Medicine scored both a major victory and an early one during the just-completed session of the Texas Legislature when one of the Texas Medical Association’s biggest priorities became the first bill signed into law this session.
More than a year of work and collaboration came to fruition with House Bill 1445 by Rep. Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Cypress), which classifies outsourced medical billing as being outside the realm of insurance services. When Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill on April 30, it nullified a medical billing tax scheduled to take effect Oct. 1.
The planned tax came as a result of outside pressure on the state comptroller’s office to classify billing companies’ preparation of a medical claim as claims adjustment or processing, which – as insurance services – would subject those companies to a tax of up 8.25% for those services. Patients and physicians likely would have paid increased costs as a result.
TMA successfully lobbied twice to delay the tax – eventually pushing the implementation date until after session – and received guidance from the comptroller’s office on legislation that would prevent it from taking effect.
HB 1445 passed the House with a record vote of 147-0, then passed the Senate by another unanimous vote, 31-0.
Medicine’s fervent advocacy included testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee in March, when Tyler obstetrician-gynecologist Yasser Zeid, MD, told the committee that many small practices rely on third-party billing services because they don’t have the resources to prepare and submit their claims in house.
Last Updated On
June 07, 2021