The Weekly Dose           Bexar County Medical Society

Week of April 21,  2013 

Vol. 2, No. 32

Tax refund psychology


By John K. Wisniewski

BCMS CEO/Executive Director


Often, those receiving tax refunds feel happy about their compensation, and those writing checks feel underpaid.


This would be a good week to make sure you and your staff review withholding for next year.  Appropriate adjustments to W-4s can be made at any time, and help folks budget and plan more accurately. This can go a long way toward keeping the peace at home and work. 



Call for dancers at TMA Gala

Do you and/or your spouse dance African, flamenco

or ballet?

 Volunteers are needed to be a part of the

Texas Medical Association Foundation's Roaring Twentieth Anniversary Gala,

 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Friday, May 17

in San Antonio.


Dancers need to be in costume (dancing is not required but welcome).

If you are interested,

contact BCMS at

(210) 301-4363.


For more information on the gala, click here.


For more information on the TexMed meeting in San Antonio, click here




83rd Session Update

Medicine-supported measures moving through legislative process

36 days remain in session


By Mary E. Nava, MBA

BCMS Chief Governmental and

Community Relations Officer


As we enter the last stretch of the 83rd Session, there are a number of bills of importance to medicine making their way through the legislative process. Here are some of the highlights:



Bills approved by the Texas Senate:

SB 143 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), which allocates $11.5 million in the 2014-15 state budget for GME expansions, including establishing two primary care incentive programs for medical schools and expanding the Physician Loan Repayment Program to allow participation by physicians who provide services to Medicaid and Women's Health Program patients. SB 329 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), which prohibits minors from using tanning salons. SB 822 by Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), which would regulate silent PPOs; it received unanimous support in the Senate. SB 303, by Sen. Bob Deuell, MD (R-Greenville), which amends the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) to allow patients to make their care preferences known before they need care; this bill would maintain protection against forcing physicians to violate their religious beliefs, moral conscience and professional ethics. SB 301 by Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), which prevents off-shore medical schools from buying clinical clerkships for their students.


Bills approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee:

SB 1609 and 1610, also by Sen. Schwertner; offer targeted amendments that maintain the strength of privacy protections passed in 2011, while clarifying and simplifying the process of complying with the law (HB 300 passed in the 82nd Legislature). 


Bills approved by the Texas House:

HB 63 by Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland), which bans texting while driving. HB 15, by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), which aims to improve the quality of care and birth outcomes.


Bills approved by the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee:

HB 1803 by Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Katy), would start the renewal of the DPS Controlled Substances Registration with the online medical license renewal at the Texas Medical Board.


Bills approved by the House Human Services Committee:

HB 1536 by Rep. Bobby Guerra (D-Mission), gives physicians and other healthcare providers who treat Medicaid patients a right to an administrative hearing when the OIG takes action to recover overpayments. HB 3452 by Rep. Craig Eiland (D-Galveston) gives physicians and other healthcare providers a right to a contested hearing to dispute unreasonable Medicaid or HMO payments. HB 2731 by Rep. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) aims to reduce administrative hassles in Medicaid HMOs by standardizing credentialing and prior authorization forms, requiring HHSC to more actively oversee HMO contract compliance and ensure prompt payment of claims. HB 3158 by Rep. John Zerwas, MD (R-Simonton), requires HHSC to develop and implement one or more Medicaid managed care contracting

pilot(s) using a healthcare collaborative.


Bills approved by the House Insurance Committee:

HB 1032, also by Rep. John Zerwas, MD, which looks to establish a standardized prior authorization form for prescription drug benefits.


Bills approved by the House Technology Committee:

HB 395 by Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio), which would allow physicians and their staff to check in patients using the electronic strip on the back of their Texas driver's license.


Bills sent to Calendars:

HB 620, also by Rep. Craig Eiland, which would regulate silent PPOs and is the companion bill to SB 822. HB 772 by Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin), which would make the state's immunization registry, ImmTrac, an opt-out registry.


Bills Placed on the General State Calendar (for the week of April 22):

HB 1782 by Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place), a truth in advertising bill, which requires positive identification name badges with credentials for healthcare practitioners. HB 740 by Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Denton), which would screen newborns for critical congenital heart diseases in the hospital setting.  HB 832 by Rep. Helen Giddings (D-Dallas), which would help local public health officials prevent West Nile virus outbreaks by reducing barriers that prevent them from spraying pesticides on standing water on abandoned residential property. 


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



 Circle of Friends web logo  

Katy Brooks, CIC - Vice President of The Bank of San Antonio

  • Medical malpractice expertise (one of the few San Antonio agents who has this expertise)
  • 20-plus years' experience
  • Certified Insurance Counselor designation, Risk Manager License Local and one contact for all lines of coverage for physician groups
  • Medical malpractice, liability, property, workers compensation, commercial auto, umbrellas, directors and officers, and errors and omissions product lines
  • Because of expertise in field, knows what coverages and risks there are for physician groups and can provide free review/analysis of policies, coverages and pricing.


For more information, contact Katy Brooks at (210) 807-5593 or visit

The Bank of San Antonio Insurance Group Inc.

8000 IH-10 West, Suite 1140

San Antonio, Texas 78230 



This information is sent on behalf of a valued BCMS Circle of Friends sponsor at the Gold level, but it is not an endorsement. Donations from Circle of Friends sponsors help keep down the cost of dues and allow BCMS to continue to provide quality service to its members.

The society continues its pledge to you and only will involve itself in services and programs that benefit you, the member, and your patients.












 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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