The Weekly Dose           Bexar County Medical Society

Week of June 23,  2013 

Vol. 2, No. 41

Benefiting from the fruits of advocacy


By John K. Wisniewski

BCMS CEO/Executive Director


Senate Bill 166, which was initiated by a BCMS member and carried by Sen. Robert Deuell, MD, and Rep. Lyle Larson, allows physicians and their staff to check in patients using the electronic strip on the back of their Texas driver's license, beginning in September.


This would be a good week to consider how and if you will implement the technology and processes to benefit from this advancement.  Accurate demographic information is the main driver of your revenue cycle, and there's a high likelihood that timely, accurate information will provide a return on the upfront cost of technology and implementation, particularly for high-volume practices.







83rd Legislative Session Wrap-up

Governor signs into law TMA-backed legislation

BCMS-supported DPS renewal bill becomes law


By Mary E. Nava, MBA

BCMS Chief Governmental and Community Relations Officer


Now that the 83rd Legislative Session has wrapped up, here is what you have all been waiting for: the highlights of TMA-backed legislation that has been signed

into law by Gov. Rick Perry. 


Effective immediately


 SB 63 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and Rep. J.D. Sheffield, DO (R-Gatesville), which allows minors who are pregnant or who are parents

to consent to their own vaccinations.

SB 1221 by Sen. Ken Paxton (R-McKinney) and Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo), similar to the silent PPO bill; stops Medicaid HMOs from selling

or trading physician discounted rates.



Effective Sept. 1, 2013


SB 64 by Sen. Nelson and Rep. John Zerwas, MD (R-Simonton), which requires licensed child care centers to create an immunization policy for their staff who work with children.

SB 166 by Sen. Robert Deuell, MD (R-Greenville), and Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio), which allows physicians to check in patients using the electronic strip on the back of their Texas driver's license.

SB 644 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) and Rep. Zerwas, which creates one form for prescription preauthorizations.

SB 646 by Sen. Deuell and Rep. Elliot Naishtat (D-Austin), which amends current law relating to court-ordered outpatient mental health services.

SB 822, the silent PPO legislation by Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown), and Rep. Craig Eiland (D-Galveston), which establishes fair and transparent insurance markets and subjects the companies that sell, lease or share physician-contracted discounts to oversight by TDI.

SB 1150 by Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen) and Rep. Bobby Guerra (R-McAllen), which requires HHSC to implement a "provider protection plan" under Medicaid HMOs or other arrangements and incorporate the plan into the contracts between HHSC and the health plans.

SB 1216 by Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) and Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place), which creates one form for medical and health services preauthorizations.

SB 1643 by Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) and Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), which improves access to prescription information by physicians.

SB 1803 by Sen. Huffman and Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), which improves due process and expediency when a physician is accused of Medicaid fraud or overpayments; clarifies the definition of "credible allegation of fraud;" establishes timelines for the OIG to notify doctors of an investigation and hold payments in the process.



Effective Nov. 1, 2013


SB 406 by Sen. Nelson and Rep. Kolkhorst, which establishes a more streamlined and less bureaucratic system of supervision and strengthens physician-led patient care teams; strengthens the partnership between physicians, advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants; continues to recognize that independent prescribing is the practice of medicine.



Effective Jan. 1, 2014


SB 945 by Sen. Nelson and Rep. Davis, which requires physicians and nonphysicians to wear a photo ID badge clearly stating to patients their name, department of the hospital they are associated with, title, and status as a student, intern, trainee or resident.

HB 1803 by Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Katy) and Sen. Huffman, which allows for the renewal of the DPS Controlled Substances Registration (CSR) permit to occur every two years instead of annually and the state will process the application at the same time as the renewal of the medical license.  Physicians can reapply for the permit electronically with the TMB.  Congratulations to Richard Benedikt, MD, for his leadership in developing the BCMS resolution adopted during TexMed 2012 that has now become law.


Look for a full report on the outcome of the 83rd Legislative Session

in the August issue of Texas Medicine.


For local discussion on legislation passed during the 83rd Legislative Session and other advocacy topics, consider joining the BCMS Legislative and Socioeconomics Committee by contacting Mary Nava at










 About The Weekly Dose 

  The Weekly Dose is a service of the Bexar County Medical Society.

Some of the suggestions conveyed may not be applicable to your practice today,
 but the goal is to offer information over time that returns value in excess

of the cost of your membership.

If you would like to recommend future topics to share with your colleagues,

please submit them to the BCMS executive director at

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Copyright 2013
 Bexar County Medical Society, San Antonio, Texas.



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