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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.


Support Essential Public Health Infrastructure - 01/30/2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained Texas’ already limited public health resources and transformed what were once cracks in our public health system into deep chasms.


Improve Access to Immunizations - 01/30/2021

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.


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.


Medicine-Friendly State Senator to Speak at TMA Winter Conference - 01/27/2021

State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), chair of the powerful Committee on Health & Human Services for the current session of the Texas Legislature, will be the keynote speaker during the Texas Medical Association’s virtual Winter Conference.


Legislative Hotline Jan. 27: Texas’ 2022-23 Budget Proposals: What They Mean for Medicine - 01/27/2021

The Texas House and Senate have both unveiled their starting-point proposals for the 2022-23 budget, and the Texas Medical Association has been digging into the numbers to see what the proposals represent as a starting point for medicine. Here is a look at some of what’s in the two (largely similar) budget offerings.


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.


Legislative Hotline Jan. 13: House Speaker Chosen as Session Gets Under Way - 01/23/2021

Rapid testing tents were set up on the north side of the Texas Capitol on Tuesday morning as the 87th Legislature commenced. UNDER THE ROTUNDA  The Texas Legislature on Tuesday gaveled in what’s sure to


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.