Maternal and prenatal care, Medicaid hassles, GME funding, and behavioral health and substance abuse are among the topics TMA wants state lawmakers to begin studying now, to get ready for the legislative session that convenes in January 2019. Even thought that's still a long way off, we've found that in-depth studies during the interim are the best ways to get good results on complex issues.
What Homework Did TMA Assign to Lawmakers?
Lawmakers considering the prospect of allowing the sale of health insurance across state lines should work for free-market health care solutions while ensuring patient protections, a TMA leader told a state Senate panel Tuesday.
Following a big legislative win last year to protect physicians’ rights on balance billing, TMA weighed in Tuesday on how lawmakers can further reduce surprise medical bills.
The Texas Legislature took a giant step toward lifting the burden of maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements on most Texas physicians by approving Senate Bill 1148. The new law will prevent the TMB from using MOC as a requirement for doctors to obtain or renew a medical license. SB 1148 also bars hospitals and health plans from requiring physicians to obtain MOC for credentialing or contracts, though there will be some exceptions.
During the regular 85th Texas Legislative session, TMA remained steadfast in championing medicine’s priorities and the health of all Texans. Read TMA's regular session summary. How did TMA do it? The key is strong grassroots advocacy, which has been the main pillar in our history of legislative success. With 50,000 members strong, TMA is more tenacious than ever in the fight for physicians and their patients. See how our strength in numbers led to key wins for physicians in this infographic.Infographic: Strength in Numbers
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Balances left on medical bills and unwarranted changes to medication: Those are just two of the ways in which health insurers can and do make life difficult for patients and physicians throughout Texas.
Over the past several years, static has clouded the screen displaying telemedicine's proper role in health care as musings, arguments, and litigation created a need for real clarity. Now that TMA and other stakeholders put their collective heads together, the picture should clear up significantly. On May 27, Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 1107, which allows telemedicine practitioners in Texas to know their requirements when they serve patients via telephone or other audiovisual means.
Gov. Greg Abbott signed bills extending the life of the Texas Medical Board and the Medical Practice Act on Aug. 11, just hours after they reached his desk. Both would have vanished Sept. 1 without legislative action.
Most public health measures languished in the 85th Texas Legislature, but those for mental health care stood out as a giant exception. Lawmakers passed more than a dozen bills aimed at improving mental health care. And at a time when most state budgets were slashed, funding for mental health care rose ― by a lot.
Medicine's agenda advanced on many fronts in the 2017 Texas Legislature, but it made only modest gains in public health. The most significant came in a package of reforms and budget increases for mental health care.
During the 85th legislative session, Texas lawmakers helped pave the way for two possible new medical schools, while ensuring that graduates have more options for residency positions.
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Texas has been a leader in telemedicine-done right. Physicians and lawmakers continue to examine telemedicine's ability to expand patient access to care via technology while ensuring safe, high-quality health care, improving the reimbursement process, and a clear-cut comprehensible policy and regulation guideline.
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