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Monday, April 18, 2011

HUNDREDS OF CALLS, E-MAILS FIX BAD SCOPE-OF-PRACTICE BILL

Thanks to nearly 400 TMA member physicians who called and wrote their state senators, a bill that would have dangerously expanded nonphysician practitioners’ scope of practice was rewritten dramatically. Senate Bill 1001 by Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) would have given the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners carte blanche authority to do whatever it wants — by rulemaking — without having to worry about legal action from another state health licensure agency. It would have prevented the Texas Medical Board (TMB) from taking legal action to stop an individual chiropractor from violating the Medical Practice Act if the chiropractic board says the chiropractor is practicing within his or her scope. And it would have would enabled more than 30 nonphysician health care groups to get paid for more services and also would have increased utilization. The rewritten bill our lobby team worked out with Senator Carona would require fair payment and nondiscrimination in payment by health plans for services that chiropractors provide. It also would allow chiropractors and physicians to establish business relationships as long as the physician affirmatively reports and updates those relationships to TMB. The bill passed the Senate.

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