Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill that will allow critical-access hospitals, sole community hospitals and hospitals in counties of 50,000 or fewer people to employ physicians.
Perry signs bill letting Texas rural hospitals employ docs
The bill had the support of the Texas Hospital Association and the Texas Medical Association, both based in Austin. The hospital association, in a message to its members, said the law is the culmination of years of work by rural hospitals, the Austin-based Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals, and the THA, as well as state legislators Sen. Robert Duncan, a Republican, and Rep. Garnet Coleman, a Democrat.
The TMA backed the bill because it believes it protects physicians while helping rural hospitals, according to a news release issued last week. "We strongly support this bill because it ensures that patients and their physicians—not hospital administrators—will be responsible for making clinical decisions," TMA President Dr. Susan Rudd Bailey said in the release.
Critical-access hospitals and sole community hospitals are Medicare designations for geographically isolated hospitals.
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