• Health Care Delivery

    • Demand for Telemedicine Increasing

      Imagine “visiting” the doctor via video, similar to a Skype call. Some physicians currently use telemedicine — in which physicians and health care providers use electronic communication tools to care for patients — and it’s growing more common. James Luecke, MD, credits telemedicine with helping save the life of a baby he was delivering in tiny Alpine, Texas, where a specialist miles away was only available by telemedicine. Physicians, patients, and policymakers alike recognize telemedicine can help improve access to care — especially for patients who are miles from the doctor. TMA wants to make sure patient safety is paramount in this practice, and the first step is establishing a proper patient-physician relationship: The physician first must see the patient in person.
  • The Sunshine Act and What You Need to Know

    • Sunshine Act Review and Dispute Period Now Open
      Act now if you want to review Sunshine Act data reported about you before it is available to the public. The review and dispute period for payments reported is July 14 through Aug. 27, 2014.
    • Sunshine Act Physician Registration Process Has Begun
      Later this year under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will make public physician payments reported by manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and biologicals that participate in federal health care programs.
    • Law Sheds Light on Industry Payments to Physicians
      Later this year under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will make public physician payments reported by manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and biologicals that participate in federal health care programs.
  • TMA Caring for Veterans

    • We’re Giving Our Veterans Unacceptable Care
      It’s an eight-hour drive from the Rio Grande Valley to my office here in Abilene. It takes just as long for someone to drive from Abilene to Albuquerque, New Mexico. And that’s just part of the problem that military veterans here in Texas face when they try to get health care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ― the VA.
    • TMA Repeats: President Obama, Let Private Docs Help Care for Veterans
      Calling it a “life or death issue,” Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Austin I. King, MD, is repeating his urgent request for President Barack Obama to take immediate action to enable private physicians to care for U.S. veterans.
    • TMA to VA: Texas Docs Are Here to Help
      TMA President Austin King, MD, announced the registry of private physicians willing to see patients in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system in a letter to the director of every VA hospital, clinic, and veterans center in the state.
  • More Top Stories

    • State Pilot to Streamline Medicare-Medicaid Patient Care
      When San Antonio pulmonologist John Holcomb, MD, treats patients enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, he knows he's dealing with a particularly fragile population that has little to no income and is elderly or has a disability. Neither these so-called "dual-eligible" patients nor the physicians treating them have it easy.
    • ACA Exchange Plans: Questions and Answers for Texas Physicians
      Confused by all you’ve heard about the Affordable Care Act marketplace insurance plans? Do you know whether you're in — or out — of the narrow networks? How will you tell if a patient is on an exchange plan? What happens to you if patients don't make their premium payments? What, if anything, can you do about all of this? TMA answers these and other tough marketplace exchange questions. MembersOnlyRed
    • Marketplace Means Decisions for Doctors
      The opening of the health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Jan.1 means you must be vigilant in your dealings with the health insurance companies. Or you could face major problems. For example, do your existing contracts with insurers mean you're already included in an exchange network? And, it's possible you'll have to refund payments to an insurer if a patient who bought coverage in the ACA marketplace doesn't pay his or her premiums.
    • Medicare Meltdown Fact Sheet: Stop the Medicare Meltdown — repeal the SGR
      Since the turn of the century, nothing has so regularly and completely vexed and frustrated physicians more than our annual game of chicken with Congress over Medicare payments. Medicare patients and military families are never out of danger. Year after year, the specter of congressional action or lack of action threatens to jeopardize health care for Medicare patients. And, because TRICARE rates for military families are based on Medicare, they’re in danger, too.