• Technology and Your Practice

    • EHR Contracts Seal the Deal; Consider Having Them Reviewed

      TMA’s latest HIT preliminary survey results indicate 68 percent of Texas physicians now use an electronic health record (EHR). Even at critical mass, some practices are still in the market for a replacement, and a few first-time purchasers remain.

  • HIT Helpline - Your TMA Resource for HIT Questions

  • Consider This...

  • HIT News

    • Meaningful Use Hardship Exemption Portal Now Open
      Physicians who didn't meet meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) in 2014 will face a 2-percent penalty in 2016. If you think you are eligible for a 2016 exemption, you must file your exemption request by July 1, 2015.
    • TMA Tells Feds to Scrap Meaningful Use Rule
      TMA's comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on proposed meaningful use Stage 3 rules offer a number of suggestions, including dismantling the program and "adopting reasonable baseline rules that physicians can meet to avoid penalties under the meaningful use program and additional requirements they may meet to receive incentive payments."
    • Preparing for EHR Divorce
      It's said that choosing an electronic health record (EHR) system is like choosing a spouse. While the majority of EHR unions seem destined for happily ever after, that is not the case with all. Physicians should have an exit strategy as they enter the EHR vendor relationship. The best way to do this is to seek mutually agreeable contract terms.
    • CMS: How to Report Only Once for PQRS, Meaningful Use, Other Programs
      According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), physicians who are beyond their first year of participation in the Medicare electronic health record incentive program have the option to streamline their reporting efforts and report quality data only once for several Medicare quality programs.
    • Meaningful Use Audits: Be Prepared
      TMA is hearing from physicians who are being audited for meaningful use and some who have had their meaningful use incentive dollars recouped. Don't let this happen to you. Remember: Meaningful use is all or nothing. Physicians must meet all measures for successful attestation. This includes conducting a security risk analysis for HIPAA to ensure protection of patient information.
    • E-prescribing Controlled Substances Is Worth It
      In October 2013, the Texas Department of Public Safety officially began allowing physicians to electronically prescribe schedule II controlled substances. The practice of electronic prescription of controlled substances (EPCS) for schedule II drugs became more commonplace in March 2014, after DPS completed a small pilot program to test the accuracy of reporting schedule II drugs to the Texas Prescription Program. Sending prescription requests to a pharmacy through an electronic vendor helps reduce the risk of prescription fraud.
    • New HIPAA Security Risk Tool From HHS
      The Security Risk Assessment (SRA) tool helps small- to medium-sized practices conduct and document a risk assessment to determine potential HIPAA security risks and address them. The SRA website has user tutorials and videos available to help you get started.
  • HIT Tools You Can Use

    • Stage 1 Meaningful Use Toolkit
      Have you registered for the Medicare EHR Incentive program, but you’re not sure how to meet meaningful use? Turn to TMA’s Meaningful Use Toolkit for detailed instructions about what is required, specific to your EHR product*, to meet any one of the 25 meaningful-use criteria defined by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services.
      *The EHRs represented are eClinicalWorks, e-MDs, GE/Centricity, Greenway Medical, and NextGen.
    • Stage 2 Meaningful Use Toolkit
      Stage 2 meaningful use requires physicians to meet and attest to all 17 core objectives and three of the six menu criteria, and report on Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs). This tool was created to assist physicians with the meaningful use criteria. Currently, two EHR vendors are included in the toolkit.
    • EHR Incentive Program Eligibility Tool
      Are you eligible or exempt? Use this tool from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to determine eligibility for both programs.
    • EHR Product Evaluation Tool
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      Need help finding the right EMR for your practice? Texas Medical Association (TMA) physician members have overwhelmingly indicated to us they need help when it comes to health information technology. They specifically want help with electronic medical record (EMR) selection. TMA is here to help.
    • Learning Modules for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program
      The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has two computer-based learning tools to help physicians and hospitals participate in the Texas Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. The tools are interactive and self-guided with voice or closed-captioned narration.
    • 10 Tech Tips to Help Make Your EHR Bloom
      Has the notion of converting to an electronic health record (EHR) germinated among your practice plans? For this big changeover to bear fruit in your practice operations, you need to proceed with care. TMA has tools, guidance, and reference material — most are free — to help you produce your desired results.
    • Incentive Calculator
      Calculate your incentives with this tool created by the Harris County Medical Society (HCMS).   membersonlyred(2) 
    • EHR Buyer Beware: Issues to Consider When Contracting with EHR Vendors
      This paper discusses eight important EHR contract terms your medical practice should consider before signing an EHR contract.
    • EMR Readiness Assessment
      This readiness worksheet will provide you with an overview of your organization’s ability to successfully adopt an electronic medical record (EMR) solution.
    • HIPAA Security Risk Tool From HHS
      The Security Risk Assessment (SRA) tool helps small- to medium-sized practices conduct and document a risk assessment to determine potential HIPAA security risks and address them. The SRA website has user tutorials and videos available to help you get started.
    • Questions for EHR Vendors
      Learn some of the important questions to ask vendors during the selection process.
    • Questions for EHR Vendor References
      What questions should you ask when speaking to another practice that currently uses the EHR vendor you are considering?  
  • Advocacy

  • Don’t miss out…

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a new listserv about the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. The listserv will provide timely, authoritative information about the programs, including registration and attestation updates, and details about the payment process.

    By subscribing to the listserv, CMS will keep you informed of upcoming deadlines and give you answers to the questions and concerns that they have gathered from eligible professionals and hospitals in the field. New updates will be emailed through the listserv to keep you informed of any developments, and subscribers will be notified of any new FAQ's that are published on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs’ website. 

    We encourage you to let others know about the CMS EHR listserv, and to share its messages. Click here to join the listserv and learn more.