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Monday, April 6, 2009

TMA FIGHTS BACK AGAINST HOSPITALS' BID FOR DIRECT EMPLOYMENT OF PHYSICIANS:

Hospital administrators across Texas, led by their state associations, want to play doctor. TMA says no. The principle is simple. Only physicians are licensed to provide medical services. Administrators are not. Nearly 30 bills in the legislature would let hospitals hire physicians directly. One especially dangerous bill, Senate Bill 1500 by Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock), would allow dozens of Texas hospitals to put physicians on the payroll. The crux of the issue isn’t employment, per se, but rather physicians’ clinical autonomy to care for their patients. As TMA President Josie Williams, MD, told the Senate State Affairs Committee, “This is the cornerstone of the profession of medicine.” More bills will be heard in committee this week. TMA is calling affected physicians and sending e-mail action alerts. Please respond quickly to help douse this threat to patient care.

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