Texas Medical Association 2016 Winter Conference

I attended the TMA winter conference at the Hyatt in Austin over the weekend. There was a tremendous amount of conversation about scope of practice issues being front and center for the next legislative session, because all of the state licensing boards for medicine and allied health professions are up for review by the Texas Sunset Commission. There will be plenty of opportunities for mischief, and we will need to be vigilant to ensure that the practice of medicine is not eroded during the sunset process.

Additionally, the interspecialty society discussed compounding pharmacies and new regulations governing their activities. And of course, balance billing was the primary topic of the day. A researcher gave a thoughtful presentation on her focus group discussions regarding this controversial practice. It was apparent there is a disconnect between patients and physicians about why balance billing must take place. However, there is clearly a need to educate physicians about how this practice is being perceived by the public.

TexPAC also met and reviewed many of the key races in the upcoming March 1st primary, and made endorsements several cases. Several physicians or involved in races in the Texas House and Senate, as well as allies of medicine

Those that TexPAC endorsed included House Speaker Joe Straus and Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound). You can review a full list of TexPAC endorsed candidates on their website here. TexPAC will meet again to review other candidates for endorsement.