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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Texas has been a leader in telemedicine-done right. Physicians and lawmakers continue to examine telemedicine's ability to expand patient access to care via technology while ensuring safe, high-quality health care, improving the reimbursement process, and a clear-cut comprehensible policy and regulation guideline.
What's New in Telemedicine?
Got Texas Legislature questions? Call or email the Knowledge Center.