AUSTIN – The Texas Medical Association (TMA) has named State Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place) as one of Texas’ best legislators from the 83rd legislative session. Representative Davis is one of 14 TMA 2013 Patient Protection Award winners.
TMA physicians and TMA Alliance members announced the awards at its Specialty Advocacy Retreat in Austin. The award recognizes legislators who earned physicians’ greatest gratitude on behalf of their patients.
“These legislators carried or backed legislation to improve health care in Texas, chaired committees or served as critical members of them, and worked tirelessly to make a positive difference for Texas patients,” said Jerry Hunsaker, MD, board chair of TEXPAC, TMA’s political action committee.
“Representative Davis championed legislation that cuts unnecessary red tape and hassles in Texas’ health care system for patients,” said Dr. Hunsaker. For example, she co-sponsored legislation creating a new law that requires the state to design one standard prior-authorization request form for medical services for all health plans to use. Health plans often have required as many as 40 different forms, and processing these forms wastes thousands of dollars in a doctor’s practice, and reduces the time physicians can spend with patients. “This new law is an important step toward simplifying the administrative process for patients,” added Dr. Hunsaker.
Representative Davis recognized hospitals can be confusing to patients who don’t know precisely who is caring for them — so she helped create a new law requiring physicians and nonphysicians to wear a photo ID badge clearly stating their name; title; status as a student, intern, trainee or resident; and other information.
She also played a key role on the House Appropriations, House Calendars, and House Public Health Committees, helping support and shepherd important health care bills through the legislative process that improve Texas’ health care system.
“It is her work as patients’ champion that earned her TMA’s Patient Protection Award,” said Dr. Hunsaker.
Since 1995, TMA has honored legislators who have gone above and beyond to back important legislation on behalf of Texas patients.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. TEXPAC speaks on behalf of more than 47,000 Texas physicians and medical students, and nearly 8,000 alliance members. Organized in 1962, TEXPAC is one of the oldest political action committees in Texas. TEXPAC also is one of the largest bipartisan PACs in the state and ranks first in size among other state medical association PACs.