The work of the 86th Texas Legislature passed its final stage at midnight Sunday, the deadline for Gov. Greg Abbott to to sign, veto, or allow bills to become law without his signature. Among those he signed this weekend was Senate Bill 1742, which requires greater transparency with prior authorizations and mandates that utilization reviews be conducted by a Texas-licensed physician in the same or similar specialty as the physician requesting the service or procedure. It also requires health plan directories to clearly identify which physician specialties are in-network at network facilities.
“Seems like the last two sessions it’s been sort of ‘Groundhog Day.’” The movie reference is how TMA Vice President of Advocacy Darren Whitehurst summed up lawmakers’ quest to pass legislation to renew the Texas Medical Board for another 12 years.
Don’t be surprised if the members of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates leave their annual meeting next week talking with a Texas drawl. Not only is Fort Worth allergist Sue Bailey, MD, likely to be picked as the next AMA president; not only are Texans represented at almost every level of AMA leadership; not only is there a special reception honoring Louis J. Goodman, PhD, who is retiring as CEO of the Texas Medical Association; there’s also this little matter of 11 policy proposals the Texas delegation has submitted for the AMA house to consider.
Landmark reforms passed in 2003 reversed soaring liability insurance rates and helped recruit desperately needed physicians to Texas, especially obstetrician-gynecologists, neurosurgeons, and emergency physicians.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine will stop considering race or ethnicity when selecting candidates for admission, part of an agreement with the U.S. Education Department’s civil rights office.
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The 2019 Texas Legislature is now in session — and TMA is ready to fight for medicine. See our plan to help Texas physicians put the health back into health care.
Texas has the highest percentage and number of people without health insurance in the United States, which could cause long-term damage to the state’s economy, says a study released this week by the Texas Alliance for Health Care.
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The Texas Medical Association is pushing for the state legislature to grant physicians a long-overdue pay bump for seeing Medicaid patients. But that effort will require a serious financial commitment, the new chair of the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee told physicians at TMA’s Winter Conference.
The Texas Medical Association believes a Texas federal judge’s recent ruling that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional provides a bipartisan pathway to strengthen access to health care and provide coverage for the 4.5 million Texans without health care coverage.
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