
BAILEY REELECTED; HYER HITS HIGH NOTES; STUDENTS WIN AMA POSTS; ANNIS RUNS TUESDAY: Sue Bailey, MD, the former TMA president from Fort Worth, won a third term as vice speaker of the American Medical Association House of Delegates by acclamation. Outgoing AMA Alliance President Pat Hyer of Fort Worth told the house of the huge improvements that organization has made in the past year. Three Texas medical students won positions on the Region 3 board for the AMA Medical Student Section. Kaitlin Janning, the new Region 3 secretary, and Elizabeth Coffee, the membership chair, are both students at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. Divya Chhabra, the new community service chair, attends The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. All three are rising second-year students. And we’ll know the outcome of the race by Joe Annis, MD, for AMA president by this time tomorrow. He did an excellent job in Saturday’s debate.
TECH TUESDAY STARTS TOMORROW: Plug in to the future with Tech Tuesday, TMA’s new webinar series that explores how technology and the law are affecting your practice. Registration is still open for tomorrow’s inaugural session on how to meaningfully use your electronic health record. (Sad how the feds have stolen that phrase from our lexicon.) Tune in on the third Tuesday of each month to learn about health information exchanges, HIPAA, patient portals, and more.
CALLING ALL DOCTORS JUNE 25: Lawmakers delivered for you and your patients during the 2013 legislative session. TMA wants to make sure you know what happened that affects you, your practice, and your patients. That’s why at 8 pm CT on June 25, TMA President Steve Brotherton, MD, will call you at your home telephone number. All you have to do is stay on the line for TMA’s Tele-2013 Legislative Update — and earn continuing medical education credit, too. If you prefer, we call you on your cell or office phone. Please contact the TMA Knowledge Center by telephone at (800) 880-7955 or by e-mail by June 25, and let us know.
SUPREME COURT LETS SCOPE RULING STAND: The Texas Supreme Court decided not to review our case against the Texas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, in which we argued that chiropractors are not allowed to diagnose. The ruling leaves standing TMA’s successful challenge to the board’s manipulation-under-anesthesia and needle electromyography regulations. It also has the effect of allowing chiropractors to make a chiropractic diagnosis limited to their scope of practice, as statutorily defined. We are considering whether to continue with our constitutional challenge when it is remanded back to the trial court.
DR. WILLIAMS NAMED SOLE FINALIST FOR UNT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER POST: Michael R. Williams, DO, MD, who has served as interim president of the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center since December, is now the sole finalist for the permanent job. The UNT Health Systems Board of Regents announced that decision last week but must wait at least until July 3 to formally offer him the position.