Stories with related Professional Interests

Physician-Led Results: TMA Advocacy Pays Off in Tangible Legislative Wins - 06/22/2021

Texas physicians made the most of a scaled-back session of the Texas Legislature in 2021. With fewer floor meetings, no in-person First Tuesdays at the Capitol lobbying events, and limited air time for agenda items, the House of Medicine needed its advocates to work harder than ever. Physicians needed initiative and drive to help get crucial legislation across the finish line – and help stop bad bills from becoming bad law. They did all that with gusto.

Physician-Led Results: Medicine Earns Its Gold Star on Insurance Bills - 06/22/2021

When it came to addressing prior authorization burdens this legislative session, the Texas Medical Association asked physicians directly what they needed, and those responses helped medicine attack the problem with a laser-like focus.

Bad Scope Bills Defeated - 06/11/2021

Among other ill-advised proposals put forth during this year’s session, the House of Medicine stopped every troublesome attempt by nonmedical professionals to creep into the practice of medicine during this session.

Wins on GME, Mental Health Funding Highlight Medicine’s Budget Year - 06/10/2021

When it comes to health care, as with so many aspects of life, money talks. And the Texas Legislature this year showed medicine’s advocates that it’s allocating the state’s money with Texas’ health needs in mind.

First Across the Finish Line: Medical Billing Tax Eliminated - 06/07/2021

More than a year of work and collaboration came to fruition with House Bill 1445 by Rep. Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Cypress), which classifies outsourced medical billing as being outside the realm of insurance services. When Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill on April 30, it nullified a medical billing tax scheduled to take effect Oct. 1.

Senate Elects Physician Legislator in High-Ranking Position for Interim Session - 06/01/2021

In its final meeting of 2021, the Texas Senate elevated Sen. Donna Campbell, MD (R-New Braunfels), to president pro tempore for the upcoming interim session, making the emergency physician third in line for governor.

A Winning Wrap-Up: Medicine’s Biggest Victories of the 2021 Session - 06/01/2021

The strangest session of the Texas Legislature in recent memory wrapped up with a wild and twisty final weekend, and the Texas Medical Association was in the thick of it as it tried to get as many of medicine’s priorities to the governor’s desk as possible.

E-Cigarette Regulation Bill Nears House Passage - 05/26/2021

With the hourglass dropping sand faster and faster on the Texas Legislature’s 2021 session – four days to go as you read this – the Texas Medical Association was poised to move one step closer to a major public health win on Wednesday in the push to curb burgeoning e-cigarette use, particularly among Texas’ youth.

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.

New Prior Auth Bill Would Make “Gold Cards” Continuous, If It Passes - 05/24/2021

The House of Medicine’s biggest tool left in this year’s legislative session to curb prior authorization passed the Senate last weekend but with an overhaul of the system that would exempt physicians from preauthorizations for certain services.

Final-Week Crunch Time: Budget Wins, 11th-Hour Bill Action - 05/21/2021

We’re officially in the final week of the Texas Legislature’s 2021 session, and the next few days figure to be a furious storm of finalizing, gear-shifting, and negotiating at the Capitol.

Bill to Preserve Clerkships for In-State Students Headed to Governor’s Desk - 05/19/2021

All session long, the Texas Medical Association has made it a priority to preserve and bolster medical education in Texas, with an emphasis on keeping the state’s budding medical talent within its borders.

UHC to Cover Fertility Preservation - 05/18/2021

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will begin offering coverage for fertility preservation treatments this summer, good news for oncologists and physicians involved in reproductive health care.

“Gold Card” Bill Heard in Senate Committee - 05/18/2021

A trio of testifiers for the Texas Medical Association hit Tuesday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing to keep pushing a crucial prior authorization reform measure toward the finish line.

The Graveyard: Scope Bills That Are No Longer a Threat, Thanks to TMA - 05/17/2021

There are still 13 days left until the House of Medicine can officially breathe easy on lawmakers’ most misguided ideas. But thanks to the Texas Medical Association’s diligence at the Capitol, many of the most dangerous state bills of 2021 have officially gone to the Texas Legislature’s graveyard.

PBM Clawback Ban Passes Senate, Heads to the Governor - 05/14/2021

Pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) fees that take millions of dollars from Texas practices are just one signature away from being outlawed following Senate passage of one of the House of Medicine’s priority measures during a furiously active Thursday afternoon at the Capitol.

House Passes Prior Auth, ImmTrac2 Improvements - 05/14/2021

A pair of big wins capped a successful past week for medicine, as the Texas House of Representatives on Friday afternoon signed off on both curbing the impositions of prior authorization and updating the state’s immunization registry.

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.

DSHS Now Shipping COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Daily, Not Weekly - 05/11/2021

Thanks to increased COVID-19 vaccine availability, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has begun filling orders for vaccine doses as they come in, rather than on a weekly basis, the agency recently announced.

Budget Update: Some of TMA’s Big Asks; Where the Bills Stand - 05/07/2021

The conference committee collectively appointed by both chambers of the Texas Legislature is in the process of negotiating the final 2022-23 state budget. And the Texas Medical Association is in the thick of the action as this year’s legislative session hurtles into its final three weeks.

House Approves Bill to Help Address Social Determinants of Health - 05/06/2021

The Texas House of Representatives signed off on establishing a state office for health equity Wednesday morning, agreeing with medicine on the need for a new mechanism to address social determinants of health.

TMA Asks Budget Hagglers for Robust Women’s Health Funding, Task Force on Coverage Expansion - 05/03/2021

The state budget is now in the hands of the conference committee charged with blending the House and Senate versions of what 2022-23 spending should look like. In a detailed letter  this weekend to conferees, the Texas Medical Association laid out the investments lawmakers need to make in the health of their state.

House OKs Needle Exchange Pilot Program to Prevent Infectious Diseases - 04/28/2021

Under SB 967, a public health order issued by a health authority would last just seven days, expiring on the eighth day after it’s issued unless a “governing body of a municipality or the commissioners court of a county that appointed the health authority by majority vote” extends the order. TMA is recommending instead that a local elected official, like a county judge, be the one allowed to extend the order.

House Passes PBM “Clawback” Ban; Physician to Lead House Budget Conferees - 04/27/2021

A bill that would prohibit pharmacy benefit managers from using direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees to “claw back” money from pharmacies after an insurance claim is finished passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

A Win on Mental Health Funding, Setback on GME - 04/23/2021

After about a half-day of wrangling by the Texas House of Representatives over the state budget proposal, a revised 2022-23 state funding scheme emerged Thursday, with medicine claiming victories – such as bumps to behavioral health-related hospital funding – and defeats, like a rejected proposal to expand coverage for uninsured Texans.