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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW ON AMENDMENTS TO INSURANCE DEPARTMENT SUNSET BILL

Medicine’s hopes to bring some transparency and accountability to health insurance in Texas rest on our amending the bill that will reauthorize the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). The health insurance industry and trial lawyers see their own opportunities in the TDI sunset bill. In an emergency weekend session with the TMA Board of Trustees and leaders of TEXPAC, TMA’s Council on Legislation called for a telephone blitz to the House of Representatives to add five crucial amendments and kill four awful ones when Senate Bill 1007 comes up for debate. Check your e-mail in box or go to TMA’s Grassroots Action Center for key talking points.
  • We’re pushing to protect patients whose insurance is about to be cancelled, require health insurance companies to report exactly how much they spend on health care vs. elsewhere, regulate silent preferred provider organizations that take physicians’ discounts without approval, set uniform language for physician-health plan contracts, and study how health plans are using data mining to affect patient care.
  • The amendments we’re fighting would allow health plans to fix prices for out-of-network services, destroy the affiliation between insurance trusts and the associations that created them, prohibit assignment of claims for services provided out of network, and create an unregulated new type of insurance product that would be bad for patients.

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