FIND A PHYSICIAN
Hot News Topics
Me and My Doctor Blog
TMA Positions on the Issues
Anson Jones Awards
Hot News Topics
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.
Hot News Topics
Guidance on Prescribing Schedule II Hydrocodone Products
Over TMA's objections, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published a final rule in the
reclassifying drugs that contain hydrocodone combinations from Schedule III to Schedule II. The change will take effect Oct. 6.
New Option for Providing LARCs to Medicaid, TWHP Patients
Physicians now have a new option for providing select long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to their Medicaid or Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP) patients. Effective Aug. 1, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission added Mirena and Skyla to the Medicaid drug and device formulary, allowing physicians the option of writing a prescription for the devices instead of buying and billing, as they had to do before the change.
CMS Sets ICD-10 Testing Dates
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has instructed Medicare administrative contractors to promote three specific testing weeks with health professionals and to provide data and statistics to CMS that demonstrate readiness for the ICD-10 transition.
DSHS Provides Interim Guidance on Enterovirus D68
A recent outbreak of enterorvirus D68 (EV-D68) is affecting children in six states throughout the Midwest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as of Sept. 10, 84 people had been confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.
PQRS: Take Immediate Action by Sept. 30
Group practices that plan on participating in the 2014 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) program year through the group practice reporting option must register by Sept. 30, 2014. This deadline does not apply to physicians who will participate in the 2014 PQRS program year as an individual eligible professional (EP) or to physicians who belong to a group practice that will participate in the 2014 PQRS program year as individual EPs.
TDI FAQs Address 90-Day Grace Period, Prompt Pay
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has updated its FAQs for Health Carriers to include information about the federal 90-day grace period granted to patients with subsidized ACA health insurance marketplace coverage and about prompt payment of claims.
TMA Comments on TDI Draft Rules for Independent Review Organizations
TMA told the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) in a letter that the association will oppose any potential fee increases affecting physicians involved in a review of an independent review organization (IRO). TMA provided comments Aug. 15 on TDI's informal draft rules for IROs.
New CMS Rule Slightly Modifies EHR Program
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published a final rule designed to give physicians more flexibility with the floundering electronic health record (EHR) incentive program. While TMA appreciates that CMS recognized the need for modification, the association says CMS did not go far enough and did not heed most of TMA's suggested comments.
2014-15 RSV Season Begins Oct. 1
The 2014-15 respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season begins Oct. 1 for a majority of the state and Nov. 1 for counties in the western part of the state. Health professionals participating in Medicaid must obtain Synagis (palivizumab), a prescription medication used to help prevent RSV in infants and children at high risk, through the Texas Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program Vendor Drug Program for all eligible traditional Medicaid and Children with Special Health Care Needs clients.
Massive HIPAA Breach Affects 4.5 Million Patients
In just the past month, 18 Texas medical centers were part of a massive nationwide HIPAA breach that included the data of 4.5 million patients. The penalties, lawsuits, and negative publicity to follow are sure to take a staggering financial toll. Texas physicians should take proactive steps to implement processes that secure patient data and mitigate risk.
Take TMA's Texas Physician Survey
TMA's 2014 Texas Physician Survey is under way. Complete the survey, and provide TMA with your opinion on and experience related to health care issues. Your feedback helps support the association's policy development and political focus.
Last Call for Helmet Giveaways in October
It's a celebration you won’t want to miss: TMA's Hard Hats for Little Heads 20th birthday blitz in October. You still have time to plan a helmet giveaway to help Hard Hats celebrate 20 years of keeping kids safe. TMA wants to have 50 bike helmet giveaways across the state; at press time, we were about halfway there. Host an event in your community to help us reach the goal.
Fight the Flu With Tools From TMA
Flu season is just around the corner, and TMA's Be Wise — Immunize program has tools you can use to protect yourself, your staff, and your patients:
TMA Practice Consulting Helps You Maintain a Healthy Practice
Getting paid for your services accurately and on time is the key to preserving the viability of your practice. By maintaining efficient processes and carefully monitoring each step in the revenue cycle, you can minimize future problems, ensure sufficient cash flow, improve collection rates, and increase staff productivity.
STAR+PLUS Expands to Rural Areas
On Sept. 1, the STAR+PLUS Medicaid managed care program expanded to 164 rural counties not currently participating in the model. The expansion requires elderly patients eligible for Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTCSS) and adult patients with disabilities to enroll in a STAR+PLUS plan. Children with disabilities may enroll voluntarily.
10 Tech Tips to Help Make Your EHR Bloom
Has the notion of converting to an electronic health record (EHR) germinated within your practice? 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.
Visit the TMA Blog
Meet the TMA Staff
County Medical Societies
Just for ...
Residents and Fellows
New to Texas
401 West 15th Street, Austin TX 78701 Phone (800) 880-1300 (512) 370-1300
Copyright © 1999-2013 Texas Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.