TMA Legislative Hotline

Hotline is a daily electronic newsletter exclusively for TMA members that reports the legislature's latest actions on bills affecting Texas medicine.

Push Governor Abbott For Prior Auth Relief

(Liability Reform, Public Health) Permanent link

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Prior authorization: Two dreaded words no physician wants to hear, because the process is rarely necessary and often complicated. 

Yet health plans continue to micromanage and interfere with the excellent care you provide patients, second-guess your expertise, waste your resources, and cost your patients precious time and money, while generously padding their own bottom lines. 

When the dust settled on the 2019 Texas Legislature earlier this week, Senate Bill 1742 by Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) was still standing – carefully negotiated and approved by both chambers. 

The bill helps prevent delays in patient care by providing more transparency for patients and physicians regarding what health plans require for prior authorizations. It also ensures more accountability in health plan utilization reviews for patient care. 

SB 1742 has been sent to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature, yet it languishes unsigned. And only 17 days remain for the bill to be signed into law. 

It’s time to send a simple message to Governor Abbott: “Sign Senate Bill 1742.” 

“Time is very, very short – a lot shorter, in fact, than we usually have to wait for a decision on a prior authorization request,” TMA President David C. Fleeger, MD, said. “Together, we have an uncompromising and unconflicted regard for our patients’ benefit and best interest. Together, we can make this happen.” 

TMA worked this entire legislative session to relieve some of the burden of prior authorizations. The session is over. The bill passed. Now we just need the governor to sign it. And big insurance is working hard to make sure he doesn’t. 

If you want to get off of the prior authorization merry-go-round, now is the time to make it happen.