At the heart of TMA's agenda for the 2023 Texas legislative session is protecting the practice of medicine and the patient-physician relationship.
View TMA’s Top 10 Legislative Priorities
Corporate Practice of Medicine
Ensure Physicians and Patients Determine Care: Uphold Texas’ Corporate Practice of Medicine Ban
Texas is among a few states that prohibit the corporate practice of medicine, ensuring physicians can exercise professional medical judgment about a patient’s health care without financial or other outside pressures. This law is foundational to effective health care and the ability to meet patients’ needs by keeping nonphysicians or corporate entities out of the practice of medicine.
Extend Meaningful Health Care Coverage to More Texans
Access to timely health care supports healthy people and communities while expanding state and local economies – a win-win for patients and taxpayers.
Revitalize the Medicaid Physician Network
Physicians strongly support Texas Medicaid. For 18% of Texans, it provides essential coverage for a wide range of health care services – from prenatal care and check-ups to substance abuse treatment and long-term care services.
Preserve Medical Liability Protections
Strong liability protections, including the state’s 2003 tort reform law and 2021 law protecting physicians from liability during a declared disaster, make Texas an increasingly attractive state in which to practice medicine. Medical liability protections historically have reduced frivolous lawsuits and lowered physicians’ liability insurance premiums.
Stop the Opioid Crisis Epidemic
The “opioid crisis” – deaths from opioid overdoses – persists and is worsening, and it is no longer mostly about prescription opioids. Illicitly made and sold fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, is the main culprit. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine just one fentanyl-laced pill can kill someone.
Scope of Practice
Protect Patient Safety With Physician-Led Health Care Teams
While all health care professionals play a critical role on a patient's care team, physicians should lead the health care team. Only physicians have the education, training, and experience to ensure the quality and safety of care Texans deserve.
Support Payment Parity for Telemedicine
Telemedicine is a powerful tool to help physicians meet Texans’ health care needs. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine protected patients’ health and safety by eliminating exposure risk from health care settings and reducing delays in access to care. Recognizing the value, physicians and patients alike are eager to continue virtual health care services. But policy must align with opportunity, leaving no room for inconsistent payment, licensing, and regulatory standards that threaten physicians’ ability to continue delivering care with telemedicine.
Texas Medical Board (TMB)
Adequately Fund the Texas Medical Board
Texas leads the nation in numeric population growth, and over the years, the state’s physician workforce has grown significantly as well. To keep up with these and other trends, the state needs a strong and fair TMB that protects Texas patients, upholds high ethical and professional standards for physicians, helps preserve the state’s 2003 medical liability reforms, and maintains Texas physicians’ professional image.
Improve Health for Mothers and Babies
Texas must improve health care coverage, access, and supportive social services to ensure healthy outcomes for mom’s and their babies.
*Workforce/Graduate Medical Education (GME)
Grow the Physician Workforce in Texas: GME Is Key to Texas Physician Growth
Texas’ population, at 29.5 million in 2021, is projected to reach 35 million by 2030. During the past year, an average of 850 people were added to the state each day. Meanwhile Texans – having experienced the COVID-19 pandemic – have a greater awareness of physicians’ lifesaving work and how the health of every Texan depends directly on access to medical care.
Key Issues Prepared by The Texas Public Health Coalition
Modernize Texas’ Immunization Registry
The Texas Legislature can help defend Texans during a disaster or disease outbreak by improving communication between ImmTrac2 and electronic health records (EHRs).
Shield Texas Children From Infectious Diseases
Texas’ future generations are at risk. The Texas Legislature can implement measures to help ensure kids can avoid preventable illnesses and disease.
Make Becoming a Mom Safe in Texas
Ensuring comprehensive health coverage for women of reproductive age is key to improving maternal health in Texas.
Prevent Suicide and Support Texans’ Mental Health
Suicide rates are increasing, and suicide is among the top five causes of death in Texas. Preventing suicide must be a priority.
Public Health Cuts
Stop Cuts to Public Health
The Texas Legislature must ensure the state’s public health agencies can fulfill their lifesaving mission to prevent and eliminate disease.
Public Health Infrastructure
Improve Texas’ Public Health Infrastructure
The Texas Legislature can ensure the state has a modernized public health system and ample workforce.
Keep Tobacco out of the Hands of Vulnerable Texans
Tobacco prevention is greatly underfunded in Texas. The Texas Legislature can increase funding to foster both prevention and cessation.
*The TMA Council on Legislation Top Priorities