Legislative Top 10: Lawmakers Say No to Expanding Scope of Practice
By Brent Annear

Count on it: Every legislative session, allied health professionals ask lawmakers to broaden their scope of practice to some form of health care only physicians are trained and authorized to provide. 

Although the session that ended in May was no different, lawmakers passed no such Texas Medical Association-opposed bills this term. 

One exception, TMA Vice President of Advocacy Darren Whitehurst says, is a bill awaiting the governor’s signature that allows patients to directly see a physical therapist for care, without a physician’s prescription or referral. TMA worked with Texas orthopedic surgeons in helping support the bill, House Bill 29 by Rep. Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio), making Texas the 50th state to allow such access. 

Mr. Whitehurst says the bill includes an important caveat: Physical therapists must tell patients they can provide physical therapy treatment but not make a medical diagnosis (which is the practice of medicine). 

Watch this and more in today’s TMA Legislative News Hotline video, the fifth in a “top 10” series of reports on important legislative advances this session.

Miss the first four installments (on the budget, surprise billing, prior authorization, and opioids)? Check out the series. Our video series continues next week.


Last Updated On

June 10, 2019

Brent Annear

Director, Media and Public Relations 

(512) 370-1381


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Brent Annear is TMA’s director of media relations and PR. He joined TMA in 2001 after working two decades in television news. Brent and his team share TMA’s mission and vision with the world through news releases, blog and social media posts, and videos. He is a University of Texas graduate who hails from Minnesota. Brent is married and has two stepsons. He enjoys photography, golf, travel, volunteering and woodworking projects, and he is a private pilot. 

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