Related Stories

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 4, 2021: TMA Opposes End-of-Life Care Bill That Poses Threat to “Do No Harm” - 03/05/2021

The Texas Medical Association is once again working to stop legislative attacks on a physician’s sacred creed to “do no harm,” which includes taking care of patients in their last days.


Legislative Hotline, March 3: Physicians Detail Needed Steps to Cut Ranks of the Uninsured - 03/03/2021

In testimony on the health and human services portion of the state budget, two TMA physicians made the case Monday to a house subcommittee that the state’s uninsured rate has impacts that stretch well beyond the well-being of its uninsured patients.


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.


Improve Access to Immunizations - 03/01/2021

Vaccinations are important, safe, and effective. They defend our families, our community, and our economy from infectious diseases. The COVID 19 pandemic clearly illustrates what can happen when a vaccine does not exist to ward off a deadly infectious disease.


Staying the Course: Medicine Enters an Unprecedented Session at the Texas Legislature - 02/28/2021

The way the Texas Legislature conducts business during the 2021 session may look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Texas Medical Association’s commitment to improving health care remains the same. Some of those goals are up against deep cuts to state agency budgets. At the same time, however, the pandemic has created opportunities for medicine to bend lawmakers’ ear on some of its longstanding goals, including advancing access to care, vaccines, health coverage, and telemedicine.


Wrong Directive: Legal Shifts on End-of-Life Care Concern Physicians - 02/27/2021

Challenges to Texas laws governing end-of-life care, whether through legislative rewrites or judicial override, are nothing new. The recent success of those challenges is. In particular, two recent erosions have physicians like Houston palliative care specialist Mark Casanova, MD, chagrined and concerned about the future of doctors’ role in end-of-life treatment.


Spotlight on Vaccines: Pandemic May Open Gateway to Improve Vaccination Rates in Texas - 02/27/2021

The uneven rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in December created at least one bright spot for Texas physicians: It highlighted how the state could make vaccination more efficient.


Legislative Hotline, Feb. 26: Invest in Coverage Expansion, Medicaid Improvements, TMA Tells Senators - 02/26/2021

With nearly one-fifth of all Texans lacking health care coverage, the Texas Medical Association is urging the  Senate Finance Committee to provide comprehensive, meaningful coverage for the state.


Legislative Hotline Feb. 24, 2021: TMA (Virtually) Takes its Priorities to Washington - 02/25/2021

Coming off perhaps the biggest winter disaster in state history, the Texas Medical Association is working to make sure Washington, D.C., won’t freeze out Texas physicians and patients on their top legislative needs.


Ask TMA Experts About Grassroots Virtual Advocacy - 02/22/2021

Ready to take the plunge into grassroots advocacy at the legislature but still not confident about what to do and how to do it? The Texas Medical Association’s Feb. 25 Ask the Expert session is your opportunity to ask questions about tactics, tools, messaging, and more, and how it all works in a virtual environment.


Legislative Hotline Feb. 11, 2021: TMA, Lawmakers Seek to Strengthen State Immunization Registry - 02/11/2021

The Texas Medical Association, the Texas Hospital Association, and several state lawmakers stand behind legislation that would fix technological issues with the state’s registry, ImmTrac2, and make entry of a patient’s vaccination data the default.


Defend Patient Decisions at the End of Life - 02/11/2021

Perhaps no decision we make is more personal, difficult, or profound as choosing how we wish to spend our final days, and it’s one physicians encourage patients to make long before the need arises.


Legislative Hotline Feb. 8, 2021: Why Get Involved in TMA Advocacy? “No Better Thing to Do” - 02/08/2021

"It’s vital, it’s important, it’s meaningful." TMA encourages physicians to become involved in advocating for medicine's key issues this legislative session.


Preserving Medical Liability Protections - 02/05/2021

Preserving Texas physicians’ liability protections is critical to providing access to health care.


Streamlining Prior Authorization Burdens - 02/05/2021

Prior authorization of health care services has become a burden and a barrier to physicians providing the care their patients need. Health plans maintain they require prior authorizations to ensure requested services are medically necessary and appropriate. But the escalation of prior authorization use may also be motivated by a desire to control costs.


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.


Strengthen Texas’ Physician Workforce - 02/04/2021

The pandemic will change the physician workforce in Texas. Economic pressures may convince some physicians to take early retirement or to leave patient care; and hospitals may be forced to close residency programs. With three new medical schools, Texas will need MORE residency positions to maintain the target ratio of 1.1 to 1, in hopes of keeping our medical student graduates in state.


Support Telemedicine Payment Parity - 02/03/2021

Payments to physicians for the care they provide their patients should be based on the “service delivered” – not the “delivery type” – when the care meets the standard required by law. Physicians must have the flexibility to decide whether to see their patients via telehealth or in person without unnecessary and disconnected pricing incentives.


Protect Patient Safety With Physician-Led Health Care Teams - 02/03/2021

Texas needs more physicians and other health care professionals working in all parts of the state, especially in rural and border Texas. But the real gains in improving access to and coordination of patient care will come largely from solidifying and expanding the use of physician-led teams. Physician-led team-based care capitalizes on the efficiencies of having the right professional providing the right services to the right patient at the right time, with physicians managing the overall direction and coordination.


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.


2021 Texas Legislative Priorities - 02/02/2021

TMA’s Legislative Priorities


Provide Meaningful Health Care Coverage for Uninsured Texans - 02/01/2021

Texas can no longer ignore the human, social, and economic impact of having more than 20% of our people uninsured. Health care coverage matters, resulting in healthier constituents and more economically prosperous communities.


Preserve Health Care Funding in State Budget - 02/01/2021

Writing a two-year budget for a state as diverse, vast, and rapidly growing as Texas is never easy. During a global pandemic, it will be even harder. Not only will lawmakers face unpredictable economic crosswinds, but also higher need for state-funded services to support Texans affected by COVID-19.


Improve Access to Telemedicine Services for Texas Patients - 01/30/2021

Texas must adapt and ensure telemedicine is a viable path for patients and physicians in the near future.