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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.
VA Registry: Passionate Appeal to Physician Friends
More than 250 TMA-member physicians have signed up for our registry of private-sector doctors willing to see patients from the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) in the ongoing crisis.
Medicare Meltdown: Another Lost Opportunity
Congress once again let physicians down by failing to fix the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula and defaulting to a temporary patch for the 17th time. Because Congress came closer than ever to solving the problem with bipartisan legislation, medicine is eager to get back to the negotiating table and capitalize on the progress made this session.
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.
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.
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.
AMA Analyzes Medicare Physician Fee Rule
The American Medical Association has prepared an eight-page analysis of the government's proposed 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.
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.
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