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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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Texas Physicians Call on Congress to Fix Medicare Formula Now
Physician leaders from the Texas Medical Association are in Washington today to urge every member of the Texas congressional delegation to cosponsor landmark legislation that would strengthen Medicare by updating the program’s troubled payment system.
Doctors' Orders: Vote Tuesday
TEXPAC Board of Directors Chair Jerry Hunsaker, MD, would like you to take a moment and think about where and when you will vote on Tuesday. TEXPAC has endorsed a slate of candidates who have strong physician support, who understand medicine's issues, and who have a good chance of winning.
Tell Congress March 5 to Repeal SGR
You can send a strong message to Congress to eliminate the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and establish new payment systems that support high-quality patient care by participating in a national call-in organized by the American Medical Association on March 5.
DPS Announces Interim CSR Renewal Solution
On Jan. 1, renewal of controlled substances registration (CSR) permits issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) should have become part of physicians' biennial online medical license renewal with the Texas Medical Board. TMA advocated passage of House Bill 1803 by Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Katy) and Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) to ease the administrative hassle and red tape on physicians when they renew their CSR permits and to avoid interruptions in patient care and in physicians' practices due to inadvertent expirations.
CMS Puts Recovery Audit Program on Pause
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced in late February that it will pause additional documentation requests by recovery audit contractors (RACs) until new RAC contracts are finalized. The pause in requests began Feb. 21, the last day a recovery auditor could send postpayment additional documentation requests.
Medicare Meaningful Use Attestation Extended to March 31
March 31 is the new deadline for physicians to attest to meeting the Medicare electronic health record meaningful use criteria for the 2013 program year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced. The previous deadline was Feb. 28. For physicians participating in the Medicaid EHR incentive program, the deadline is March 16.
Are You Ready for ICD-10?
The Oct. 1 compliance date to transition to ICD-10 will be here before you know it. A January report from the Medical Group Management Association suggests physicians, payers, and electronic health record vendors are all well behind the curve in preparing for implementation.
New Stage 2 Meaningful Use Tool
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology have a new tool to help you meet the meaningful use Stage 2 transitions of care measure. The EHR Randomizer allows physicians to exchange data with a designated test electronic health record (EHR) system to meet part of the measure.
Avoid Penalty, Submit PQRS Data by March Deadlines
Act now to avoid the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) penalty, which in 2015 will be based on the 2013 PQRS reporting year.
Nominate a Psychiatrist for DSHS Advisory Board
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is seeking physician nominees certified in psychiatry to serve on the department's Medical Advisory Board (MAB). Physicians appointed to the MAB work with DSHS and the Department of Public Safety on determining whether driver's license applicants or current license holders are medically capable of safely operating a motor vehicle. Physician members also review concealed handgun license applications.
Find Out How Valuable Your TMA Membership Is
Do you ever wonder how hard your membership dues dollars are working for you? By delivering a wealth of benefits and services, your TMA and county medical society membership offers a great return on investment.
Recognize a Local Journalist’s Health Reporting
Flu. Health disparities. Obesity. Concussions. These are just a few topics already making headlines in 2014. If you read or hear a great health news story, nominate it for the TMA Anson Jones, MD, Awards, which recognize excellence in health journalism in Texas. TMA has honored award-winning Texas journalists for more than 50 years.
TMA Exhibit Focuses on Forensics
Forensics experts peer into microscopes to solve crimes almost nightly on television. How did forensic medicine, which has revolutionized investigations, begin? Find out with a visit to TMA's newest History of Medicine exhibit, “Bugs, Bones, and Blood,” which examines forensic medicine — the search for truth when someone dies suddenly or mysteriously.
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