The Texas Medical Association scored on a wide range of goals to improve the state’s medical landscape during this year’s session of the Texas Legislature, which concluded in May.
Which issues in health care and medicine did lawmakers address, and which were left undone?
In public health, the House of Medicine convinced lawmakers that raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 was the right thing for the state’s present and future.
Medicine also successfully persuaded the legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott to improve insurance network adequacy and directories, which will help with surprise medical bills. Insurers’ prior authorization tactics took several damaging hits in the form of TMA-backed bills that became law.
And the 2020-21 budget includes a number of vital funding increases, including a $68 million increase for women’s health programs, an added $60 million for graduate medical education (GME) slots, and $50 million more for community mental health services.
TMA’s vice president of advocacy Darren Whitehurst tells us what we need to know about these victories in the TMA Legislative News Hotline’s Top 10 Issues videos. From maternal health improvements to health insurance reform, these brief videos report on progress achieved and opportunities missed this session.
TMA’s Top 10:
Surprise Billing Addressed
Prior-Authorization Improvement Passes
Efforts to Curb Opioid Abuse
Scope of Practice
Mental and Behavioral Health Legislation
Governor Signs Tobacco Use Age Bill
Volunteer Liability Protection
TMB Sunset Bill
And be sure to check out the entire playlist of legislative coverage of TMA physicians’ efforts to urge lawmakers to pass bills to benefit good patient care.