The Weekly Dose           Bexar County Medical Society

Week of April 14,  2013 

Vol. 2, No. 31



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BCMS sets 48

specific goals

for 2013


By John K. Wisniewski

BCMS CEO/Executive Director


BCMS is focused on 48 key initiatives, resulting from an enhanced strategic-planning and goal-tracking process that was introduced this year.


The purpose is to enhance the value of your membership and communicate our efforts more consistently. Please click here to see those things BCMS is doing for YOU.


A big part of this process is to be more transparent and in tune with your needs. Please feel free to email me with any comments you have about the current goals, or suggestions for the future. 





BCMS General

Membership Meeting

To Congress and Back

Featuring: the Honorable Charlie Gonzalez


6:30 p.m. June 4

The Club at Sonterra

901 Sonterra Blvd.




83rd Legislative

Session Update

BCMS members participate as 'Physician of the Day' at Capitol


By Mary E. Nava, MBA

BCMS Chief Governmental and

Community Relations Officer


With just 43 days left in the 83rd Legislative Session, things are moving at a very fast pace at the Capitol.  On April 4, the Texas House passed a two-year state budget of nearly $194 billion.  Now, the House and Senate will each appoint five members to a conference committee, whose mission will be to hammer out the differences between the House and Senate spending plans. 


TMA in support:

On the Senate side, SB 822 by Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown), was heard and approved in the Senate State Affairs Committee on April 8. This legislation would put into place a needed law to regulate silent PPOs. HB 620 is the companion bill to SB 822 by Rep. Craig Eiland (D-Galveston), which passed out of the House Insurance Committee during the first week in April. On April 9, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on SB 1610, also by Dr. Schwertner; this bill offers targeted amendments that maintain the strength of the privacy protections of HB 300 by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), which passed in 2011, but would clarify and simplify the process of complying with the law.  HB 300 enacted a new state law protecting the privacy of Texans' medical records, but it unintentionally introduced questions for healthcare professionals as they work to comply with the law's requirements.


TMA in opposition:

Also on April 9, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on SB 1013 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood); this bill would allow pharmacists to vaccinate children 7 years of age and older, and would undermine the purpose of medical homes, essential for children in this age group. 


The Senate Jurisprudence Committee heard testimony on SB 1193 by Sen. Donna Campbell, MD (R-New Braunfels); this bill requires the Texas Medical Board (TMB) to notify a physician of a complaint filed with the board, provide a copy of the complaint, and identify who filed the complaint and what physician reviewers are involved.  SB 1193 could allow bad doctors to bully and intimidate patients, nurses and other healthcare staff and colleagues from filing valid complaints with TMB. It also could allow bad doctors to bully and intimidate expert physicians from providing quality peer review of TMB complaints. TMA maintains that a strong and fair TMB protects patients, upholds high ethical standards for physicians, helps preserve Texas' critical 2003 healthcare tort reforms, and maintains the professional image of all Texas physicians.


'Physician of the Day' at the Capitol


THANK YOU to the following BCMS members who have participated as "Physician of the Day" at the Capitol during the 83rd Legislative Session:  Mitch Finnie, MD; Francisco Barrera, MD; Michael Dominguez, MD; and BCMS President Gabriel Ortiz, MD. 


Physician participants volunteer to spend a day at the Capitol's clinic. Daily coverage schedules are organized through the offices of the Texas Academy of Family Practice. Additionally, physician participants are recognized by the members of the Texas House and Senate during the morning sessions of each of the respective chambers of the Legislature.


"It was a lot of fun," Dr. Ortiz said. "Clinic is from 9 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m. I worked with a nurse practitioner who has been there about 20 years.  Most of the patients we saw were staff, though we did see a few legislators and a lobbyist as well. Visits were usually simple and quick. Charting was easy -- on paper; no EMRs. The staff and legislators we saw were very appreciative that we were there. I was introduced to the House and then the Senate. Each gave a five-minute speech about me while I stood in front.  They really made me feel welcomed.  It was a fun day, and I'm going to sign up again."


Stay tuned to this column for more updates on the status of bills and other activities as the 83rd Legislative Session continues.



For local discussion on the 83rd Legislative Session, First Tuesdays trips to the Capitol and other legislative and socioeconomic 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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