Texas Advances Bills To Modernize, Digitize Health Care Processes

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Texas lawmakers have advanced several health-IT related bills that would help modernize medical practices in the state, the Texas Tribune/New York Times reports.

Details of SB 166

The state House and Senate have approved SB 166, which would allow Texas health care providers to collect and verify patient data by swiping an individual's driver's license.

The measure -- supported by the Texas Medical Association -- is awaiting Gov. Rick Perry's (R) signature.

Nora Belcher -- executive director of the Texas E-Health Alliance -- said the measure will help improve payment systems, ensure patient safety and prevent insurance fraud. She said, "What's really best for the patient is complete data at the point of care."

Details of SB 644, SB 1216

The Texas Senate also has approved two measures (SB 644, SB 1216) that would standardize preauthorization forms required for prescription drugs and health care services.

An amended version of the bills would establish expert advisory councils at the Texas Department of Insurance to ensure that such standardized forms match federal standards and can be transferred electronically.

The bills have been referred to a Texas House committee (Aaronson, Texas Tribune/New York Times, 5/11).
Than Nguyen
This is a great step towards improving patient data and lessening the burden at the point of care. Other states should follow suit.

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