• Latest Legislative News

    • Use Current State Pamphlet to Inform About Child Hot Car Dangers
      Texas physicians appreciate Representative Johnson’s interest in protecting Texas children from the tragic and deadly outcomes related to leaving a child alone in a hot car. Representative Johnson’s House Bill 2574 highlights an important issue. However, the bill’s language establishes an education requirement as potentially a separate process from the existing parent education efforts already underway.
    • Letter: Regulate E-cigarettes Like Tobacco Products
      We appreciate the efforts of SB 1618 to regulate nicotine products, but we believe this definition of e-cigarettes is too narrow and does not encompass the entire range of products currently available on the market. While it is important to prohibit the use of nicotine products by children because of nicotine’s inherent toxicity and ease of addiction in the child population, other e-cigarette products pose significant danger to minors.
    • Bill Could Protect Mental Health Patients, Others
      Senate Bill 359 applies only to a small group of patients: individuals who have sought services at a hospital or freestanding emergency medical center voluntarily then want to leave, but the physician at the hospital believes these patients are a danger to self or others. It does not apply to any patient who is brought in on an emergency detention initiated by a peace officer or is under an order of protective custody issued by a court.
    • TMA Supports Keeping Monetary Threshold for Mediation
      We agree that no one likes to be surprised by unexpected out-of-pocket costs. When a patient opts for an elective service or procedure and requests an estimate, network physicians are more than willing, as well as required by law, to provide one. For planned out-of-network services, physicians are more than willing to discuss the patient’s potential to receive a bill based on the amount of that service and what the patient’s insurer is willing to pay — but that can transpire only if the insurer is required to provide that information to the out-of-network physician. Insurers continue to contend that this information is proprietary and that they only are required to share it with their insured enrollee upon request.
    • TMA Supports Five Bills to Limit Minors’ E-cig Access
      The nicotine present in these devices has measurable levels of toxicity. Nicotine has known psychoactive effects and quickly becomes addictive — requiring additional levels of nicotine as the body becomes more tolerant. We encourage you to take steps to prohibit the use of tobacco products in schools and other public places as some of these bills propose. We also join other national and state organizations in urging caution in recognizing e-cigarettes as a tobacco-cessation or harm-reduction strategy for current tobacco users because of the lack of scientific evidence on the safety of these products. E-cigarettes have not been approved as either a cessation or a replacement product for cigarettes by FDA.
    • Support Better Reporting of Disease Outbreaks, Vaccine Exemptions
      While we have a good process for school district reporting on vaccination exemptions and DSHS tracking, this information is only at a district level, which is of limited benefit to families evaluating their schooling options.  Parents must be able to make informed decisions so they know what they may have to do to protect their children in the event of a school-based infectious disease outbreak. These reports will serve as tools for becoming best informed, and also will enable the public health community and physicians to respond in the event of an outbreak.
    • Don’t Toss 18 Year-Olds’ Valuable Shot Records
      The confidential, electronic registry maintains my patients’ immunization record, which can be accessed by their doctor(s), child care center, or school nurse. Having a dependable vaccination record ensures patients are appropriately immunized, especially because the recommended immunization schedule is complex and our patients may move among different physicians and different cities in our state.
    • TMA: Let Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force Continue
      As physicians, our interest is to help identify and treat potential human trafficking victims and ensure victims obtain the extended care and support they need. We encourage you to amend the makeup of the current task force to include representatives of TMA and relevant subspecialty groups to assist in this regard. We have physician members with expertise in caring for victims of human trafficking, and we believe these health professionals can best help guide the development of screening tools and expanding access to educational programming for providers on health issues associated with trafficking.
    • Support Physicals, Not Mandated Heart Tests for Student Athletes
      While electrocardiograms (ECGs) could enhance screening for cardiac disorders, there is a lack of scientific evidence demonstrating whether or how this should be implemented on a broad scale in the United States. The medical evidence does not support mass screening with ECGs, as required by HB 767.