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Monday, March 25, 2013

DRAFT BUDGETS BOOST GME, MENTAL HEALTH, WOMEN'S HEALTH FUNDING

State spending plans for 2014-15 took two more steps forward as both the House Appropriations Committee and the full Texas Senate passed their versions of the budget bill. Both bills take significant steps to reverse cuts in graduate medical education the legislature enacted in 2011. Both also offer big increases in spending for mental health and women’s health services. The full House is scheduled to debate the bill next week. Neither plan so far includes Medicaid payment increases for physicians or elimination of the cuts for services to dual-eligibles. TMA physician leaders continue their strong presence at the Capitol. Last week Arlo Weltge, MD, of Houston testified for a bill giving patients and family members more protections in disputes over end-of-life care; Immediate Past President Bruce Malone, MD, came to testify against a bill that would threaten independent review of Texas Medical Board complaints against physicians; and TMA Board of Trustees member Doug Curran, MD, testified on bills related to telemedicine and to how health plans calculate out-of-network payments. See the video.

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