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Monday, May 16, 2011

GOVERNOR PERRY SIGNS TMA'S RURAL EMPLOYMENT PROTECTION BILL

The first component of TMA’s physician-employment protection package is now law. Gov. Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 894 by Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock). The new law allows critical access hospitals, sole community hospitals, and hospitals in counties of 50,000 or fewer to employ physicians. Most of these hospitals are run by local governments. The bill contains many features that protect the physician’s clinical autonomy against the corporate practice of medicine. “Hospitals want to employ physicians? Fine … but you’ll do it by our rules,” outgoing TMA President Sue Bailey, MD, told the House of Delegates. “And those rules say that doctors and our patients, not hospital administrators, make the decisions that count.” Our four remaining employment protection bills each has passed at least one chamber of the legislature and is in great shape to become law before the legislative session ends May 30.

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