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Monday, November 9, 2015

Lawmakers Get Head Start on 2017 Health Care Issues

The 140 days the Texas Constitution allocates every other year for a state legislative session is never enough time for lawmakers to study and grasp all they need to do with the most complex issues. House and Senate committees use the time between sessions — the interim — to conduct research, hold hearings, and draft bills. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus have laid out their interim charges to the committees; health care issues will get a share of legislators’ attention. Medicaid — including the 1115 waiver — trauma systems, workers’ compensation, out-of-network billing, public health preparedness, chronic diseases, telemedicine, prompt pay, and behavioral health are all on the committees’ lists. TMA leaders and lobbyists will monitor the work closely, providing background and perspective to lawmakers and their staff, arranging witnesses for hearings, and suggesting language for the draft bills that emerge. Stay tuned.

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