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Early Voting Ends Nov. 4: Cast Your Vote for Medicine - 11/03/2022

Election Day is Nov. 8, and with early voting under way, now is the time to check out whom the Party of Medicine is supporting in your district.


DSHS Survey to Inform Legislative Policy on COVID-19 Vaccines in Texas - 11/01/2022

As part of 2021 legislative mandate, the Texas Department of State Health Services is funding a survey to collect feedback from physicians and health care professionals regarding access to COVID-19 vaccines.


Mental Telehealth Paves the Way: Pandemic Flexibilities Expand Access to Care - 11/01/2022

Texas physicians say pandemic-era behavioral telehealth regulatory changes have already proven beneficial – and could be maximized with additional policy reforms, like payment parity for all telehealth visits; in the meantime, the gains of the past few years have forged a path toward future telehealth expansion beyond behavioral health.


Midterms Are Here: The Health of Our Communities Is on the Ballot - 10/31/2022

One of the most important things any of us can do for our health and the health of our communities is to vote. The Health and Democracy Index analyzed 12 public health indicators in relationship to state voting policies and demonstrated a clear relationship between inclusive voting policies and better health outcomes.


Eight Simple Ways to Get Involved in TMA Advocacy - 10/28/2022

Your strong voice is needed to improve the practice of medicine today and for future generations. That's why it's important for all members of the family of medicine to get involved. You don't have to be an advocacy expert. All you need to do is follow these eight steps.


Health Plans Begin Implementing Prior Auth Exemption Process - 10/19/2022

With an Oct. 1 deadline on the horizon, health plans have begun implementing Texas’ new prior authorization exemption process requiring them to issue the first so-called “gold cards” by that date.


Address Delayed Care Pileup, TMA Tells House Panel - 10/17/2022

The COVID-19 pandemic strained an already overburdened primary health care system in Texas, making it vital that state lawmakers back measures that encourage patients to see a physician and catch up on delayed care before it gets even worse, Tyler pediatrician Valerie Smith, MD, told the Texas House of Representatives Select Committee on Health Care Reform.


Compact for Care: Texas Joins Interstate Agreement for Out-of-State Licensure - 10/13/2022

The rise of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a change in state law that will not only help make certain telemedicine services permanent but also give out-of-state physicians an easier pathway to join the Texas workforce.


Medicine-Friendly State Senator to Speak at TMA Winter Conference - 10/08/2022

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.


Texas Physicians Weigh in on Federal Surprise Billing Solution - 10/08/2022

As Texas prepares to implement an arbitration process to address surprise medical bills, Texas physicians are helping the U.S. Congress work on a federal solution. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health tackled surprise billing in a hearing last week to consider the No Surprises Act, draft legislation put together by two committee members.


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.


“Gold Card” Final Rules Heed Some, But Not All, TMA Recommendations on Prior Auth Exemption Process - 09/09/2022

Texas physicians have anxiously awaited – and advocated for – relief from onerous prior authorizations, which is now closer than ever.


TMA Proposes Five Goals to Improve Health Care Affordability in Texas - 08/16/2022

Texas Medical Association Board Trustee John Carlo, MD, had a blunt message for Texas lawmakers in recent testimony before the House Select Committee on Health System Reform.


Untangling ImmTrac2: TMA Aims to Build on Immunization Registry Reforms - 07/29/2022

The Texas Medical Association is hopeful state lawmakers will be spurred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to address ImmTrac2's shortfalls, bolstering public health protections and easing physicians' administrative woes.


Long COVID's Long Shadow: Physicians Respond to an Influx of Long-COVID Patients - 07/29/2022

Long COVID has strained an already overburdened health care system and requires both multispecialty clinics and primary care physicians to meet demand.


Ten Years Later: TMA Advocacy Nets Investments in Women’s Health - 07/27/2022

A decade ago, the Texas Legislature made a funding decision that devasted low-income women’s access to health care and the physicians and community clinics that care for them. After 10 years, with the help of TMA advocacy and the formation of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, funding for family planning and overall women’s health is in significantly better shape.


Aetna Scraps Required Prior Auth for Cataract Surgery - 07/20/2022

Organized medicine’s efforts across the nation to torpedo or curb prior authorization recently got a small but encouraging boost when Aetna rescinded its year-old preauthorization requirement for cataract surgeries.


Senate Evaluates Post-Pandemic Strategies on Mental Health - 07/01/2022

In the face of “grim” research around the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on mental health, the Texas Medical Association is telling state lawmakers to respond with robust regulatory support of telehealth and investments to improve all Texans’ access to care.


State Transferring Millions for School Safety, Mental Health Programs After Uvalde Shooting - 07/01/2022

Quickly following a series of legislative hearings to address the Uvalde shooting, Texas leaders have announced the transfer of more than $105.5 million within the state budget to fund a series of school safety and mental health programs through August 2023.


What's Next for Prior Authorization: Texas' 'Gold Card' Law Winds Through Rulemaking - 06/29/2022

Physician advocates, alongside the Texas Medical Association, are looking to this fall’s legislative races as they monitor the rulemaking underway to implement the "Gold Card" law and prepare to push for additional reforms during the 2023 legislative session that kicks off in January.


Imaging Contrast Shortage Highlights Need for Relaxed Prior Auth - 06/27/2022

A shortage of iodinated contrast media resulting from recent COVID-19 lockdowns in China has put a focus on prior authorization barriers that unnecessarily impede the imaging services patients need to ensure timely care.


Post-Uvalde, TMA Urges State Support for Mental Health Care and Child Interventions - 06/24/2022

As state lawmakers chart a path forward after the Robb Elementary school shooting in Uvalde last month, the Texas Medical Association is offering stories of hope that illustrate promising potential solutions: investments in mental health systems that can intervene before a troubled youth becomes a perpetrator of gun violence.


State Leaders Issue Proposals for School Safety, Mental Health Funding - 06/21/2022

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) called on state leaders to spend nearly $180 million on mental health and school safety programs in a series of proposals following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last month.


Physician-Led Results: Grassroots Advocacy Paid Off in Tangible Wins at the Capitol - 06/15/2022

Texas physicians made the most of an extraordinary, scaled-back session of the Texas Legislature in 2021. They helped pass laws to curb prior authorization hassles; keep physicians from incurring new practice costs; install liability protections for future pandemics like COVID-19; extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for new mothers; and keep graduate medical education (GME) fully funded. And so much more.


Federal Prior Auth Bill Filed in Congress - 06/15/2022

U.S. Rep. Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville), is following his fellow Texas physicians’ lead on curbing insurers’ hassle-laden prior authorization burdens, introducing a federal bill similar to the “gold-card” law the Texas Medical Association proposed and championed into law at the state level.