TMA, Specialties Lay Out Legislative Priorities

The best feature of TMA's biennial Advocacy Retreat, always scheduled just a month before the new Texas Legislature convenes, is the opportunity for TMA and nearly two dozen state specialty societies to stand in front of their peers and explain their key issues for the coming session. TMA spent several hours Dec. 3 in a conversation about how to address priorities, recognizing some of the unique patient care needs of the specialty societies. "The one thing we definitely need is not to have splintering in the House of Medicine," said TMA Council on Legislation Chair Ray Callas, MD. "Let's work together as a team."

Led by Dr. Callas and TMA Vice President for Advocacy Darren Whitehurst, TMA's lobby team laid out the top legislative issues TMA has been working on for months. They include the state budget, insurance reform, scope of practice, telemedicine, the Texas Medical Board, and public health priorities.

The most-frequently mentioned priorities for the 23 specialty societies that participated were:  

  • Surprise bills and preserving physicians' ability to bill for out-of-network services;
  • Scope of practice, an especially dicey issue this session because all of the health professionals' licensing agencies are up for sunset review;
  • Telemedicine;
  • Opioid addiction and the prescription drug monitoring database;
  • Maintaining the momentum TMA has built for expanding graduate medical education; and 
  • Medicaid funding and administrative hassles.

Action, Dec. 15, 2016

Last Updated On

February 06, 2017

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