85th Legislative Session
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Good Bills that Failed to Pass

In addition to the many bills that the TRS engaged on that were successful, the TRS also worked closely with our legislative champions and allies in the medical world on some other good pieces of legislation that ultimately did not pass this session. Despite falling short, our efforts highlight serious momentum into the interim and demonstrate the ever-growing role that the TRS plays in advocacy efforts with our colleagues and legislators.

 

·         HB 2760/ SB 2210 – Directory Accuracy

TRS Position: TRS was FOR (in support of) this bill

Status: Did not pass

The bill would have amended the Insurance Code relating to health benefit plan provider network listings and directories, at least once every five business days. The bill required the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) to investigate the health benefit plan issuer's compliance with regards to provider directories. Though this bill was negotiated with the health benefit plan providers, it was ultimately unable to advance. Both versions of the bill stalled in or right after they left the House Insurance Committee.

 

·         HB 3990 – Beacon Labs

TRS Position: TRS was FOR (in support of) this bill

Status: Did not pass

This bill would have protected physicians from the negative consequences of interference by health plans in patients and physician relationships for the sake of curbing costs. Specifically, it was crafted in response to UHC’s rollout of their Beacon Labs Program, which would require ordering physicians to use this program in order to order lab work, directing physicians to low cost labs and threatening denial of payment if the system is not utilized appropriately. It also would have established precedent against the implementation of similar benefit management programs applying to other specialties. Though it did not pass, many legislators remain concerned by potential implementation and will monitor and study this in the interim.

 

·         HB 1908 – Raising Tobacco Age to 21

TRS Position: TRS was FOR (in support of) this bill

Status: Did not pass

HB 1908 would have taken another step towards improving public health by limiting access of young people to tobacco products. The legislation aimed to raise the legal age (from 18 to 21) for the sale, distribution, possession, purchase, consumption, or receipt of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products.  Mandates perceived to place limits on the self determination of individuals are difficult to pass in the current political environment. The strong list of House authors, including Dr. Zerwas and Dr. Sheffield, indicates that this issue will continue to gain traction in years to come.


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Texas Radiological Society

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