June 4, 2017

Vol. 6, No. 22


In this Issue…

Legislative News

Candidates For City Elections Respond

Military Health Research Forum

International Day of Yoga

Drug Misuse Prevention Summit

BCMS Auto Program


Support BCMS Circle of Friends Sponsors

      Favorite Staffing

Legislative News

85th Legislative Session adjourns Sine Die


Last Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day), the 85th Legislative Session came to a close. While medicine issues saw a number of wins and also the demise of some bad bills, a special session is looming on the horizon targeting the state agencies under Sunset, including the Texas Medical Board. Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to make an announcement very soon as to his plans for any further work to be done by the Legislature. 

At this time, several bills have already been signed into law by Gov. Abbott and others are on his desk awaiting action. Signed legislation includes:


Billing Mediation - Senate Bill 507 by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and Rep. John Frullo (R-Lubbock) which expands the billing mediation process to all physicians and others providing out-of-network services at certain in-network facilities; also expands mediation to out-of-network situations for emergency care.


Step Therapy - Senate Bill 680 by Sen. Hancock empowers physicians to override health plans’ step therapy protocols.


Telemedicine - Senate Bill 1107 by Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown), establishes a statutory definition for telemedicine and clarifies that the standard of care for a traditional, in-person medical setting also applies to telemedicine services. In the House, Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) added language making it clearer that telemedicine is not a distinct service, but a tool physicians can use. Health plans are prohibited from excluding telemedicine from coverage just because the care isn’t provided in person.


CPRIT - Senate Bill 224 by Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) extends the sunset date of the cancer research organization from 2021 to 2023, and also adds two years to its eligibility to allocate funds, to 2022.


To read more about the current status of legislation of importance to medicine, click here.


Please stay tuned to this column for more information on the status of legislation that is signed into law or vetoed by the Governor.  Details will be provided as they become available.

For local discussion on these and other legislative advocacy topics, consider joining the BCMS Legislative and Socioeconomics Committee by contacting Mary Nava at


 Candidates for City Elections Respond

The Bexar County Medical Society received about a dozen responses to its candidate questionnaire this year for the 2017 mayoral and city council races.

You can check out the responses from these candidates who are in the June 10 runoff:

Mayoral Candidate Ron Nirenberg

Mayor Ivy Taylor

CD 8 Candidate Manny Pelaez

CD 8 Candidate Cynthia Brehm

Military Health Research Forum

International Day of Yoga



Drug Misuse Prevention Summit


 The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is conducting regional Town Halls to discuss suggested best practices and solutions to prevent prescription drug misuse. The Town Halls will be two to three hours in length. HHSC and local community representatives will make remarks and then ask for public comments and suggestions.


San Antonio
Tuesday, July 18 - 2-5 pm
Oblate Whitley Theological Center 
285 Oblate Drive 
San Antonio, Texas 78216-6693

Click here to register.

BCMS Auto Program

Circle of Friends Platinum Sponsor

Circle of Friends Gold Sponsor





Thank you to our BCMS Circle of Friends sponsors!

This information is sent on behalf of our sponsors 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.



Bexar County Medical Society

4334 N Loop 1604 W., Suite 200

San Antonio, TX 78249



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

All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.

Copyright © 2017 Bexar County Medical Society, San Antonio, Texas. 

All rights reserved.