Legislative Issues & Updates

The TMA advocacy team works with state lawmakers and other organizations to achieve legislative priorities as defined by the Legislative Committee, Board of Trustees and House of Delegates.

The 110th General Assembly adjourned sine die on April 25, 2018. TMA helped pass, defeat or amend dozens of bills affecting doctors and patients, including maintenance of certification, episodes of care, balance billing, opioids, prohibition on indoor tanning for minors and more.

he next General Assembly will have at least 28 new members when it convenes in 2019. TMA needs your donations to IMPACT as we work to fill open seats with candidates who support good healthcare policies in Tennessee. 


Join us in Nashville each spring to meet with state lawmakers to advocate for your practice, your profession and your patients.

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Legislative Report Cards

View summaries of TMA's work on Capitol Hill during previous legislative sessions.

2019 Legislative Priorities

  • BALANCE BILLINGSpecial interest groups have pushed the Tennessee General Assembly during the past few years to address the issue of “surprise medical bills,” including filing a bill to remove the ban on the corporate practice of medicine. TMA wants to protect physicians’ rights to choose how they practice and get paid appropriately for services they provide out of network. TMA continues to proactively engage other stakeholders, including insurance companies and hospitals, in efforts to reach a solution that is fair to all parties, especially physicians and patients. If a compromise is not possible then TMA will advocate for a law setting reasonable compensation for out-of-network services relative to in-network rates.

  • OPIOID EPIDEMIC: While TMA was able to make significant improvements to Gov. Haslam’s “TN Together” legislation in 2018, some of the unintended consequences doctors initially feared the new law would create are manifesting across the state. New restrictions on prescribing and dispensing are no doubt achieving the governor’s stated goal of reducing overall initial supply, but are also unreasonably obstructing some patients from accessing legitimate, effective pain management. TMA will work with the legislature to amend the law to address specific issues raised by doctors and patients. tnmed.org/opioids 

  • SCOPE OF PRACTICE: TMA for years has led doctors’ opposition to nurse independent practice in Tennessee. The 2019 session is the final in a three-year moratorium with the Tennessee Nurses Association on all independent practice bills, but TMA is on alert to continue defending against any proposals from other groups that would threaten patient safety and quality of care by removing physician oversight for nurses, PAs or any other midlevel providers. TMA will continue promoting physician-led, team-based care as the safest, most efficient and effective healthcare delivery model in Tennessee. tnmed.org/teambasedcare

  • MAT PARITY: TMA will ask the General Assembly to consider a resolution encouraging health insurance companies to include Medication-Assisted Treatment therapies in patients’ health plans and reimburse specialists who provide MAT services at rates comparable to other treatments. TMA has long advocated for more accessible and well-funded treatment options for patients struggling with substance abuse. Using medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies is a necessary strategy in the ongoing fight against Tennessee’s opioid abuse epidemic.