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ROUNDS


Physicians came together at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines near Bastrop for TMA’s Fall Conference in mid-September.


Hurricane Harvey, legislature highlight


TMA Fall Conference THE DEVASTATION CAUSED BY Hurricane Harvey and the actions of the 85th Texas Legislature were still fresh on the minds of hundreds of physicians who attended the Texas Medical Association 2017 Fall Conference in September. Along with panel discussions on the public health response to Harvey and on


the extended legislative session, the Fall Conference also featured a talk on the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on adults’ health. (See “What You Need to Know About ACEs,” September 2017 Texas Medicine, pages 53–57, or visit www.texmed.org/WhatToKnowAboutACEs.) Hurricane Harvey and the legislature came together during Saturday morn-


ing’s Philip R. Overton Annual Lectureship in Medicine and the Law, which examined a new telemedicine law and digital health opportunities in Texas fol- lowing the passage of Senate Bill 1107.


PHOTO BY MARIO VILLEDA


NEWS FROM AMERICA’S BEST MEDICAL SOCIETY


During the discussion, Jared Liv-


ingston, TMA’s assistant general counsel, noted the barriers that Har- vey put between many people and their physicians, including evacua- tions and forced hospital closures. But he said telemedicine had alleviated some of those problems, as several di- rect-to-consumer companies offered free telemedicine consultations in the wake of the storm. SB 1107, a priority measure for


TMA, the Texas e-Health Alliance, and the Texas Academy of Family :Rc]SMSKX] MVK\S O] ^RK^ ^RO ]^KXNK\N of care in telemedicine is the same as for a traditional, in-person encounter. It also allows for the establishment of a valid relationship between patient and practitioner — which Texas law requires before issuing a prescription for a dangerous drug or controlled substance — through certain means other than a face-to-face meeting, such as through synchronous audio- visual interaction. Other panelists included TMA


General Counsel Donald “Rocky” Wil- cox and Austin attorney Julian Rivera, who noted the time between shifts in medicine and shifts in the regulation of medicine “seem to be getting short- er and shorter and shorter.” Mr. Livingston said physicians


would have to decide whether they can meet the standard of care us- ing telemedicine in a given patient encounter. To do that, they must ask themselves questions such as:


November 2017 TEXAS MEDICINE 15


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