Texas legislation

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.


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.


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.


Texas Senate to Analyze Pandemic Response, Health Care Workforce - 04/05/2022

The state’s health care workforce and its pandemic response will be under examination by the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee during this interim year of the Texas Legislature. Medicaid, mental health, and e-cigarettes will get a close look from other Senate panels.


Communication Amid Complexity: An Interview With TDI Commissioner Cassie Brown - 03/31/2022

With a number of new and fluctuating state and federal laws and regulations, Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Commissioner Cassie Brown has her plate full when it comes to health plan regulation.


Long COVID Clinics Have Long Waitlists - 03/18/2022

The average number of new COVID 19 cases confirmed in Texas has receded in recent months, but physicians are facing another, related onslaught patients with lingering effects from the virus, known as post COVID conditions or “long COVID.”


New Health Care Reform Committee Formed Under House Interim Charges - 03/16/2022

Health care reform will be a particular point of emphasis for the Texas House of Representatives in its interim year between legislative sessions, and physician lawmakers will be right in the thick of it.


Compact for Care: Texas Joins Interstate Agreement for Out-of-State Licensure - 01/25/2022

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.


Governor Approves Bill to Reduce Prior Authorization Hassles - 01/14/2022

Care for countless Texas patients will happen more quickly by reducing health insurers’ bureaucratic delays, thanks to a bill Gov. Greg Abbott allowed to become law this weekend. The Texas Medical Association  prioritized curbing health insurers’ onerous prior authorization practices this legislative session, resulting in passage of House Bill 3459 by Rep. Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood), and Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway), with considerable support by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound).


PAC-ing a Punch for Medicine: Involvement in TEXPAC Lays Foundation for Legislative Victories - 01/03/2022

TEXPAC leaders say legislative victories happen because of grassroots, physician-driven efforts to elect friends of medicine to office. TEXPAC helps generate those victories with a dogged, systematic evaluation of candidates who have the profession’s best interests at heart, endorsing and funding the ones who demonstrate their medical mettle. It’s the Party of Medicine, not of Democrats or Republicans; a candidate’s stances on TMA’s top issues, and the impressions of TEXPAC physicians in a candidate’s district, are what carry the most sway.


TMA Helps Craft Amendment Guaranteeing In-Person Visitation in Nursing Homes - 11/15/2021

In overwhelmingly voting for nursing home residents to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation, Texas voters aligned themselves with a critical balance the Texas Medical Association helped lawmakers strike between the need for crucial emotional support in those settings and keeping public health threats at bay.


State Plan Tackles Mental Health Coverage - 11/09/2021

Four years after the Texas Legislature passed legislation aimed to improve health plan coverage of mental health conditions and substance use disorders, a state workgroup has released a strategic plan to improve compliance with the law’s protections to put coverage of those treatments on par with other types of health care.


TMA Defeats Bills to Ban Vaccine Mandates - 10/25/2021

Thanks to physician-led grassroots advocacy, the Texas Medical Association beat back bills that aimed to codify Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent executive order banning vaccine mandates. Those bills had failed to advance out of their respective chambers when the Texas Legislature adjourned from its third special session of the year on Oct. 19.


TMA Wins Several COVID Relief Funding Asks - 10/22/2021

The Texas Legislature’s distribution of billions in federal COVID-19 relief funding displayed a commitment to many – though not all – of the Texas Medical Association’s desired uses for the money, including investments in child mental health care and improving maternal mental health access.


TMA Weighs In on Bills to Ban Vaccine Mandates - 10/18/2021

Taking science-based interventions like vaccinations off the table during an ongoing public emergency is like telling coastal residents they can’t board up their windows or fill sandbags as a hurricane approaches.


TMA Makes Its Case on “Starting Point” COVID Relief Bill - 10/05/2021

A bill to distribute nearly $17 billion in COVID-19 relief funds – medicine’s focal point during the current special session of the Texas Legislature – drew both praise and recommendations for improvement from the Texas Medical Association and several state specialty societies.


TMA Urges House Committee to Bolster Border Care Access - 10/05/2021

With 30 years of experience practicing primary care medicine in the Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg internist and Texas Medical Association President E. Linda Villarreal, MD, has unique insight into the region’s health care needs and how state lawmakers can build on previous legislation to address them.


Funding the Future: Texas Legislature Fully Commits to GME - 10/02/2021

The Texas Legislature’s investment in medical education includes a full commitment to GME.


TMA: Use Rescue Act Funds for Long-COVID Research, Improved Access to Care - 09/24/2021

Following its second letter to key state lawmakers about the best uses for one-time federal COVID-19 relief funding, the House of Medicine has established a broad vision for how that money could help Texas patients and physicians.