• Latest Legislative News

    • Save the Date(s) for First Tuesdays
      First Tuesdays at the Capitol returns next month, and the Family of Medicine needs you to be there.
    • Capitol Decisions Ahead
      Jan. 13 marks the start of the 2015 legislative session. TMA has an ambitious agenda to ensure that the patient-physician relationship is a priority and that legislators consider it as bills work through the legislative process.
    • Sun to Set on Overzealous Fraud Investigations
      After a scathing Sunset Advisory Commission report on the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Texas Medical Association supports improving the agency's investigations of physicians accused of fraud, waste, and abuse. 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.
    • GME Expansion a Top Priority for Texas Specialty Societies
      Winning greater investment in graduate medical education (GME) programs is a 2015 legislative priority for most of the Texas Family of Medicine.
    • Promote Physician-Led Health Care Teams
      Texas needs more physicians and other health care professionals working in all parts of the state, especially in rural and border Texas. But the real gains in improving access to and coordination of patient care will come largely from solidifying and expanding the use of physician-led teams. Team-based care capitalizes on the efficiencies of having the right professional providing the right services to the right patient at the right time … with overall direction and coordination in the hands of physicians.
    • More Funding Needed to Strengthen Texas Public Health Services
      TMA strongly urges the Legislative Budget Board to seize this opportunity to invest in Texas’ public health infrastructure as it relates to these costly issues and prevent paying an even higher price in the future.
    • TMA Letter: Improve GME Funding
      Texas has been exceedingly successful in attracting new physicians to the state. In fact, over the past decade, 32,000 new physicians have been licensed. Despite this significant milestone, our state still has a significant amount of catching up to do, mostly as a result of the state’s robust population growth over the past two decades. Texas continues to rank close to the bottom in a state comparison of physicians per capita, despite the number of new physicians.
    • State Needs to Address Psychiatric Physicians' Shortage
      As you are well aware, our state has a great need for more health care professionals, but nowhere is the need more acute than in the area of psychiatric physicians. When Texas ratios of physicians per 100,000 people, by specialty, are compared with U.S. totals, Texas outranks the United States in only four major specialties: aerospace medicine, medical genetics, transplant surgery, and colon and rectal surgery. Meanwhile, Texas ranks below the Unites States for the other 36 out of 40 medical specialties, with psychiatry having the lowest rate at only 58.2 percent of the U.S. ratio. Child/adolescent psychiatry is also near the bottom of the rankings, at 68.7 percent of the U.S. ratio.
    • Improve Interoperability to Exchange Information in State Registries
      Charge: Identify strategies to support the efficient exchange of electronic health information with Texas Health and Human Services enterprise agencies. Examine legal and technical issues around the accessibility of information held in registries maintained by state agencies to authorized health care providers. Identify issues related to health information exchange and providers’ liability, as well as concerns related to transitioning patient data in cases where a provider selects a new electronic health record vendor.