President's Message

October 2019

Hemant Vankawala, MD, FACEP

As the President of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians, I want to thank you for your membership and give you an update on what we've been doing. You know the challenges we face - willful and wanton standard, surprise billing, mental health reform and opioid abuse... the list goes on. Your membership helps us, and it improves the service we provide in Texas.

TCEP and ACEP work for you. What have we done lately on your behalf? Quite a lot.

• State Legislative Action: We facilitated several legislative successes for emergency physicians, including protecting emergency physicians in the making of SB 1264 (prohibition of balance billing) and HB 2362 (willful and wanton standard), which were both signed by Governor Abbott. We also fought for mental health reforms and against independent practice for midlevel providers, increased documentation burdens, and utilization review by plans for benefits.

• Federal Advocacy on Surprise Billing: This is a critical time to advocate for EM before Congress makes a decision in the surprise billing debate. We have updated our member advocacy toolkit to help you contact your federal legislators and their staff while they’re at home for the recess period.

• Proposed Fee Schedule: CMS recently released its proposed 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and it’s impactful for EM physicians because it includes proposals that affect Medicare physician payments.

• Held a successful complimentary MAT Waiver Training in Dallas.

• ABCD Sim Lab course will be offered in Ft. Worth, Feb 7, 2020

• Free POC App Released: ACEP Members get five bedside tools in one app: AFIB (atrial fibrillation & flutter), BUPE (Buprenorphine use in the ED), ADEPT (agitation in the elderly), MAP (management of acute pain) and iCar2e (suicide assessment).

• TCEP has worked hard to improve its presence in the political house of medicine. We were able to cut costs and move into an office in the TMA building right across from the state capitol allowing TCEP to be intimately aware and involved with activities. In addition, TCEP has brought in new expert leadership with Beth Brooks as our Executive Director (along with Annette Mitrosz as operations manager). They bring years of experience and knowledge that will allow TCEP to better communicate with the membership as well as advocate for ER docs.

Thank you for your commitment. Please let me know how we can help as you provide quality care to your patients.