Thursday, January 30, 2020

Medical Cartel Trying to Pull Fast One Though State Agency

"They are all adulterers.
Like an oven heated by a baker—
He ceases stirring the fire after kneading the dough,
Until it is leavened."
Hosea 7:4

Via. JoAnn Fleming:
The Good News: After Texans spoke out last month, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) scrapped plans to impose a minimum 10-business-day wait on patients seeking non-emergency care from an independent (out-of-network) physician at any hospital or surgery center in the state of Texas.

The Bad News: The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) stepped in and imposed a similar rule (applicable to independent physicians at in-network facilities), but without an opportunity for public input. This went into effect on January 1, 2020.

Because the Texas Dept. of Insurance adopted the rule on an emergency basis, there is now a 30-day comment period underway before the rule is adopted as a permanent regulation.

Additional Background: Last year the Texas legislature passed legislation (SB 1264) purporting to address an issue largely caused by insurance companies. The issue has been mislabeled as a problem of “surprise” medical bills. The real “surprise” is that insurance companies deny payment for needed care and add obstacles that prevent and delay patients from obtaining care from the physicians of their choice. Because of your advocacy, and the efforts of Senator Kelly Hancock, the version of SB 1264 that passed contained a good provision preserving the rights of patients and independent physicians to work together without interference from insurance company bureaucrats.

So, what’s the problem?

The TDI is now improperly inserting itself in between patients and independent doctors by implementing a 10 business-day waiting period for non-emergency care for services performed at hospitals and surgery centers. The regulation applies when the facility is in-network according to the patient’s insurance plan, but the physician chosen by the patient is independent (out of network). Currently, there are few facilities that are not run by collaborations between hospital corporations and insurance companies. This rule makes it extremely difficult for a specialist to work at a hospital without being bound to the dictates of an insurance company.

For example: if a patient who is enrolled in a health plan regulated by TDI wishes to contract directly with a surgeon who isn't in the insurer's narrow network, but utilize insurance coverage for hospital or surgery center fees, the patient would have to sign the TDI-approved waiver form, at least 10-business days before the procedure. During this forced waiting period, the patient may suffer in pain or experience worsening disease! That patient’s only other option for care is to agree to be treated by a doctor with whom the insurance company has contracted and who is under the control of the corporate medical system.

Keep in mind that a 10-business-day wait means in most cases at least a 14-day wait and as many as 17 days in situations where holidays add to the delay.

Unelected bureaucrats are attempting to force patients to wait for care from physicians of their choice! Rules like this, if left in place, are yet another step along the path to full corporate and government control of your medical care choices.

Call to Action!

Please take a moment now to speak out against this proposal before the comment period ends. The department will consider any written comments on the proposal that are received no later than 5:00 PM on February 10, 2020.

Your comments can be submitted by email to or by mail to the Office of the Chief Clerk, MC 112-2A, Texas Department of Insurance, P.O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104.

The Commissioner will also consider written and oral comments on the proposal in a public hearing under Docket No. 2819 at 1:00 PM on February 4, 2020, in Room 100 of the William P. Hobby Jr. State Office Building, 333 Guadalupe Street, Austin, Texas.

The department requests that parties who plan to speak at the hearing send their written comments (or a summary of their testimony) to to facilitate a meaningful discussion.

Attending the hearing? Email Dr. Sheila Page
We'd have to re-arrange our schedule to do it, but we're going to try to attend on Tuesday.

Regardless of whether or not you can make it, however, DO e-mail the Department of Insurance.  Obscure government agencies tend to back down when they realize the public is paying attention.  No promises, but the odds are decent.

Bottom Line: Figures they'd try to do something like this while everyone's distracted by the primary.

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