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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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Write to Congress to Ask for Two-Year ICD-10 Delay
Join physicians from across the United States to ask Congress for a two-year delay in ICD-10. Ask Congress to delay the mandatory implementation until October 2017 so you and your colleagues can spend more time on patient care. Your patients deserve it.
TMA to CMS: Suspend MU Measures That Force Doctors to Coerce Patients
In a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, TMA asked CMS to immediately suspend meaningful use core measures 7 and 17 .
State Gives “All Clear” on Dallas Ebola Cases
The last person — a hospital worker who handled medical waste on Oct. 17 — being monitored in connection with the state's three diagnosed Ebola patients was cleared from twice-daily monitoring on Nov. 7, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The hospital worker had reached the 21-day mark, the longest incubation period for the disease.
You Can Now Pay Online for DPS Schedule II Prescription Pads
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) now allows physicians and nonphysician practitioners with a valid controlled substances registration to order and pay online for their prescription pad orders.
Meaningful Use Requires Reporting Clinical Quality Measures
Physicians must report on nine (of 64) clinical quality measures as part of meaningful use. During Stage 1, this was listed as one of the core measures. For Stage 2, it is no longer listed as a separate measure, but it is still required.
Get Up to Speed on New Driving Rules, Medical Restrictions
Physicians play an important role in helping to ensure drivers of all ages are medically fit to get behind the wheel. For the first time since 1991, Texas has updated its driving guidelines, with changes that better reflect advances in medical care in the past 23 years.
Ebola Treatment, Containment Facilities on Tap
In the wake of last week's announcement that a New York doctor who returned from Guinea tested positive for Ebola, public health professionals and hospitals have remained vigilant in preparing to respond to potential future cases of the disease.
TMA Backs Plan to Revamp Medicaid Fraud Cops
The state's use of freezing payments to physicians suspected of possible Medicaid fraud "has gone beyond the law's intent," according to a 225-page report on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. The report describes the HHSC Office of Inspector General (OIG) as an agency with poorly trained staff and little accountability or transparency.
New Deadline to Apply for Meaningful Use Hardship Exception
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will reopen its meaningful use hardship exception application for physicians and hospitals to avoid the 2015 penalty. Following advocacy efforts by the American Medical Association, the new deadline will be Nov. 30. The hardship exception application deadline had been April 1 for hospitals and July 1 for physicians.
Doctors Worried About Nonphysician Entities Providing Medicare Wellness Visits
TMA officials remind physicians they can provide Medicare annual and first-time "Welcome to Medicare" wellness visits to their patients and warn that nonphysician health care entities may be beating doctors to the punch, albeit legally. "Welcome to Medicare" visits occur within a patient's first 12 months of having Medicare Part B coverage.
Judge Sides With Aetna Against Texas Clinics
Aetna is collecting $8.4 million from a small hospital and three clinics after a Texas judge ruled the facilities overbilled the insurer for two years.
FDA Warns Against Using NuVision Pharmacy Sterile Products
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has safety concerns about sterile-use drug products made and distributed by Downing Labs LLC, doing business as NuVision Pharmacy, in Dallas.
FDA Allows Normal Saline Importation to Alleviate Shortage
A critical shortage of 0.9-percent sodium chloride injection (normal saline) that threatens patients' safety prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow B. Braun Medical Inc., of Bethlehem, Pa., to temporarily distribute the drug in the United States from its manufacturing facility in Germany.
Guard Your Practice Against Employee Theft
Medical practices are especially vulnerable to embezzlement, in part, because they are typically cash businesses. According to a 2009 Medical Group Management Association study, 83 percent of the medical practices polled had been the victim of employee theft or embezzlement. But because medical offices are run by a close-knit staff, it can be hard for a physician to imagine any employees stealing from the practice.
New Webinars Offer Guidance on Accurate, Timely Payments
Late payments? Missed revenue? The efficiency of your billing can make or break your practice. By using accurate billing techniques and effective collection strategies you can keep your practice revenue flowing.
TMA Is Searching for the Top Health News of 2014
The TMA Anson Jones, MD, Awards honor outstanding health journalism, and we need your help to find the best stories of 2014. If you've seen, heard, or read an article that caught your attention, nominate it for an award.
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