Stories written by Jennifer Perkins

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.


“I Literally Cried” – Practices React to TMA-Aided PPE Shipments - 08/14/2020

Thanks to TMA's PPE Portal, practices across the state have begun reporting to TMA they’ve received PPE, including masks, gowns, and gloves. Here are some of their stores.


How Has COVID-19 Affected Care in the Laredo Region? - 08/05/2020

The Border Health Caucus and Texas Medical Association have created a weekly summer Zoom series focused on COVID-19 health care in the border region. The next meeting – scheduled for 7 pm CT Thursday, Aug. 6 – will focus on care in the Laredo area.


Medicine-Friendly Candidates Prevail in Tuesday’s Runoff Elections - 07/15/2020

Most of the Texas House and Senate candidates backed by TEXPAC won their races in Tuesday’s primary runoff elections and will move on to November’s general election.


Get the Latest on COVID-19, Just for Border Physicians - 06/23/2020

The Texas Medical Association and the Border Health Caucus will host a tele-town hall meeting on COVID-19 specifically for physicians caring for patients in the border regions of Texas at 7 pm (CT) today.


TEXPAC’s Candidates Nearly Sweep the Super Tuesday Field - 03/04/2020

Nearly every one of the 132 legislative candidates endorsed by TEXPAC, the Texas Medical Association political action committee, won their party’s nomination in the March 3 primary. Another five are headed for runoff elections on May 26. Only two lost outright.


Register to Vote by Monday - 01/29/2020

Elections, particularly the spring party primaries, determine the practice environment for Texas physicians and our patients. And election season is upon us. To help elect medicine-friendly candidates in the March primaries, you must be registered to vote by Monday, Feb. 3.


Legislative Hotline: Governor Signs Key Prior Authorization Bill - 06/26/2019

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.


Governor Vetoes Bill That Would’ve Protected Texas’ Youngest - 06/20/2019

Legislation to protect young children by using rear-facing car seats made it to the finish line during the legislative session that ended in May, only to be vetoed by Gov. Greg Abbott early this week. House Bill 448 by Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie) would have required children younger than 2 to ride in a rear-facing car set, unless the child is taller than 40 inches and weighs more than 40 pounds, or had a medical condition preventing him or her from sitting in such a seat.


Beware the Bait-and-Switch of Short-Term Insurance Plans - 06/17/2019

Short-term insurance plans were originally intended to be a stopgap solution for people between jobs or who needed temporary coverage for other reasons. But that is changing, and that could be a problem for you or your patients. For Texas at least, a new state law seeks to prevent the shock and awe that happens when patients attempt to access care covered by short-term plans.


Legislative Hotline: Governor Signs Corporate Practice, Maternal Health, and Insurance Bills - 06/12/2019

Gov. Greg Abbott signed several medicine-friendly bills into law, including one that creates a process at the Texas Medical Board that employed physicians can use to file complaints against a hospital or other health organization – protecting employed physicians’ clinical autonomy and independent medical judgment from administrator interference.


Push Governor Abbott For Prior Auth Relief - 05/31/2019

When the dust settled on the 2019 Texas Legislature earlier this week, Senate Bill 1742 was still standing – carefully negotiated and approved by both chambers. SB 1742 has been sent to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature, yet it languishes unsigned. It’s time to send a simple message to Governor Abbott: “Sign Senate Bill 1742.”


Bill Will Protect Physicians in True Emergencies - 05/30/2019

The recently concluded 2019 session of the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 2362 by Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) to address that problem and ensure that physicians working in the emergency room and facing highrisk obstetrical cases requiring immediate and difficult decisions are protected from unwarranted lawsuits.


Legislative Hotline: Done and Gone; Lawmakers Finish Overall Good Session for Medicine - 05/29/2019

Monday was the final day of the 86th Legislative session, when the House and Senate gaveled out sine die, which essentially means without a day specified for future meetings. Here is a list of bills important to medicine that made it across the finish line during the closing weekend and will either head to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for signature or that he’s already signed.


Legislative Hotline: Act Now For Prior Authorization Relief - 05/24/2019

Please call Gov. Greg Abbott’s office now at (512) 463-2000 regarding two key health insurance reform bills. “Tell him to stand with physicians and our patients against insurance company interference,” Texas Medical Association President David Fleeger, MD, said this morning in an email to all members. “Tell the governor to give the go-ahead for strong prior authorization and utilization review protections in Senate Bill 1742 and/or House Bill 2327.”


Legislative Hotline: Several Medicine-Friendly Bills Head to Governor - 05/23/2019

Bill to protect employed physicians’ clinical autonomy and independent medical judgment from hospital administrators’ interference among those headed to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.


Legislative Hotline: Maternal Health Bill Now Awaits Governor’s Approval - 05/22/2019

A bill that directs the Department of State Health Services to develop and implement initiatives to assist pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorder and newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome, was sent to the governor yesterday. This bill is specifically referring to the TexasAIM Opioid Bundle that evolved out of the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force and is strongly supported by TMA.


Legislative Hotline: At Long Last, Tobacco 21 Bill Heads To Governor - 05/21/2019

After several sessions’ trying to protect the health of Texas youth by delaying the onset of smoking and thus nicotine addiction, a bill to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vape products to 21 years is heading to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.


Legislative Hotline: Zero Medicaid Rate Increases in Draft State Budget - 05/20/2019

Lawmakers have released a draft of their negotiations on the final $248 billion 2020-21 state budget, which includes $0 for physician rate increases, despite the Texas Medical Association’s call for a $500 million investment in targeted rate increases in the two-year budget