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EHR Incentive Program Resources

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 17:08:49 GMT

Unsure which electronic health record (EHR) incentive program is right for you? TMA has resources to help you make this important decision.

HHS Issues ACO Rules

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 17:37:55 GMT

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius issued proposed rules to regulate the Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) created by the health system reform law. Issues addressed by the rules include shared savings, quality improvement, and antitrust.

EHR Incentive Program Timeline

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:20:57 GMT

For those physicians looking at the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs, it pays to be prepared. Mark your calendar and plan ahead for these important deadlines to earn maximum incentives and avoid potential penalties under the incentive programs.

Physician Employment Protections

Sat, 21 May 2016 00:30:34 GMT

At the onset of the 82nd legislative session, more than 20 bills were asking lawmakers to lift Texas' ban against the corporate practice of medicine. Both rural and urban hospital districts wanted the ability to employ physicians. With only weeks left of the session, TMA accomplished two major feats.

TMA Seminars Explain ACOs

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 16:35:45 GMT

If you are thinking about joining an accountable care organization (ACO) or if you don't know what an ACO is, TMA has the answers you need in a series of seminars across Texas this summer.

You've Got a Friend in Payment Advocacy

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 19:50:07 GMT

The TMA Payment Advocacy Department now has a direct link on Facebook.

TMA for Medicare Private Contracting Bill

Tue, 31 May 2011 18:13:05 GMT

TMA joined the American Medical Association, 42 state medical associations, and 33 national specialty societies in asking U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to support and cosponsor the "Medicare Patient Empowerment Act" (HR 1700) by U.S. Rep. Tom Price, MD (R-Ga.).

TMA Wins Key Medical Board Changes

Thu, 12 May 2016 15:47:17 GMT

Physicians will face less bureaucratic hassle from the Texas Medical Board (TMB) under a trio of Texas Medical Association-backed bills that are waiting for Gov. Rick Perry's signature.

TMA Explains Medicare/Medicaid Coding

Tue, 31 May 2016 19:00:35 GMT

TMA's Payment Advocacy staff have prepared a free presentation to refresh physicians' understanding of how the Medicare National Correct Coding Edits process works.

TMA Scores Major Victories for Physicians, Patients

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 18:56:29 GMT

It was a tough legislative session from the outset. With an enormous budget deficit and special interest groups from hospitals to midlevel practitioners to those who wanted to emasculate the Texas Medical Board lining up to take on organized medicine, it seemed the Texas Medical Association's agenda for the 2011 Texas Legislature faced tough sledding. But when the session ended on May 30, TMA scored some dramatic victories for physicians and your patients.

CMS to Sell Medicare Data

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 16:15:41 GMT

Organizations that meet certain qualifications would have access to Medicare data to generate public reports on physicians, hospitals, and other health care professionals under the Availability of Medicare Data for Performance Measurement rule the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed in early June.

Practice Management Webinars: A Good Deal

Fri, 13 May 2016 15:50:48 GMT

Have an hour, and need to earn some continuing medical education? Have an hour, and need to train staff about a specific topic?

The Death of Private in Private Practice

Tue, 14 Jun 2011 17:58:04 GMT

A comprehensive report from The Physicians Foundation offers private practice physicians a new tool for understanding how federal health system reform may impact their practice of medicine.

RxEvent Improves Patient Safety

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 16:16:17 GMT

Physicians can now report adverse drug events through, a new online service the PDR Network and its partners launched June 14.

Medicine Wins; CMS Drops Lab Signing Rule

Wed, 06 Jul 2011 21:22:25 GMT

Admitting it did not fully understand the impact of what it was requiring, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) now says it will drop a proposed rule that the ordering physician or nonphysician practitioner must sign requisitions for all clinical diagnostic laboratory tests paid under the clinical laboratory fee schedule.

Aetna Aexcel Ranking Letters Coming

Mon, 13 Jun 2016 18:08:35 GMT

TMA's Payment Advocacy Department has learned Aetna will begin sending physicians letters informing them of their ranking in its Aexcel network in early June. The rankings take effect Jan. 1.

Deficit Cuts Must Include Medicare Reform

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 22:47:44 GMT

In a June 27 letter, TMA, the American Medical Association, and 110 other state and national medical societies told President Obama and congressional leaders that any plan to reduce the federal budget deficit must include reforming the Medicare physician payment system.

AMA: Bad Claims Payment Increasing

Mon, 13 Jun 2016 18:09:50 GMT

It's not your imagination. Most health insurers are getting worse at correctly paying physicians' claims, the American Medical Association says in its fourth annual National Health Insurer Report Card.

Buyer Beware in EHR Vendor Contracting

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 22:45:28 GMT

Electronic health record (EHR) contracts are typically written in a manner favorable to the vendor. A solid contract is critical to a successful long-term relationship and helps ensure that your EHR lives up to its advertised potential.

100,000 Helmets and Counting

Fri, 20 May 2016 16:16:40 GMT

TMA's Hard Hats for Little Heads program reached a major milestone in May. Thanks to TMA physicians, medical students, and TMA Alliance members, TMA has given away more than 100,000 bicycle helmets to children across the state.

CMS: Stop Us Before We Do Something Stupid

Fri, 21 Aug 2015 17:04:57 GMT

Medicare says it will lower payments to physicians by 29.5 percent at the end of the year, a cut so drastic that even the man in charge says it must be stopped.

Getting Preexisting Coverage Easier

Mon, 13 Jun 2016 18:11:12 GMT

Physicians can help patients obtain immediate health insurance coverage for preexisting conditions, now that the federal government has relaxed eligibility requirements.

What You Can Do About Obesity

Fri, 17 Jun 2016 15:01:31 GMT

You have two opportunities to join the battle against the obesity epidemic in Texas.

TMA, AMA: Change Medicare Data Reporting

Mon, 15 Aug 2011 16:55:15 GMT

Public reports on Medicare and private payer data must be valid, reliable, and actionable, the Texas Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and 80 other physician organizations told the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in comments on Medicare's proposed rules for reporting performance measurement data.

Medicaid Obstetric Claims Change Delayed

Fri, 13 May 2016 16:49:04 GMT

Thanks to TMA and its organized medicine partners, the Medicaid program delayed the start of changes to claims for obstetric services for one month until Oct. 1. At that time, claims with delivery procedure codes 59409, 59410, 59514, 59515, 59612, 59614, 59620, or 59622 will require the U1, U2, or U3 modifier.

Risk Analysis Tool for Meaningful Use

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 15:55:53 GMT

One of the required meaningful use criteria is to conduct a security risk analysis. To help physicians carry out this objective and comply with the HIPAA Security Rule, the Office of the National Coordinator has created a security risk analysis tool.

A Healthier Texas Helps Us All

Fri, 12 Aug 2011 20:22:09 GMT

TMA's health improvement programs encourage Texans to play a more active role in their good health. Read about how Texans benefit from these programs in Healthier Texans: Now and in the Future, the just released 2010 annual report of the TMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of TMA, which raises the funds to make these programs possible.

TMLT Cuts Premiums Again

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 22:01:23 GMT

For the ninth consecutive year since tort reform, the Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT) is cutting its liability insurance premiums. This time, the TMLT Board of Governors approved an average 6.9-percent cut in liability premiums and an 18.5-percent dividend for renewing policyholders.

CMS Begins Bundled Payment Projects

Fri, 13 May 2016 16:52:43 GMT

Citing a cataract surgery demonstration project in Dallas-Fort Worth as evidence that bundling payments reduces costs, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites physicians and other health care professionals to apply to help test and develop four different models for bundling payments.

CIGNA Problems? Notify TMA

Fri, 13 May 2016 17:08:40 GMT

Physicians having problems with CIGNA's new national imaging arrangement with MedSolutions are asked to notify Genevieve Davis or Erin Smith in TMA's Payment Advocacy Department.

Required Information for Meaningful Use

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:13:03 GMT

One of the core "meaningful use" measures intended to engage patients and families requires you to give patients specific information. This timely information can enhance patient satisfaction, increase patient knowledge, reduce anxiety, and improve follow-up compliance.

TMA Puts $1 Million in Your Pocket

Fri, 13 May 2016 18:19:42 GMT

Thanks to the persistence of the Texas Medical Association Payment Advocacy staff, TMA has helped members recover more than a $1 million from health plans this year.

TMA Helps Improve Concussion Treatment

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 17:13:06 GMT

Thanks in part to TMA physicians' advocacy, Texas law now ensures that the state's young athletes participate under safer guidelines.

Help Us Advance the Party of Medicine

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 19:09:24 GMT

As our 2011 membership campaign winds up this month, we are reaching out to our physician colleagues once again in hopes you'll consider investing in the Texas Medical Association Political Action Committee (TEXPAC) this year. Please join or renew your TEXPAC membership today.

New Be Wise — Immunize Toolkits Available

Fri, 20 May 2016 16:13:57 GMT

TMA's Be Wise — Immunize program offers two toolkits to help physicians provide the best vaccination care to their young and adolescent patients. The Physician Manual for Children and the Physician Manual for Adolescents were recently updated. Both toolkits are free for TMA members.

Avoid Disaster - Get Your Claims Paid in 2012

Fri, 13 May 2016 17:08:37 GMT

Come Jan. 1, 2012, all health insurers – Medicare, Medicaid, and private payers – will stop paying claims from any physicians who have not upgraded their electronic billing systems to comply with the HIPAA 5010 electronic claims standards.

How Valuable Is Your TMA Membership?

Fri, 13 May 2016 15:47:59 GMT

Austin otolaryngologist Daniel Leeman, MD, gained a 1,520-percent return on his TMA and county society annual dues investment. Just how valuable is your investment in TMA? Find out by visiting the interactive TMA Return on Investment Calculator.

TMA, PF Support Physician-Owned Hospitals

Thu, 12 May 2016 15:50:27 GMT

TMA and The Physicians Foundation (PF) have filed a legal brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit challenging the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits expansion or construction of physician-owned hospitals. The brief says hospitals owned by physicians have better health care outcomes, shorter hospital stays, and much higher patient satisfaction ratings than do other hospitals.

CMS Issues Final RAC Rules

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 19:22:32 GMT

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the Medicaid Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program final rules and, the American Medical Association says, it appears the rules adopt many of the recommendations TMA, AMA, and 78 other state and specialty societies made in January.

Medicine Opposes MedPAC Medicare Fee Cut

Fri, 07 Oct 2011 16:51:28 GMT

Repealing the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula is vital, but a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) plan to offset the cost of repeal goes too far, the Texas Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the nation's state medical societies warn.

TMA Wants Women's Health Rules Changed

Fri, 20 May 2016 22:30:03 GMT

Unless modified, proposed changes to the state's Women's Health Program (WHP) rules "will deter many privately practicing physicians from participating in WHP, thereby making it more difficult for low-income women to avail themselves of the much needed and cost-effective family planning and wellness services provided through the program," TMA and four specialty societies told the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

TDI Updates Disclosure Rules

Fri, 13 May 2016 17:05:31 GMT

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Division of Workers' Compensation has posted an updated Fast Facts page on the agency's financial disclosure rules on its website.

Medicare Meltdown Forcing Physicians Out

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 23:12:29 GMT

Facing either a freeze in Medicare payments or cuts ranging from 2 percent to nearly 30 percent, almost half of Texas physicians are considering opting out of the Medicare program altogether, putting seniors, military families, and people with disabilities at serious risk of losing their doctor, a Texas Medical Association survey shows.

TMA Website Has Concussion Info

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 17:28:00 GMT

Information you need to help young athletes avoid serious and long-term head injuries under the state's new concussion management law is posted on the TMA website.

TMA Prepares You for Medicare in 2012

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 16:38:32 GMT

With Medicare a hot-button issue in Washington, the pressure is on to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Physicians and staff need to understand the ever-more-complicated Medicare system to ensure they can get paid accurately, benefit from incentives, and avoid allegations of fraud and abuse.

Physicians Get Meaningful Use Bonuses

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 17:47:26 GMT

Texas physicians and hospitals have earned almost $200 million in federal incentives for "meaningful use" of electronic health records thus far in 2011.

TMA Warns TMB About Stem Cell Rules

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 17:25:53 GMT

A proposed Texas Medical Board (TMB) rule regulating the use of investigational agents, including stem cells, in treating patients might unintentionally restrict some currently accepted clinical practices, TMA President C. Bruce Malone, MD, warned in a letter to the board.

Empower Yourself: Join the Discussion

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 14:30:30 GMT

Become an avid reader and contributor to TMA's new Me & My Doctor blog. The blog is a place where you and your patients can have a candid discussion about today's health care system. It's a perfect way to educate your patients and colleagues about health care issues important to you.

TMA Opposes Dual Eligible Cuts

Fri, 03 Feb 2012 22:49:16 GMT

Eliminating payments for Medicare Part B coinsurance and deductibles to those eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare will save the state millions but it will "come at the expense of the health and well-being of some of the state's most vulnerable citizens," TMA President C. Bruce Malone, MD, told the Texas Health and Human Services Commission earlier this month.

CMS Reduces Planned Medicare Fee Cut

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 17:11:23 GMT

Medicare's scheduled cut in payments to physicians will not be quite as much as previously thought, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said when it released the 2012 physician fee schedule. Instead of 29.5 percent, the cut will be 27.4 percent because Medicare spending increased less than expected.

ACIP Recommends HPV Vaccination of Boys

Sat, 21 May 2016 00:56:12 GMT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) now recommends routine vaccination of boys aged 11 to 12 with three doses of HPV4 to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV).

POEP Podcasts Address Cancer Topics

Fri, 16 Aug 2013 20:43:19 GMT

TMA's Physician Oncology Education Program (POEP) offers 30-minute and 60-minute podcasts on CD, complete with handouts and evaluations. CDs and accompanying continuing medical education credit are free for Texas health professionals. All titles have been accredited for ethics credit.

Tips to Improve Newborn Screening

Tue, 15 Nov 2011 16:00:29 GMT

The Texas Department of State Health Services rejected more than 2,000 newborn screening specimens in the past year because the blood was not allowed to properly soak through the filter paper. All of them required a redraw, which delayed testing.

Anson Jones Awards Has a Category for You

Thu, 12 May 2016 20:59:22 GMT

Do you write a medical column for your local newspaper? Or host a health show on the radio, or maybe do a weekly medical segment on the local television news, or host a health care blog? If so, showcase your talents! Enter the TMA Anson Jones, MD, Awards program in the Physician Excellence in Reporting category.

TrailBlazer Loses Medicare Contract

Fri, 13 May 2016 16:52:44 GMT

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says Highmark Medicare Services will replace TrailBlazer Healthcare Enterprises in paying Medicare Part A and Part B fee-for-service claims in Texas by late July 2012.

Get Smart About Antibiotics

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 23:25:20 GMT

Earlier this year, TMA's Committee on Infectious Diseases highlighted the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance. The committee encourages you to be familiar with information prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for this year's national Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, Nov. 14-20.

EHR Workflow Analysis, Redesign Critical

Fri, 01 Apr 2016 19:04:37 GMT

A successful electronic health record (EHR) implementation begins with a practice workflow analysis and redesign. If you are an existing EHR user, use workflow analysis for continual quality improvement.

TMA Meets Your Needs

Fri, 13 May 2016 15:39:32 GMT

In Texas, no one is better equipped to fight for and serve you than TMA and your county medical society.

TMA Persuades AMA to Block ICD-10 Switch

Tue, 15 Nov 2011 16:12:39 GMT

Spurred by its Texas members, the American Medical Association House of Delegates voted to oppose a federal mandate that physicians switch to the ICD-10 claims-coding system in 2013. At its interim meeting in New Orleans, the AMA house adopted a Texas Medical Association resolution asking AMA to "immediately petition the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to stop implementation and development of all new coding and billing standards including ICD-10."

Don't Stop HIPAA 5010 Change

Wed, 25 May 2016 18:05:20 GMT

Despite the government's announcement that it is delaying enforcement of the HIPAA 5010 electronic claims standards for 90 days, the Texas Medical Association recommends physicians continue planning to begin using the new standards on Jan. 1 if you want to get your claims paid.

ICD-10: TMA Can Help Smooth the Way

Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:11:05 GMT

Would you rather leap from ICD-9 to ICD-10 – and risk a hard fall (that might be ICD-10 code W15.XXXA: Fall from cliff, initial encounter) – or cross over via a smooth bridge?

A Gift That Gives Twice: Isn’t That Nice?

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 19:33:18 GMT

It's that time of year again, when you may wonder how best to show your gratitude to colleagues, friends, and loved ones. It's an easy decision when you honor them with a charitable donation made in their name to the TMA Foundation.

TMA Earns Top Workplace Honor

Fri, 13 May 2016 15:36:50 GMT

TMA was named a "Top Workplace" for 2011 by the Austin American-Statesman in November.

Jan. 1 Still HIPAA 5010 Compliance Date

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 21:20:35 GMT

Despite the recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, physicians still must begin transmitting claims using the new HIPAA 5010 format on Jan. 1. CMS is delaying "enforcement" of the 5010 standards, but TMA received clarification that "compliance" is still necessary for claim transactions. If you don't submit claims using this format, you risk not having claims paid by private insurers as well as Medicare and Medicaid.

Drastic Medicare Fee Cuts Coming

Fri, 28 Aug 2015 22:36:31 GMT

The failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to agree on budget cuts means congressional action is the only thing that can stop Medicare from cutting physician payments by 27.4 percent on Jan. 1. Congress must act, or the Sustainable Growth Rate formula mandates that the cuts automatically take effect. Texas Medical Association and American Medical Association officials will conduct a conference call on Dec. 5 to plan strategy to persuade Congress to stop the cuts.

TMA, a Physician’s Strongest Advocate

Fri, 13 May 2016 15:51:51 GMT

The stakes facing physician practices are higher than ever, particularly because of ever-evolving state and federal regulations, new compliance standards, and insurance hassles imposed on practices. You're probably worried and feeling a bit frantic. In Texas, no one is better equipped to fight for and serve physicians than TMA.

HHS Proposes EHR Meaningful Use Delay

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 16:40:57 GMT

The second stage of the government's electronic health records (EHR) meaningful use program will begin in 2014, not 2013, as originally planned, if the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopts a proposal it released Nov. 30.

Judge Backs TMA on Patient Safety Issue

Fri, 20 May 2016 23:55:47 GMT

An Austin state district judge ruled in TMA’s favor in early December and granted the association's motion to stop chiropractors from performing vestibular testing. Judge Rhonda Hurley's ruling invalidates the Texas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners' vestibular testing rule by declaring it to be beyond chiropractors' lawful scope of chiropractic.

Dec. 31 Deadline for Medicaid EHR Bonuses

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 16:14:09 GMT

Time is running out for physicians who want to participate in the Texas Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive program.

Foundation Names Top Five 2012 Issues

Thu, 15 Dec 2011 16:51:31 GMT

The Physicians Foundation – a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance the work of practicing physicians and improve the quality of health care for all Americans – has identified five key areas that will impact the practice of medicine next year.

Flu Scarce in Texas

Fri, 17 Jun 2016 14:38:59 GMT

So far, there are few cases of influenza in Texas. Surveillance by the Texas Department of State Health Services reports flu activity so far this season as "sporadic." No pediatric deaths have been reported so far during the 2011-12 season.

Barekman Scholarship is Available

Fri, 20 May 2016 16:22:27 GMT

TMA is offering the Louise Barekman Memorial Scholarship totaling $770 to one first-, second-, or third-year Texas medical student.

CMS Approves Hospital Medicaid Waiver

Thu, 15 Dec 2011 16:54:43 GMT

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a waiver that the state Health and Human Services Commission says allows Texas "to expand Medicaid managed care while preserving hospital funding, provides incentive payments for health care improvements, and directs more funding to hospitals that serve large numbers of uninsured patients." The waiver means Texas will continue receiving federal funds while expanding Medicaid managed care.

Pipeline May Cut Your Medicare Fees

Mon, 19 Dec 2011 18:30:13 GMT

A congressional dispute over an oil pipeline may cause the government to cut physicians' Medicare fees almost 30 percent on Jan. 1.

Last-Minute Accord Delays Medicare Cuts by Two Months

Fri, 11 Sep 2015 19:34:23 GMT

A congressional deadlock over how long to extend the payroll tax cut means the government likely will cut physicians' Medicare payments 27.4 percent on Jan. 1.

State Changes Immunization Policies

Mon, 06 Jun 2016 20:42:00 GMT

Children with private insurance that covers vaccines can no longer get routine vaccinations at public health clinics and are now referred to their medical home under new immunization policies the Texas Department of State Health Services implemented Jan. 1.

HHS Approves Two Texas ACOs

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 13:55:40 GMT

Physician groups in Austin and Fort Worth are among 32 organizations the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has selected to be pioneer accountable care organizations.

Medicare Participation Deadline Is Feb. 14

Tue, 21 Aug 2012 14:55:32 GMT

Physicians have until Feb. 14 to determine their Medicare participation status for 2012.

Major Insurers Still Accept 4010 Claims

Wed, 25 May 2016 18:09:24 GMT

Three major insurers now say they will accept and pay physicians' claims in both the HIPAA 4010 and 5010 formats through April 1, even though Jan. 1 was the deadline for physicians to begin using the 5010 claims standards. Those insurers are Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.

TMA: Physician Bylaws Involvement Critical

Thu, 12 May 2016 15:44:26 GMT

Proposed reform of the Medicare and Medicaid hospital and critical access hospital conditions of participation might allow hospitals to bypass physicians in writing medical staff bylaws, TMA warns the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

TDI Suspends PPO Rules

Thu, 29 Dec 2011 18:44:03 GMT

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) suspended preferred provider benefit regulations until it adopts rules implementing legislation passed in the 2011 session of the legislature. A bulletin from Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman said the legislature passed bills that significantly affect TDI's ability to regulate health care plans.

Update Your BCBSTX Information Online

Fri, 13 May 2016 18:13:40 GMT

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) wants physicians to make sure it has their latest contact information. It asks that you check the accuracy and completeness of your listing in BCBSTX's online provider directory, Provider Finder.

Using an NPP in Your Practice? Do It Right

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 16:37:32 GMT

Do you employ a nonphysician provider (NPP)? Thinking about hiring one?

Brain Injury Awareness Month Now in March

Fri, 20 May 2016 16:16:44 GMT

Brain Injury Awareness Month has moved to March. It previously was celebrated in October. TMA's Hard Hats for Little Heads program encourages physicians, medical students, and alliance members to give free helmets to children in their community during Brain Injury Awareness Month.

TMLT Starts Trust Rewards Program

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 16:10:25 GMT

The Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT) started the $100 million TMLT Trust Rewards Program on Jan. 1 to reward policyholders for their loyalty. TMLT will fund a Trust Rewards Account, based on earned premium, for each policyholder in the program, and the money will be available upon retirement or other qualifying events.

Meaningful Use Deadline Coming

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 19:01:42 GMT

Physician have until Feb. 29 to register and attest to meeting meaningful use requirements to receive payments for 2011 through the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System.

Medicaid HMO Expansion: Are You Ready?

Fri, 13 May 2016 16:49:01 GMT

On March 12, Texas will complete statewide expansion of the Medicaid HMO model by requiring most patients living in rural and South Texas counties to obtain their health care services from physicians and providers participating in one of the Medicaid HMO networks.

TMB Starts Remedial Plan System

Thu, 12 May 2016 15:49:07 GMT

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) has implemented fairness provisions of a new state law – backed by TMA – that allows physicians named in complaints to resolve their cases with a "remedial plan" rather than a formal disciplinary action.

TMA, ACS Join Cancer Study

Sat, 21 May 2016 00:40:13 GMT

TMA and the American Cancer Society have teamed up in a landmark study aimed at reducing the impact of cancer.

Medicine: Use War Money for Medicare

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:35:23 GMT

TMA joined the American Medical Association and dozens of other state and national medical organizations in urging Congress to permanently stop the fiscally irresponsible cycle of scheduled cuts and short-term patches to the Medicare physician payment system.

Texans Tops in Meaningful Use

Mon, 19 Oct 2015 20:54:58 GMT

Texas has more physicians meeting the federal meaningful use criteria in adopting electronic health records than does any other state, according to an analysis of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation.

Texas Suffers in GME Redistribution

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 21:44:50 GMT

Texas was one of the biggest losers in the federal government's August 2011 redistribution of unused graduate medical education positions eligible for Medicare GME funding, a TMA analysis found. The state lost 50.08 direct graduate medical education slots and 39.8 indirect medical education positions from 21 hospitals.

Chiropractic Board Withdraws Scope Rules

Fri, 20 May 2016 23:52:13 GMT

Ongoing opposition from TMA and others to the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners' attempts to expand chiropractors' scope of practice caused the board to shelve those plans. The board's executive director said the board intends to stay within its statutory authority in the future. The proposed rules, which would have permitted chiropractors to perform some procedures that state law allows only physicians to perform, were withdrawn.

Sonogram Law Enforcement Begins

Fri, 20 May 2016 22:28:15 GMT

State health officials began enforcing the state's sonogram law Feb. 6 after a federal judge in Austin reluctantly dismissed a lawsuit challenging it. Texas Health Commissioner David Lakey, MD, notified physicians that the Department of State Health Services will review physicians' documentation to make sure they comply with the law.

Making Meaningful Use Meaningful

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 18:37:08 GMT

Don't lose out on your Medicare or Medicaid incentive payment for meaningful use of an electronic health record. For physicians who qualify, reaching meaningful use can mean up to $63,750 in incentives from Medicaid or $44,000 from Medicare.

Penalized for Not E-Prescribing in 2011?

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 18:39:12 GMT

TMA is getting calls from physicians who were penalized 1 percent for not e-prescribing in 2011, even though they thought they did everything correctly.

Sign Up 18-Year-Olds for ImmTrac

Mon, 06 Jun 2016 20:42:00 GMT

Unless children fill out an ImmTrac Adult Consent Form when they turn 18, the state will purge their immunization records from the ImmTrac immunization registry one year later. Legislation passed in 2009 authorizes the inclusion of adult immunization records in ImmTrac, but patients whose parents registered them for ImmTrac as children must sign the adult consent form when they turn 18 for the state to continue keeping their records in the registry.

Money Available for Be Wise Events

Fri, 20 May 2016 16:13:57 GMT

If it's money you need for a Be Wise — Immunize event, TMA can help. The Be Wise Local-Impact Grants Program now offers grants of $500 to $1,500 to TMA member-physician practices and clinics, county medical societies, TMA Alliance chapters, and medical student chapters to help improve the health of your community.

Tell Congress to Fix the SGR

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 18:45:54 GMT

It's SGR crunch time again. In about two weeks, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula will drive a 27.4-percent cut in physicians' Medicare payments unless Congress steps in first. Hopes that Washington would finally repeal the SGR seem to wax and wane daily, as the issue is tied up with the partisan debate over extending Social Security tax cuts and extending unemployment benefits.

Exhibit Honors Pioneer Texas Physicians

Fri, 13 May 2016 15:28:33 GMT

The struggles of early African-American physicians in Texas are on display on the TMA website in the exhibit "Courage and Determination – A Portrait of Pioneering African-American Physicians in Texas."