Texas Bills to Watch in 2017

HB1482 Shaheen and SB1818 Burton, permits the physician to dispense from the office.  This would apply most commonly to cash-based, or DPC practices that would dispense generic drugs at cost.  Some specialists would be able to help patients who are on Medicare and in the “donut-hole”, paying cash for their medications.

SB382 Burton, allows the physician to donate unused, unopened drugs from one patient who doesn’t need it anymore to another who is in need.

SB1148, Buckingham, HB3310 Zedler, and HB3216 Bonnen prohibits the mandate that physicians participate in Maintenance of Certification programs in order to retain hospital privileges or insurance contracts.

HB752 Meyers, SB833 Hughes requires that a CMO report to the medical board any facility that is interfering in medical decision making of the physician.  It also requires reporting of the CMO if he/she does not serve in this capacity to protect patients from perverse influence on the physician by administration.

HB2878 Sanford, Right of Conscience

Defends the right of a health care worker to refuse to provide a service that conflicts with his/her conscience.  This may apply in many circumstances, for example with corporate systems promoting assisted suicide and other forms of fast-tracking death. We currently have legal protection against coercion to perform abortions, but nothing else.

The bill that must be fought is SB315, Hinojosa, and HB3040 Burkett.

This bill is the Sunset Commission bill for the Texas Medical Board and embedded in it is the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact, which essentially creates a new agency with authority to grant expedited medical licenses for multiple states and write rules that are binding on the state as law and supersede state law.

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