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Monday, June 22, 2009

GOVERNOR PERRY SIGNS TMA PRIORITY LEGISLATION INTO LAW

The period for the governor to veto bills from the 2009 Texas Legislature ended yesterday, so we can wrap up some of medicine’s highlights for the session (PDF). (Contact TMA Public Affairs if you want copies of that legislative report card.) Among the bills Governor Perry signed into law:
  • House Bill 1888 by Rep. John Davis (R-Houston) sets standards for health plans’ schemes for ranking physicians.
  • HB 2256 by Rep. Kelly Hancock (R-Fort Worth) provides important patient protections as well as a mediation venue to resolve disputes for out-of-network, facility-based physician claims by health benefit plans.
  • Senate Bill 78 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Lewisville) creates the new Healthy Texas program to help small businesses obtain affordable health insurance for their employees.
  • Senate Bill 346 by Senator Nelson establishes a lifelong adult immunization registry in Texas, and Senate Bill 347 by Senator Nelson allows states to share immunization registry records during a disaster.
  • Senate Bill 870 by Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) directs Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to implement pilots to help reduce childhood obesity among enrollees, and Senate Bill 282 by Senator Nelson establishes grant programs to provide nutrition education to children and to school districts for best practices in nutrition.
  • House Bill 1357 by Rep. Carl Isett (R-Lubbock) requires that freestanding emergency room facilities be licensed and sets minimum standards for their construction, design, and operation.

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