Monday, May 27 is the last day of the 83rd
Legislative Session. It's hard to believe that 140 days of the
regular session are just about done. There are rumors floating
around about a possible special session on redistricting and
perhaps other important items. In the coming weeks, I'll
provide updates on the status of medicine's bills that have been
passed and their outcome pending the governor's action to either
sign these bills into law or veto them.
Some highlights from the previous week:
SB 166 by Sen.
Robert Deuell, MD (R-Greenville), and Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San
Antonio) has been signed into law by the governor. This is
the first of five TMA bills reducing red tape for physicians'
practices. Many thanks and congratulations to Bernard
"Buddy" Swift Jr., MD, for leading the effort to develop
this legislation, which allows physicians to check-in patients
using the electronic strip on the back of their Texas driver's
license. This law goes into effect on Sept. 1.
SB 945 by Sen.
Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West
University Place) also has been signed into law by the
governor. This law becomes effective on Jan. 1,
2014. It 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) passed to enrollment and is
headed to the governor's desk. HB 1803 would start the renewal
of the DPS controlled substances registration with the online
medical license renewal at the Texas Medical Board.
Stay tuned to this column for more updates on the
status of bills as the 83rd Legislative Session adjourns Sine Die
on May 27.
In the midst
of the legislative session, the BCMS Delegation to TMA also
was busy with preparations for TexMed 2013 and working to
elect BCMS past president Jesse Moss Jr., MD, for a position on the
TMA Board of Trustees. Unfortunately, Dr. Moss did not win a
seat on the TMA Board. In his comments to the TMA House of Delegates,
Dr. Moss stated, "I want to thank the Bexar County Medical
Society for supporting me, and I want everyone to know, I'll be
Many thanks to
all members of the delegation to TMA for their time and
participation: Rajaram Bala, MD; Dianna Burns-Banks, MD;
Josie Cigarroa, MD; Edward Dick, MD; Suresh Dutta, MD; John
Edwards, MD; Estrella deForster, MD; K.P. Ganeshappa, MD; Harold
Gaskill, MD; Stephen Gelfond, MD; Donald Gordon, MD, PhD; William
Gordon, MD; Gerald Greenfield, MD; Sheldon Gross, MD; Martin
Guerrero, MD; David Henkes, MD; David Hnatow, MD; John Holcomb, MD;
James Humphreys, MD - Delegation Chair; Leah Jacobson, MD; Margaret
Kelley, MD; Alexander Kenton, MD; Vijay Koli, MD; Ashok Kumar, MD;
Robert Luedecke, MD; Jesse Moss Jr., MD; John Nava, MD; Gabriel
Ortiz, MD; Somayaji Ramamurthy, MD; Roberto San Martin, MD; Jayesh
Shah, MD; David Shulman, MD; J. Marvin Smith III, MD; Bernard
"Buddy" Swift Jr., MD; Marc Taylor, MD; Roberto Trevino
Jr., MD; Miguel Vasquez, MD, and Jacob Oppenheimer, medical
also to Susan Wynne, MD, soloist, and Michael Stern, MD, pianist
for their beautiful rendition of "The Star-Spangled
Banner" during the opening session of theTMA House of
Delegates on May 17. Attendees enjoyed hearing (what has
been hailed as a first-time performance) two verses of
the national anthem.
For local discussion on the 83rd Legislative
Session and other advocacy topics, consider joining the BCMS
Legislative and Socioeconomics Committee by contacting Mary Nava at
PHOTO ABOVE: James Humphreys, MD, chair of the BCMS
Delegation to TMA, leads a discussion with delegation members prior
to the House of Delegate elections May 18 during TexMed
2013 in San Antonio.