TPMA Legislative Victory!
May 30, 2019
As you know, the 86th Session of the Texas Legislature convened in Austin on January 8, 2019 and adjourned “Sine Die” 140 days later on May 27, 2019. More than 7,000 bills were filed during the Session . . . and TPMA monitored approximately 500 bills of interest, which included legislation regulating the health professions, the Texas Medicaid program, health benefit plans and managed care organizations, and prescription drug monitoring for all prescribers. Important legislative initiatives supported by TPMA and the other health professions were passed and are now headed to the Governor for signature.
However, the highlight of the 86th Session for TPMA, the Texas Podiatric Medical Profession, and the patients you serve was the passage of TPMA’s priority bills for the Session . . . HB 2593 by Representative Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) and SB 1533 by Senator Jose Menéndez (D-San Antonio). The purpose of this legislation was to clarify that (1) persons who perform podiatric radiologic procedures at the direction of a podiatrist are regulated by TDLR and (2) podiatrists are authorized to delegate certain podiatric medical acts to a qualified and properly trained podiatric medical assistant.
We are pleased to report that on April 24, 2019, HB 2593 and SB 1533 were added as a House floor amendment to HB 2845 by Representative Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth), the TDLR omnibus clean-up bill. HB 2845 was then approved by the full House on April 26, 2019; passed by the full Senate on May 20, 2019; and signed by the Governor on May 27, 2019.
This important legislation was necessary because in 1987, the Texas Legislature enacted the Medical Radiologic Technologist Certification Act which regulates persons who administer radiation to a human for a medical purpose. However, the Act did not apply to practitioners (medical doctors, doctors of podiatric medicine, dentists, etc.) or persons who perform a radiologic procedure under the instruction or direction of a practitioner provided the person and the practitioner comply with rules adopted by the practitioner’s licensing agency to regulate the manner in which the delegation is accomplished.
As a result, the Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners (Board) adopted rules regulating persons who perform podiatric radiological procedures for any podiatric medical purpose at the direction of a podiatrist . . . and requiring these persons to register with the Board.
Initially, when the Medical Radiologic Certification Act was passed by the Texas Legislature, the regulation of persons who perform radiological procedures was administered by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Later, in 2015, the Texas Legislature transferred the program to the Texas Medical Board. Then, in 2017, the Legislature transferred the regulation of the practice of podiatry from the Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). As a result, any person performing podiatric radiological procedures at the direction of a DPM must be registered with TDLR. However, radiology training programs and instructors for these persons had to be approved by the Texas Medical Board. Additionally, current Texas law did not specifically authorize DPMs to delegate podiatric medical acts to a podiatric medical assistant. The passage of HB 2847 has now successfully addressed these two concerns.
We will provide a complete summary of the important bills that were passed this Session during the TPMA Annual Business Meeting which will be held at the Lost Pines Resort in Cedar Creek, Texas on Saturday, June 29, 2019. Hope to see you there. Thank you for your support this Session.
For more information regarding these and other legislative issues, please contact TPMA Legal and Legislative Counsel, Mark J. Hanna, 2414 Exposition Boulevard, Suite A-1, Austin, Texas 78703; telephone: (512) 477-6200; fax: (512) 477-1188; electronic mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.