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June 28, 2015                                                                                           Vol. 4, No. 42



Janivee Barron named

BCMS Unsung Hero for June

(From left) Roxanna Cervantes, Ramona Rundle (in back), Vaneza Guzman, Megan Juarez, Erica Garcia (in back), Dr. Bernice Gonzalez, Unsung Hero Janivee Barron, Jennifer Lefner, NP, Stephanie Thomas, DNP, Cynthia Ayala and Luke Wempe.


Vital Life Wellness COO honored


Janivee Barron, chief operating officer at Vital Life Wellness, was named the BCMS Unsung Hero for June.


In nominating her, Ms. Barron's colleagues said she is very organized and has been instrumental in implementing new service lines and overall comprehensive wellness programs. "She monitors the pulse of the practice and helps maintain high quality and patient overall experiences," according to the nomination letter.


The Unsung Hero program recognizes physicians' office managers and administrative staff who help BCMS members deliver the best quality care to patients. Winners receive gift certificates and are eligible for annual prizes.


To learn more, click here.



BCMS Call for Nominations


Physician-members of the Bexar County Medical Society: 


This is the time of year we ask for nominations for elected officers to lead the Bexar County Medical Society. I would like to challenge all member-physicians to think hard about who should be elected to impact the direction of medicine in San Antonio and Bexar County. 


We need strong leaders. Apathy is not a strategy. Please think about who you want to represent you to your colleagues and the outside world; let's have multiple candidates running for every position. Practices would be well-served to designate representative physicians from those practices or other practices to get involved to make a difference. We really need you! The society is only as good as the physicians you elect to run it!


To learn more and nominate online, click here.



Steve Fitzer

CEO/Executive Director

Bexar County Medical Society




Governor signs into law more than 1,200 bills,

vetoes 42, 160-plus become law without governor's signature

More TMA-backed bills are signed into law  


By Mary E. Nava, MBA

Chief Governmental and Community Relations Officer 


With the June 21 deadline to sign or veto legislation passed during the 84th Legislative Session now over, here are the results/recap of those TMA-backed bills we have been following in this column, some of which are making this column for the first time:



Senate Bill 18 -- on GME expansion

Senate Bill 66 -- on the use of epinephrine auto-injectors in public schools

Senate Bill 97 -- on restricting minor's access to e-cigarettes

Senate Bill 195 -- which would eliminate the state's Controlled Substance Registration (CSR) permit program, effective Sept. 1, 2016 

Senate Bill 200 -- Relating to the continuation and functions of HHSC and the provision of health and human services in this state

Senate Bill 202 -- which extends the life of the Texas Dept. of State Health Services for another 12 years, with extensive changes to agency operations

Senate Bill 207 -- on the Medicaid Office of Inspector General, improves the OIG's accountability and institutes fair rules and processes for physicians accused of waste, fraud or abuse

Senate Bill 239 -- would establish an additional loan remittance program to medical graduates choosing to practice as psychiatrists or other mental health professionals in an underserved Texas county

Senate Bill 481 -- on consumer information and notice and availability of mediation for balance billing

Senate Bill 760 -- on improving oversight and accountability of Medicaid HMOs' physician networks

Senate Bill 791 -- would increase the availability of educational material on congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) in infants.


House Bill 1 -- general appropriations bill; $209.4 billion state budget for the 2016-17 biennium, which includes $53 million for GME expansion grants, appropriates $4 million for existing family medicine residency programs and $3 million to revitalize the Statewide Primary Care Preceptorship Program.  The budget also includes significant increases for women's health, mental health programs and tobacco cessation programs. 

House Bill 7 -- on the tax front, includes the repeal of the $200 per year occupation tax, which physicians and other professionals in Texas pay

House Bill 32 -- cuts the state franchise tax by 25 percent

House Bill 440 -- Relating to adapting the public school physical education curriculum to accommodate the needs of students with mental disabilities

House Bill  1514 -- on health insurance ID cards issued by qualified health plan issuers

House Bill 1621 -- on utilization review appeals, require a 30-day advance notice of an adverse utilization review determination involving prescription drugs or IV infusions

House Bill 1624 -- on tougher requirements for health plans to post accurate and up-to-date drug formularies and network directories on publicly accessible Internet pages

House Bill 1945 -- on removing restrictions on direct contracting for primary care

House Bill 2171 -- on information maintained in the immunization registry after an individual becomes an adult

House Bill 2804 -- Relating to the evaluation of public school performance; preserves FitnessGram

House Bill 3074 -- on artificially administered nutrition and hydration and life-sustaining treatment

House Bill 3519 -- would allow Medicaid to pay for home telemonitoring services for patients with two or more specific medical conditions and a history of frequent hospital admissions or ER visits

House Bill 3781 -- would create the Texas Health Improvement Network, a collaborative, multi-entity initiative, housed within the UT system, to address significant health disparities in the state.


Senate Bill 622 -- Relating to the physician assistant board

Senate Bill 1753 -- Relating to the identification requirements of certain healthcare providers associated with a hospital.



Senate Bill 359 -- would have allowed a four-hour emergency department hold for a mentally ill patient that a physician would deem to be a danger to themselves or to others.

House Bill 225 -- would have protected from prosecution people who seek emergency care for someone suffering a drug overdose, and also would have allowed first responders to administer an opioid antagonist to save someone from a potentially fatal overdose.

House Bill 2084 -- Relating to transparency in the rate-setting processes for the Medicaid managed care and child health plan programs.


To read any of the bills mentioned above or others you may be interested in, click on the following links to access legislation signed by the governor; filed without the governor's signature and vetoed legislation.


Look for a complete wrapup of the 84th Legislative Session in the August issues of Texas Medicine and San Antonio Medicine.


For local discussion on this and other practice management topics, consider joining the BCMS Legislative and Socioeconomics Committee by contacting Mary Nava.




9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 22 

Norris Conference Center, Park North Shopping Center

618 N.W. Loop 410, San Antonio 78216


Join the Immunization Partnership for this FREE educational event, where participants will learn about HPV-associated disease and available vaccines, as well as strategies on how to talk about these vaccines with hesitant patients or parents. 



HPV-associated Disease in Men and Women

Anil Mangla, PhD, MPH, San Antonio Metro Health District 


School-based HPV Education

Richard E. Rupp, MD, UT Medical Branch Galveston 


HPV Outreach and Education Among Hispanic Women in South Texas 

Deborah Parra-Medina, PhD, MPH, UT Health Science Center San Antonio

Can Texas Lead the Nation to Protect our Children From HPV Cancers?
Rekha Lakshmanan, MHA, The Immunization Partnership

HPV 9 Vaccine Uptake
Kenda Deputy, RN, BSN, Texas Department of State Health Services   


Lunch will be provided for all registered attendees. 


Reserve your seat today by clicking here


In collaboration with San Antonio Metropolitan Health District 


Bexar County Medical Society

6243 I-10 West, Suite 600 

San Antonio, TX 78201







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 steve.fitzer@bcms.org.

All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.

Copyright © 2015 Bexar County Medical Society, San Antonio, Texas. 

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