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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


More than 100 physician and TMA Alliance leaders at the TMA/TEXPAC/specialty society legislative retreat began laying the groundwork for medicine’s strategic priorities in the 2011 session of the Texas Legislature. Among their recommendations, we need to:
  • Push for transparency and accountability in health insurers’ medical loss ratio reporting and prescription drug formulary tiering;
  • Require regulation of silent PPOs;
  • Provide real-time benefit information from health insurance companies;
  • Continue to defend the 2003 medical liability reforms;
  • Advocate strongly to preserve existing Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program eligibility in light of an expected multibillion-dollar budget deficit in the 2011 session;
  • Push lifestyle changes to battle obesity and cancer, improve immunizations, and promote wellness and safety;
  • Work for an adequately funded, strong and fair Texas Medical Board (TMB), with due process protections for physicians under investigation;
  • Help rural physicians maintain their practices while protecting physicians’ clinical autonomy;
  • Restore Medicaid funding for graduate medical education;
  • Put advanced practice nurses and physician assistants under the supervision of TMB; and
  • Educate the public and lawmakers that, regardless of what happens in national health system reform, millions of newly insured patients will have difficulty finding a physician if physicians are not compensated adequately.
Specialty society representatives also laid out their priorities for the 2011 Texas Legislature. The family of medicine must continue to work together in promoting issues on which we agree and finding common ground when specialties have different points of view.

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