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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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HHS Officially Sets ICD-10 Deadline for Oct. 1, 2015
On July 31, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a rule setting Oct. 1, 2015, as the new compliance date for health care professionals, health plans, and health care clearinghouses to transition to ICD-10. HHS says the deadline gives physicians, insurance companies, and others in the health care industry time to ramp up their operations to ensure their systems and business processes are ready to go on Oct. 1, 2015.
PQRS: Deadline Nears for Group Registration
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.
Additional Ebola Virus Guidance
Recent cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) underscore the potential for travel-associated spread of the disease and the risks of EVD to health care workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued a health advisory July 28.
Virtual Kidnappers Target Texas Physicians
TMA wants to alert you about a disturbing development that hit the family of medicine in the past several weeks. On separate occasions, individuals contacted physicians in San Antonio, El Paso, and Corpus Christi and claimed to have kidnapped the doctor’s child with the intent to extort money from the physician.
Join Us for TEDMED Week in Austin
TEDMED is where the world's most creative minds meet health care’s most innovative scientific concepts. And that's why you need to be there.
TMB Puts Office-Based Anesthesia Inspections on Hold
The Texas Medical Board (TMB) decided at its June meeting to put office-based anesthesia (OBA) inspections on hold "to make clarifications regarding inspection criteria and requirements," according to the board's July newsletter. TMB notified physicians in early June it would begin inspecting Texas practices registered with the board as providing OBA to ensure compliance with Chapter 192 of board rules.
Medicaid Meaningful Use Training Modules Available
The federal electronic medical record meaningful use program provides incentives to physicians accepting Medicaid. To be eligible, Medicaid patients or encounters must account for 30 percent of office visits. Pediatricians are eligible at a 20-percent level.
Comptroller Mails Business Transaction Forfeiture Notices
Physician practices subject to the franchise tax should be aware that if the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts hasn't received their franchise tax returns or approved their extension requests, they may receive a "Texas Notice of Intent to Forfeit Right to Transact Business."
Teacher Retirement System Contract Transfers to Aetna
Beginning Sept. 1, 2014, the contract for managing the Texas Teacher Retirement System's TRS-ActiveCare program transfers from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas to Aetna. The change does not impact TRS retirees.
Attend TMA Fall Conference Sept. 12-13
Join your colleagues Sept. 12-13 to be part of the 2014 TMA Fall Conference movement to "Focus on a Healthy Vision for Texas" at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa.
HIPAA Security Compliance Seminar From TMA
The HIPAA Security Rule addresses administrative, physical, and technical safeguards for electronic protected health information (e-PHI). This governs e-PHI in all forms of electronic media, including computer hard drives and servers, CDs, DVDs, SD cards, external hard discs, smartphones, and tablets. Failure to secure these electronic versions of patient information can be costly.
Free TMA Publication: Business Basics
Thanks to a generous grant from The Physicians Foundation, you can download
Business Basics for Physicians
, TMA's newest publication, free.
Give Helmets in Your Office for Hard Hats' 20th Birthday
TMA's Hard Hats for Little Heads is planning a statewide giveaway in October to mark the program's 20th birthday, and we invite you to host a local celebration. If a community event isn't for you, consider purchasing a few helmets to hand out in your office to help us reach our goal of giving away 5,000 helmets in October.
True Savings of Mobile HIPAA-Secure Communication
In many situations, texting is the fastest and most efficient way to send information, but physicians who use traditional methods to text clinical information to each other risk exposing themselves to HIPAA privacy and security violations. However, physicians who adopt a secure platform for sending such messages, such as DocbookMD, can benefit by saving time, money, and even lives.
TMA Foundation Releases Annual Report
Donors and volunteers are creating a "Healthy Now and a Healthy Future," as you'll see in the TMA Foundation 2013 Annual Report.
Congress Passes VA Overhaul
On Thursday, Congress approved a widespread overhaul of the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). TMA has been calling on the nation's leaders to clear existing bureaucratic landmines — slow payment and lack of interaction between the VA and the private sector, for instance — so private-sector physicians can help get veterans the timely care they need.
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