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TMA Scores Long-Sought Wins for Physicians and Patients
The Texas Medical Association has long beat the drum for bolstering graduate medical education (GME), cutting red tape that hinders patient care, promoting transparent insurance markets, and preventing unqualified health professionals from delivering care outside their expertise. This was the year those and other messages got through to lawmakers and paid off in long-sought, even precedent-setting victories at the conclusion of the 2013 Texas Legislature.
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SGR Repeal Bill Good, Could Be Better, Must Pass
A bipartisan plan to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula is a good start but still needs work, the Texas Medical Association and eight other states in the Coalition of State Medical Societies say in a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee.
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.
TMA Answers Your Patients' Insurance Marketplace Questions
"Hey Doc," TMA's multimedia patient education campaign about the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace, continues into its third month on video, on the Internet, and in the news media. To keep up with the program or to refer your patients, go to heydoc.texmed.org.
2014 Medicare Participation Deadline Extended
Jan. 31 is the new deadline for physicians to decide whether to participate in the Medicare program in 2014. The deadline originally was Dec. 31, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended it because CMS released the 2014 physician fee schedule later than usual.
Are You on the Medicaid Fee Increase List?
The Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) has compiled a list of primary care physicians eligible for the temporary fee increase for treating Medicaid patients that was authorized by the Affordable Care Act. On the list are the names of physicians who filed the required form by Oct. 16, attesting that they are eligible for the increase.
Tell HHSC How to Simplify Medicaid Managed Care
As the October
reported, physicians are frustrated with the state's Medicaid managed care program. Payment and preauthorization delays, network adequacy, and poor communication by Medicaid HMOs are among the concerns. So how would you simplify the program? The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) wants to know. Tell them by Dec. 6.
Texas RECs Offer Free Help to Some Medicaid Specialists
A grant from Texas Medicaid now allows the four Texas regional extension centers (RECs) to help physicians participating in the Medicaid electronic health record meaningful use incentive program. Physicians with at least 30 percent Medicaid volume can receive up to $63,750 in incentives over six years.
OSHA Deadline: Training About Hazardous Materials
Labels and safety data sheets (SDSs) for hazardous chemicals are getting a makeover, and practices had to train their staff to understand them by Dec. 1, 2013.
Pediatrician Suggests You Choose Wisely With Patients
Marylou Buyse, MD, pediatrician and chief medical director of Scott & White Memorial Hospital Health Plan, wants Texas physicians to spark discussion with patients by using Choosing Wisely.
Help Patients Choose the Right Flu Shot
Are your patients asking questions about flu vaccination? National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 8-14. It's a perfect time to encourage your patients to get vaccinated for the flu to help them stay healthy during the holidays.
ACP Conference Focuses on Medical Home
You can learn how to make quality work for your practice and your patient and to transform care for diabetics and others with multiple comorbid conditions by attending a conference sponsored by the American College of Physicians (ACP) Texas Chapter next month in San Antonio. "In Search of Joy in Practice: Innovations in Patient-Centered Care" will take place Jan. 24-25 at the Omni La Mansion del Rio.
Nominate Excellent Health Reporting for TMA Award
If you've read, seen, or heard something in the media recently on health care that made you take note, nominate it for TMA’s Anson Jones, MD, Awards. Your nomination lets journalists know you're paying attention, gives them a pat on the back, and encourages them to keep reporting on medicine.
New SGR Replacement Plan Unveiled
Once again, Texans in Congress are playing key roles in fixing our broken Medicare payment system. The latest joint proposal comes from the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee. Rep. Kevin Brady chairs the Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, and Sen. John Cornyn sits on the Senate Finance Committee and its Subcommittee on Health Care.
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