Texas Legislature

  • Medicine Pushes State Lawmakers For Stronger Policies to Curb Teen Vaping

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    With the recent rise in severe pulmonary illness linked to vaping and e-cigarettes, state lawmakers took steps today to curb use of those products, particularly among children and teenagers.

    Doctors Ask Lawmakers to Protect Teens From Vaping  
  • House Will Study Behavioral Health, Early Childhood Intervention, and More

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    Among a number of health care-related topics, the Texas House of Representatives during the interim “off” year in 2020 will study the state’s behavioral health system, child trafficking prevention, and the effect of technology and “big data” on insurance. House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) recently released the chamber’s interim charges.

    Read More Issues Here  
  • Health Care Takes Center Stage One Year Out From 2020 Election

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    One year from now, Texas voters will hit the polls. They’ll be voting for president, for Congress, and for seats in the Texas Legislature. At the state and national levels, health coverage, Medicaid access, and prescription drug costs have gotten plenty of attention already, and they’ll get plenty more between now and the closing of the polls on Nov. 3, 2020. Here’s a look at some of the major health care debates taking center stage during the 2020 election cycle, what voters are and will be hearing about, and what TMA policy says on those particular issues.

    Big Noises Big Issues  
  • Senate Committees Will Examine Uninsured Rate During Interim Year

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    Texas’ nation-leading uninsured rate will be under the state senate’s microscope in 2020 as part of the interim charges Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has assigned to senate committees.

    More Details Here  
  • Texas Voters Approve Renewed Funding for Cancer Research

     

    Voters statewide overwhelmingly approved Proposition 6 on Tuesday to continue funding for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), the state's cancer-fighting agency.

    Texas' Ongoing Battle Against Cancer Just Got New Life  
  • We Need to Come in Force: Physician-Lawmakers Look Ahead to 2021

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    A panel of medicine’s representatives in the Texas Legislature said Saturday that 2019 was a good year for medicine in Austin, but unfinished business remains for the next session in 2021.

    Issues That Will be Top of Mind Next Session  
  • The 2019 Border Health Conference Was a Terrific Success

    BorderThe 14th annual Border Health Conference, sponsored by the Texas Medical Association and the Border Health Caucus, convened in Laredo, TX, earlier this week. The conference, packed with thoughtful and detailed information, included nearly 100 medical professionals and subject matter experts discussing health care trends and challenges in all communities along the binational border between Texas and Mexico, and various methods of addressing and solving those challenges.

    We thank our speakers, sponsors, and attendees for participating. Speaker presentations can be accessed here.

    Don’t forget to follow the Border Health Caucus on social media for year-round updates on activities and opportunities to participate. And look for information early next summer on the 2020 Border Health Conference.

  • Charting Medicine's Statehouse Progress

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    Physicians checked off major accomplishments during the 2019 session of the Texas Legislature, including finally convincing lawmakers that raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 was the right thing for the state's present and future. Medicine also scored improvements on the insurance front and vital funding increases.

    Successful Wins on Tobacco, Prior Authorization, and More  
  • When Do New Opioid Prescribing Requirements Take Effect?

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    To combat the ongoing opioid crisis, state lawmakers passed several measures that change how physicians and other health care professionals will prescribe opioids. However, provisions of the laws take effect at different times, so prescribers should be aware of the deadlines and effective dates of each requirement. Below is a chart showing when each provision takes effect.

    Provisions of the Law Take
    Effect at Different Times
     
  • Governor Vetoes Bill That Would’ve Protected Texas’ Youngest

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    Legislation to protect young children by using rear-facing car seats made it to the finish line during the legislative session that ended in May, only to be vetoed by Gov. Greg Abbott early this week. House Bill 448 by Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie) would have required children younger than 2 to ride in a rear-facing car set, unless the child is taller than 40 inches and weighs more than 40 pounds, or had a medical condition preventing him or her from sitting in such a seat.

    Governor Vetoes Car Seat Bill  
  • Legislative Hotline: Governor Signs Key Prior Authorization Bill

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    The work of the 86th Texas Legislature passed its final stage at midnight Sunday, the deadline for Gov. Greg Abbott to to sign, veto, or allow bills to become law without his signature. Among those he signed this weekend was Senate Bill 1742, which requires greater transparency with prior authorizations and mandates that utilization reviews be conducted by a Texas-licensed physician in the same or similar specialty as the physician requesting the service or procedure. It also requires health plan directories to clearly identify which physician specialties are in-network at network facilities.

    Under the Rotunda  
  • Legislative Top 10: What It Took To Renew the TMB for 12 Years

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    “Seems like the last two sessions it’s been sort of ‘Groundhog Day.’” The movie reference is how TMA Vice President of Advocacy Darren Whitehurst summed up lawmakers’ quest to pass legislation to renew the Texas Medical Board for another 12 years.

    Check Out the Video
    for More Details
     
  • Texas Physicians Fight End-of-Life Bill With Passion

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    When TMA urged members to ask their state senators to vote “no” on a key bill regarding treatment disputes at the end of life, they didn’t hold back. Hundreds of Texas physicians took up the call, using TMA’s Grassroots Action enter to share very personal and passionate messages with their senators.

    Read Some of the Physicians Shared Personal Stories  
  • Legislative Video Hotline: Good News on Maternal Health, Cancer, Liability, and More

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    With just 17 days until sine die, the Texas House of Representatives’ deadlines yesterday and today mean death to lots of legislation, good and bad. This week’s TMA Legislative Hotline video also provides a rapid-fire summary of recent days’ movement on several TMA priority bills and news of a record for TMA grassroots advocacy.

    Listen to This Week's Video  
  • Medicine's Recommendations on House Bill 1, 2020-21 Texas State Budget

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    As much as we value investing in the state’s public education system, we also keenly support boosting the health and well-being of Texans. Education and health care are different sides of the same coin. One without the other will not lead to lasting prosperity for our patients and communities, or for the state.

    Capitol Matters  

  • TMA Pushes for Prior Authorization Limits, Clarity

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    After hearing story after story of delays and denials, the Texas Medical Association is pushing the Texas Legislature to sign off on measures that would significantly curb insurers’ ability to require prior authorization on needed care, as well as clarify for both physicians and patients what it means when prior authorization is required.

    Enough of the Roadblocks, Hassles, and Delays in Care  
  • Action Alerts

    Respond to Action Alerts. Some bills will be particularly important to TMA, and we request your assistance in either supporting or opposing those bills. Through our Grassroots Action Center and mobile app, VoterVoice, you’ll be able to respond on the fly, sending a message directly to your legislator.

    Get the App

     
  • Senate All Ayes on Children’s Mental Health Bill

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    With a unified voice and a unanimous vote, the Senate passed a bill this week designed to identify children with mental-health needs and direct them to appropriate, timely treatment.

    Read the Legislative Hotline Here  
  • Bypassing the Middle Man: Should Texas Allow Physician Dispensing?

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    Just four states generally don’t allow medication dispensing out of a physician’s office. Texas is one of them.

    Support From Medicine
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  • Healthy Vision 2025 Calls for Teamwork, not Scope Expansion

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    The sentence has appeared in every edition of the Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision series since the first Healthy Vision 2010 was published 14 years ago: “TMA opposes any efforts to expand any health professionals’ scope of practice beyond what is safely permitted by their education, training, and skills.” That focus on safety remains an integral part of Healthy Vision 2025, published last week. And that sentence remains, verbatim..

    Stop Scope of Practice Intrusion  
  • Healthy Vision 2025 Provides Medicaid, Uninsured Fixes

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    The combination of the country’s highest uninsured rate and a stressed Medicaid program threaten not only the health of millions of Texans, but also the health of the economy, Texas Medical Association President Doug Curran, MD, says.

    Make It Easier for Every Texan to See a Doctor  
  • Healthy Vision 2025

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    The 2019 Texas Legislature adjourned sine die — and TMA fought for medicine. See our plan to help Texas physicians put the health back into health care. 

    See TMA's Legislative Priorities for the 2019 Session   
  • On Call at the Capitol

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    The faces at the Capitol change. The legislative flashpoints and fights come and go. But every two years, the House of Medicine’s commitment remains the same: Persuade legislators to improve Texas laws for physicians and patients.

    TMA's 2019 Legislative Agenda - At a Glance

    TMA's 2019 Legislative Agenda - At a Glance  

    TMA's 2019 Legislative Agenda - In-Depth  

  • Doctors, Insurers, Hospitals Meet to Set Priorities for Strengthening Medicaid Managed Care

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    The future of Texas Medicaid was a central topic of discussion in the 86th Texas Legislature. Leaders from three pillars of the Texas health care system gathered in Austin on Oct. 12 for a first-ever summit to identify and commit to working on shared priorities for strengthening the program.

    Key Players Outline Plans to Strengthen Medicaid  
  • Abbott to DC: End Moratorium on Physician-Owned Hospitals

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    Gov. Greg Abbott weighed in recently on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) moratorium on physician-owned hospitals, telling Texas’ Republican lawmakers in Washington to support legislation to repeal those restrictions.

    What Did the Governor Say?  
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