Texas Legislature

  • Leaders Chart TMA's 2017 Legislative Priorities

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    As always, the TMA professional staff will complement the relationships that physician leaders have built with their senators and representatives as they work to promote TMA’s 2017 agenda. Tops on the list are the state budget, insurance reform, scope of practice, telemedicine, the Texas Medical Board, and public health priorities.  

    Top Priorities  
  • First Tuesdays 2017: Taking Medicine’s Message to the Capitol

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    Don't miss your chance to work with lawmakers to influence legislation that affects you and your patients. TMA urges physicians, medical students, and TMA Alliance members to make their presence felt in Austin in the 2017 legislative session by participating in First Tuesdays at the Capitol.

    April 4 * May 2

    Join the White Coat Invasion  
  • Directory Measure Aims to Tackle Surprise Bills; TMA Continues Push for Public Health Priorities

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    The 60-day bill-filing deadline for the Texas Legislature has come and gone, allowing one thick puff of smoke to finally clear from the 2017 legislative fire. Now, medicine can focus on the hottest logs in the fire pit. For TMA, that means more than 1,400 pieces of legislation to track, with measures that address such smoldering topics as the network inadequacies that fuel surprise-billing issues; public health issues like vaccination exemptions and tobacco use; the proper definition and regulation of telemedicine; and troubling scope-related legislation that would allow other practitioners to infringe on the practice of medicine.

    Keeping Insurers Honest; Scope; Budget; and More  
  • TMA Legislative News Hotline: Thursday, March 23, 2017
    Senate Budget: On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed its proposed budget for the 2018-19 budget cycle. The bill allocates a total of $217.7 billion for the next two years, of which $106.3 billion is from state general revenue. The measure relies on delaying a $2.5 billion payment for transportation funding to the next budget cycle to remove it from this cycle’s balance sheet.
    TMA Legislative News Hotline: Wednesday, March 22, 2017
    Senate Budget: Wednesday morning the Senate Finance Committee adopted the committee substitute for Senate Bill 1, the upper chamber’s budget proposal.
    TMA Legislative News Hotline: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
    Lawmakers, public health advocates, and TMA highlighted the legislative push to raise the age to purchase and possess tobacco — one of TMA's foremost public health initiatives — at a news conference this morning at the Capitol. Physician legislator John Zerwas, MD (R-Simonton), and Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) are sponsoring House Bill 1908 and Senate Bill 910, respectively, which would raise the tobacco age from 18 to 21.
    TMA Legislative News Hotline: Monday, March 20, 2017
    Prescription Drug Monitoring: Former TMA Trustee David Teuscher, MD, testified today before the Senate Health and Human Service Committee on two bills relating to the revamp of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Medicaid Managed Care Plan Disenrollment: The same committee heard Senate Bill 1414 Monday, also by Sen. Schwertner, relating to a patient’s disenrollment from a Medicaid managed care organization (MCO), or plan. Dr. Teuscher was scheduled to testify in support of that bill as well and make recommendations about the concept.
    TMA Legislative News Hotline: Week Ending March 17, 2017
    Watch this week's TMA Legislative News Hotline video to see which programs might suffer under new budget proposals, and hear a physician describe how one proposed change to mental health screens would help his patients. Also, see a public health bill of interest to TMA pass one chamber, hear a physician leader explain why extending Medicaid eligibility helps patients and saves money, and learn about two TMA-priority bills that a committee passed this week. All of this and more in this week’s video report.
    TMA Legislative News Hotline: Friday, March 17, 2017
    The realities of the revenue shortfall Texas faces for the 2018-19 budget cycle started to hit home at the state Capitol over the past 48 hours. Budget writers in both the Senate and House struggled to find ways to fit their two-year spending plans into the available revenue as officially forecast by State Comptroller Glenn Hegar. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to complete its spending bill next Wednesday, with the House Appropriations Committee following suit next Friday.
  • TMA's 2017 Legislative Agenda Aims to Build on Past Achievements

     

    From maintaining physicians' right to bill for their services and cracking down on narrow health insurance networks, to cutting more Medicaid red tape and making more room for doctors-in-training, the Texas Medical Association's 2017 legislative agenda aims to build on past achievements. A tough budget year and wholesale review of the state's health professions licensing boards could generate some challenges, while the presidential election results should renew conversations over reforming Medicaid and health care delivery overall.

    Building on Success  
  • TMA Video: Why Did I Get That Bill?

    Doctors understand it’s frustrating to have health insurance coverage but still receive unexpected medical bills. Watch this video to learn about Stanley and the surprise medical bills he received… and learn why he received them.

  • TMA is helping to strengthen your practice by offering personal advice and creating a climate of medical success across the state.

  • What could a TMA membership mean for you, your practice, and your patients?

  • Texas Legislature Articles

    TMA Offers Cost-Cutting Suggestions

    TMA made its voice heard Friday on Medicaid eligibility and other issues as the Senate Committee on Finance's Workgroup on Health Care Costs held its first meeting. Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown) is chairing the workgroup, which began examining state agencies’ health-related budgets and expenditures, with the goal of finding areas to cut while preserving services.

     

     

    Read Dr. Schwarzwald's Testimony
  • TMA's Medicaid Recommendations Can Improve Care, Reduce Costs

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    As state lawmakers begin preparing for the 2017 legislative session, TMA and four state specialty societies delivered a detailed, five-page document with significant recommendations to improve the Texas Medicaid program. 

    Suggestions to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee  
  • State Should Prepare for Public Health Emergencies

     

    We appreciate the governor’s designation of the Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, and we offer our support and expertise to this diverse group. While clearly there is substantial institutional and organizational strength in the task force, we encourage you to recognize the need to include physicians who directly practice in clinical settings.

     

    Read Dr. Huang's Testimony