Navigation Links
TMA Physicians and Legislators: 'Patients Have a Right to Know'
Date:3/25/2009

AUSTIN, Texas, March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Texas Medical Association (TMA) joined with state legislators to launch initiatives today that would make using health insurance better and much easier for Texas patients.

The problem: Too often patients do not understand their health insurance information and cannot easily find the answers.

"We believe our patients have the right to know what's covered in their insurance," said Josie R. Williams, M.D., TMA's president. "Our patients also have the right to know which doctors and hospitals are in their network, how much extra they will have to pay for the health care services they receive, and why they have to keep paying more for health insurance."

That is why TMA launched its grassroots outreach campaign, Patients' Right to Know. The goal of the campaign is to engage Texas patients in the effort to pass legislation that would reform health insurance.

Several state lawmakers have introduced important legislation that will ensure that patients have the right to accurate and current information on copays, deductibles, and health plan networks to make good health care decisions.

Health Insurance Code of Conduct Act of 2009

The first piece of legislation to bring needed improvements to the health insurance industry is the Health Insurance Code of Conduct Act of 2009. The measure was filed by Sen. Kip Averitt (R-Waco) and Rep. Craig Eiland (D-Galveston) in the Senate and the House as Senate Bill 1257 and House Bill 2750, respectively.

"We think it's about time health insurance companies treated our patients like valued customers, and keep the promises they make," added Dr. Williams.

Health Insurance "Soup Can Label" Bill

For many people, understanding which insurance to buy is difficult. So physicians wonder, what if patients could understand what's in their health insurance policy as easily as they can see what's in a can of soup? What if patients could compare two different health plans as easily as they can compare the calories in two different jars of peanut butter?

TMA's health insurance label plan, filed by Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) and Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), would do just that. SB 815 and HB 1932 would require a standardized format for health plan marketing materials that allows an "apples-to-apples" comparison of health insurance coverage.

"Buying health insurance today is very complicated," said Dr. Williams. She added that big insurance companies offer dozens of different plans, and cover different things. Patients' out-of-pocket costs can vary wildly. "It is almost impossible to compare what each plan might mean to patients, their family, or business owners' employees, and we think it's time big insurance makes this simpler for patients."

The Patients' Right to Know campaign calls on patients and physicians to help make health insurance more accessible and transparent. Among other tools, TMA created www.meandmydoctor.com, a Web site with a grassroots action center where patients can write their legislators in support of health insurance reform bills. Educational materials will be displayed in physician offices to inform and engage patients.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing nearly 44,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA's key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

    Contact:
    Pam Udall (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 413-6807; e-mail: pam.udall@texmed.org
    Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; e-mail: brent.annear@texmed.org



'/>"/>
SOURCE Texas Medical Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Physicians Practice and Rose Medical Center Partner to Improve Patient Care in the Denver Metro Area
2. Intensive summer program helps physicians build clinical research careers
3. New book chronicles the journeys of women physicians and scientists to fighting cancer
4. Sound Inpatient Physicians Report on New Clinical Processes to Reduce Healthcare Costs and Enhance Care
5. In Texas, Favorable Regulations for Physicians May Backfire in Light of Market Downturn
6. New Book Chronicles the Journeys of Women Physicians and Scientists to the Front Lines of Fighting Cancer
7. Physicians Favor Patient Involvement in Decision Making, But Cite Barriers Such as Time and Money
8. U.S. Rep. Connolly, Inova Health System Physicians, Public Health Groups Call for Congressional Action to Protect Kids from Tobacco
9. Aspirin recommendation underscores need for physicians and patients to discuss benefits and risk
10. U.S. Rep. Connolly, Inova Hospital Physicians, Public Health Groups Call for Congressional Action to Protect Kids From Tobacco
11. Health Insurers to Make Major Investment in Primary Care, Patients and Physicians to Benefit
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... Each year, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) offers a Combined Sections Meeting. ... Almost 10,000 physical therapists across the country are expected to attend this annual convention ... field and network with their colleagues. As in years past, HydroWorx is proud ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... Leadership Series at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on April 5-7. The series ... behaviors and create new habits. The workshops cover a broad range of topics, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... AssureVest Insurance Group, a locally owned insurance firm with offices ... raise funds earmarked to purchase computers and software for Mrs. Harrison’s 2nd and 3rd ... in a low-income area and has more than 60 2nd and 3rd graders with ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... metro area, celebrates the beginning of the latest charity campaign in their community ... through art. Donations to this worthy cause are currently being accepted at: ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... and surrounding communities by continuing it’s commitment to act as Agents of Change ... organization works closely with area homeless families to fulfill immediate needs and help ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Demers Ambulances announces its first delivery ... Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ... and one LT2 van. Quality Emergency Vehicles in ... for the sale.  This is the latest in Demers, ongoing ... Vice President at Demers. --> Benoit LaFortune , ...
(Date:2/12/2016)...  Memorial Hermann Health System has teamed up with ... bring a one-of-a-kind experience to pediatric patients at ... as 360-degree video and Google Cardboard, Howard was able ... giving the patients and their families an unexpected, and ... on video . Memorial Hermann IRONMAN ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016  Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARLZ ... Company will ring the Nasdaq Closing Bell at the ... at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February ... Adrian Adams , will perform the honorary ... 4:00 p.m. ET.  A live webcast will be available ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: