Stories written by Jennifer Perkins

Legislative Hotline: Governor Signs Key Prior Authorization Bill - 10/07/2022

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.

TMA Advocacy at TexMed: More Work Ahead - 05/24/2021

Like the 2021 legislative session, TexMed’s inaugural Fireside Chat on the Texas Medical Association’s advocacy efforts had many issues to cover in a short amount of time.

Residents Educate Lawmakers on the Future of Health Care - 05/13/2021

For many of the nearly two dozen University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School residents who participated in the last virtual First Tuesdays at the Capitol event of this session, the meetings with Texas lawmakers were their first foray into advocacy. Their informed passion and insights would have you believe they were seasoned pros.

As Budget Discussions Heat Up, TMA Calls For Investments in Critical Public Health Infrastructure - 04/21/2021

The extended COVID-19 public health emergency revealed numerous cracks in the state’s health care infrastructure. Throughout the current legislative session, the Texas Medical Association has been committed to patching those cracks.

Bills Would Help Improve Maternal Health in Texas - 04/01/2021

Keeping pregnant women and new mothers safe and healthy has long been among the Texas Medical Association’s top priorities, and several bills introduced this legislative session could help that goal.

TMA Calling on Lawmakers to Strengthen Texas’ Vaccine Requirements - 03/28/2021

Vaccines are one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, and they help keep people and the economy healthy. That’s the message TMA is sending to lawmakers this session as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and vaccine hesitancy and conscientious exemptions are on the rise.

TMA to Legislators: Invest in Future Physicians - 03/19/2021

Throughout the Legislative session, TMA is working to maintain funding for programs that will help provide residency training programs in Texas, which will help esnure that future physicians who study here can train here – which in turn will likely lead them to practice here.

Connecting Texas: TMA Backs Expanded Broadband Bill - 03/17/2021

TMA testified today in support of a bill to expand broadband access in Texas – thereby expanding the state’s telemedicine capabilities. Telemedicine has become “a very important tool in the physician toolbox to take care of patients,” as well as an important tool to extend care to underserved areas of the state, TMA said.

Six Ways Lawmakers Can Help Prevent Youth Nicotine Addiction - 03/11/2021

The Texas Medical Association and the Texas Public Health Coalition are asking lawmakers to strengthen Texas’ laws aimed at keeping tobacco and e-cigarettes out of the hands of Texas youth.

Legislative Hotline: TMA Recommends Multipronged Approach to Address Texas’ High Uninsured Rate - 03/05/2021

TMA is asking the Texas Legislature to consider supporting a multifaceted strategy to provide comprehensive coverage to uninsured and underinsured Texans, a population whose rolls have swelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects.  

Legislative Hotline March 1: TMA Expands on Calls for Lawmakers to Fund Texas Public Health Initiatives - 03/01/2021

On Friday, TMA submitted written testimony to the Senate Finance committee, which continued its discussion on the section of the proposed state budget that focuses on health and human services.

Legislative Hotline: House Committee Assignments Revealed - 02/05/2021

The legislative calendar is quickly ticking by, and with the bill filing deadline only five weeks away, the House and Senate will have to hit the ground running when lawmakers return next week.

First Tuesdays at the Capitol Was a Virtual Success - 02/03/2021

Almost 200 physicians, medical students, and alliance advocates logged on to Zoom for the first-ever virtual First Tuesdays at the Capitol on Tuesday, which featured an in-depth briefing on TMA’s legislative agenda for this session.

Help Shape Medicine’s Future Through Virtual First Tuesdays at the Capitol - 01/29/2021

The 2021 session of the Texas Legislature is under way, and the Texas Medical Association needs your voice to help advance medicine’s key issues at the Capitol. Beginning Feb. 2, join TMA and the TMA Alliance for a new virtual format of First Tuesdays at the Capitol, scheduled at noon each month through May.

First Tuesdays at the Capitol Are Now Virtual - 01/26/2021

This year, instead of hosting early morning in-person First Tuesdays at the Capitol events in Austin, the Texas Medical Association lobby team will take a virtual deep dive into TMA’s legislative priorities during the lunch hour. You will be able to arm yourself with the information you need to successfully advocate on behalf of health care in Texas, conveniently from your home or practice.

Hotline Jan. 21, 2021: Physicians to Have Strong Voice in Texas Senate - 01/21/2021

When Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released the Texas Senate’s committee assignments last week, the Texas Medical Association was pleased to see extensive committee roles carved out for the chamber’s three physician-legislators.

Legislative Hotline Jan. 14: Senate Reduces Votes Needed to Debate Bills - 01/21/2021

A decrease in the Republican majority in the Senate this session prompted an inevitable discussion Wednesday about the procedure for bringing bills to the floor for debate.

TMA to Fight for Health Coverage Expansion, Scope of Practice During 2021 Legislature - 12/08/2020

At the 2020 Texas Medical Association Advocacy Retreat on Saturday, Debra Patt, MD, chair of TMA’s Council on Legislation, laid out a preview of medicine’s top legislative priorities for the upcoming session.

Texas Physician Should Have Leadership Role on U.S. House Committee, TMA Tells Lawmakers - 11/16/2020

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville), the senior physician representing Texas in Washington, D.C., should be the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which directly affects health care nationwide, the Texas Medical Association told key GOP lawmakers this week.

Stand Up for Medicine – VOTE TOMORROW - 11/02/2020

Election Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 3. Don’t let reports of high levels of turnout keep you from voting. The outcome of some of the races that TMA is watching have the potential to impact medicine’s advocacy.

Last Chance For Early Voting: The House of Medicine Needs You - 10/30/2020

Election Day – Nov. 3 – is less than one week away. Early voting ends tomorrow – Friday, Oct. 30. Statewide, nearly half of Texas’ record number of registered voters have taken advantage of early voting to cast ballots. Ensure the House of Medicine’s voice is heard by voting.

TEXPAC-Endorsed Candidates to Be Strong Advocates for Medicine - 10/22/2020

Early voting begins Tuesday, Oct. 13, and ends Friday, Oct. 30. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. TEXPAC, the Texas Medical Association’s nonpartisan political arm, has endorsed candidates from all levels of elected office across Texas.

How Has COVID-19 Affected Care Along the Border? - 09/15/2020

The Border Health Caucus and the Texas Medical Association will host a Tele-Town Hall meeting on COVID-19 specifically for physicians caring for patients along the border at 7 pm (CT), Thursday, Sept. 17.

The House of Medicine Needs You … To Register to Vote - 09/10/2020

If you’re new to Texas, never registered before, or have moved since the last election, you will need to register by Monday, Oct. 5, to be eligible to vote in the November elections.

How Has COVID-19 Affected Care in the McAllen Area? - 08/26/2020

The Border Health Caucus and Texas Medical Association have created a weekly summer Zoom series focused on COVID-19 health care along the border. This week’s meeting, which will focus on care in the McAllen area, is scheduled for 7 pm (CT) Thursday, Aug. 27.