TMA Action May 1, 2012 News and Insights from Texas Medical Association
INSIDE: TexMed 2012 Comes to Dallas May 18-19
TexMed 2012 Comes to Dallas May 18-19 Meaningful Use Public Health Measures
Armstrong to Legislature: Fight Cancer TMA Teaches Communication Skills
TMA Needs Young Leaders This Month in Texas Medicine
Coding Correctly for Your Specialty? Do You Twitter? Follow TMA
TexMed 2012 Comes to Dallas May 18-19
Where can you get free continuing medical education (CME) and the latest clinical updates, have a chance to help set Texas Medical Association policy on medicine's key issues, browse through a lively Exhibit hall with some 100 exhibits, and network with colleagues, friends, and former medical school classmates from throughout Texas? At TexMed 2012, May 18-19, at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.
Besides all that, you can attend the General Session at 4 pm Friday and hear the harrowing story of Anna Pou, MD, who was at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Dr. Pou will relate her experiences during the hurricane when she and her colleagues cared for critically ill patients under horrific conditions. She was later charged with murder for the death of patients but never indicted; her experience underscores the need for crisis standards of care, as well as legal protections for health care professionals and hospitals. Dr. Pou has since championed precedent-setting legislation that is now law in Louisiana.
You can earn 1 hour of ethics CME by attending the General Session. The session is among more than 100 hours of free CME available at TexMed 2012. The TexMed CME programs range from leadership development skills and business operations to quality initiatives and performance improvement.
Earn up to a $1,000 professional liability discount from the Texas Medical Liability Trust for completing at least 2.5 hours of approved CME tracks.
The TMA House of Delegates convenes at 8 am Friday. When it adjourns, you will have an opportunity to attend reference committee meetings and testify on vital socioeconomic, science, public health, medical education, and TMA financial organizational issues. The reference committee will take your testimony and recommend action to the full House of Delegates when it reconvenes at 8:30 am Saturday.
Michael Speer, MD, will become TMA's 147th president during an installation ceremony at the House of Delegates meeting on Saturday. The Houston neonatologist will be honored at a reception at 6 pm Friday.
Also on the agenda is the TMA Foundation's 19th annual gala, Going Gold for Great Health, from 7 to 11 pm Friday. The foundation's annual gala raises money for award-winning TMA health improvement and education initiatives it funds, like Hard Hats for Little Heads and Be Wise — Immunize.SM
Tickets are $175 each or $225 for VIP access. Order tickets here or from the foundation at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1664, or (512) 370-1664. Or visit the TMAF website.
TexMed 2012 registration hours are:
Thursday, May 17
Skybridge, Level Two
8 am-7:30 pm
Friday, May 18
Conference Center, Expo Hall, Level One
6 am-6:30 pm
Saturday, May 19
Conference Center, Expo Hall, Level One
6 am-12:30 pm
TexMed 2012 is a free membership benefit.
Be Wise — Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.
Armstrong to Legislature: Fight Cancer
LIVESTRONG founder Lance Armstrong is urging the Texas Legislature to make the state "a leader in the fight against cancer."
The seven-time Tour de France champion wrote lawmakers that they can save lives and taxpayers' money by:
- Passing a statewide, indoor smoke-free workplace law that protects all Texans from secondhand smoke; and
- Renewing full funding for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), "so it can continue to drive cutting-edge research and innovative cancer screening and prevention programs."
"Cancer is one of the biggest killers in the state. But it doesn't have to be that way. The moment you reconvene in Austin, I urge you to make it your top priority to pass both of these commonsense, widely supported initiatives," Mr. Armstrong wrote.
TMA's Physician Oncology Education Program (POEP) received a $350,000 CPRIT grant in 2011. POEP gives Texas physicians, physicians-in-training, and those in training to become physicians the knowledge and skills necessary to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality through collaboration among the public, private, and volunteer sectors of the state.
TMA Needs Young Leaders
Who will lead Texas medicine into the future? Will it be you?
If you are 40 or younger or in the first eight years of practice, the Texas Medical Association Leadership College (TMALC) can put you on the path to becoming a mover and shaker in TMA and organized medicine. The leadership college is accepting applications for the TMALC Class of 2013. There is no tuition. This is a free TMA member benefit. The application deadline is July 13.
TMA needs young new leaders to continue our vision to "Improve the Health of All Texans." Now in its third year, TMALC is an intensive leadership program designed to identify, orient, and train young TMA members to serve in leadership positions in the house of medicine and as trusted leaders in their local communities.
The 2013 class size will be limited to 20 physicians.
Learn more about TMALC and the application process for 2012-13, or request that an application be emailed to you by calling the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955 or (512) 370-1550 or by emailing TMA Knowledge Center.
The new class starts in Austin, Oct. 19-20, and ends at TexMed in San Antonio, May 17-18, 2013.
Coding Correctly for Your Specialty?
You can improve your bottom line by attending a half-day seminar TMA will offer in four cities in May and June. The seminars will provide the latest information on coding for orthopedics, obstetrics-gynecology, family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics, and will offer 3 hours of continuing medical education credit.
You'll learn to:
- Apply the latest coding updates,
- Correctly code common procedures,
- Recognize and avoid the top denials, and
- Perform a Recovery Audit Contractor audit risk assessment.
The seminar locations and dates are:
May 23 (primary care) and May 30 (obstetrics-gynecology, orthopedics)
Central Texas Medical Center
Professional Office Building – 1st floor
Community Classroom LG
1301 Wonder World Drive
McAllen (primary care only)
McAllen Heart Hospital
1900 S. D Street
Methodist West Houston Hospital
Conference Center-Mesquite A/B
18500 Katy Freeway
The University of Texas at Arlington
E.H. Hereford University Center
300 West First Street
You may register by:
- Logging on to the TMA website and completing your registration online; or
- Calling (877) 880-1335 to register by phone or request a registration form.
Meaningful Use Public Health Measures
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Meaningful Use Stage 1 measures, physicians must attest to at least one public health measure from the list of menu criteria in an effort to improve and public health.
The two public health measures and exclusions from the requirements are:
Perform at least one test of a certified electronic health record (EHR) system's capacity to submit electronic data to immunization registries and follow-up submission if the test is successful (unless none of the immunization registries to which the physician submits such information can receive the information electronically). This does not apply to physicians who do not immunize patients during the EHR reporting period or where there is no immunization registry with the capacity to receive the information electronically.
- Perform at least one test of the certified EHR technology's capacity to provide electronic syndromic surveillance data (collection and analysis of health data about a clinical syndrome that has a significant impact on public health) to public health agencies and follow-up submission if the test is successful (unless none of the public health agencies to which a physician submits such information has the capacity to receive the information electronically). This does not apply to a physician who does not collect any reportable syndromic information on his or her patients during the EHR reporting period or who does not submit such information to any public health agency that has the capacity to receive the information electronically.
This means Texas physicians who provide immunizations to patients should perform at least one test by submitting patient immunization data to ImmTrac, the state's immunization registry.
Physicians who do not provide immunizations should choose the public health measure on syndromic surveillance data submission. In Texas, only the Tarrant County Public Health Department can electronically receive syndromic surveillance data. Physicians who do not submit to Tarrant County or who do not collect syndromic surveillance data can claim an exclusion.
Physicians participating in meaningful use are required to attest to all 15 of the core measures and must choose five measures from the menu set of 10. Both of the aforementioned public health measures are part of the criteria. If a physician is eligible to claim an exclusion from both, then he or she should select one of the two measures during attestation and claim the respective exemption. The physician should then choose four other measures from the menu set for attestation.
Meeting meaningful use and attesting to the required criteria is a complex undertaking. Physicians needing help with attestation or any other EHR incentive program requirements should seek help from one of the four Texas regional extension centers (RECs). CMS established the RECs to help physicians with the complexities of the meaningful use EHR incentive program. Visit TMA's REC Resource Center to find out which REC serves your county and to learn more about the services offered.
For questions about this and any other health information technology issues, contact TMA's HIT Department at (800) 880-5720 or by email.
TMA Teaches Communication Skills
Satisfied patients are less likely to sue their physician. Studies support this fact. The most important predictors of patient satisfaction, studies show, are the interpersonal aspects of care, especially those relating to patient-physician communication. This can be as simple as asking "What are your questions or concerns?" vs. "Do you have any questions?"
TMA offers three ways you can learn to put good communication skills to work for you and your patients (and you can earn continuing medical education credits):
- Communication Skills — Why Bother? is a home study course (PDF publication) in the TMA Education Center that shows you how better communication makes your patients not only happier but also healthier – and reduces stress for you. This course also is available as a live presentation upon request; contact Sharon Chicano at TMA at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1343, or email Sharon Chicano (1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM; 1 ethics credit).
- The Practice Management track at TexMed 2012 on Friday, May 18, in Dallas, covers patient communication from several angles – from keeping patients satisfied, dealing with difficult patients, and collecting debts to engaging patients for better quality and using mobile technology to enhance patient care (5.75 AMA PRA Cat 1 CreditsTM; 4.5 ethics credits; 5.75 AAFP credits).
- "Patients, Physicians, and Social Media" is a recorded webinar in the TMA Education Center that takes a closer look at interacting with patients via email, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Patients expect this. Learn about legal and ethical issues physicians face when using social media to communicate with patients (1 AMA PRA Cat. 1 CreditTM; 1 ethics credit).
If you have questions or need help with registering for any of these, contact the TMA Knowledge Center by telephone at (800) 880-7955 or by email.
This Month in Texas Medicine
The May issue of Texas Medicine examines the Texas Medical Association Political Action Committee's accomplishments in its 50-year history, why physicians are increasingly worried about the worsening shortage of lifesaving drugs, and Medicare's decision to pay for obesity counseling. You'll also learn why measuring patient satisfaction is important and how to dismiss difficult patients without getting into trouble. And, the issue will detail the fight in Weslaco over plans to sell a local hospital.
Texas Medicine RSS Feed
Don't want to wait for Texas Medicine to land in your mailbox? You can access it as an RSS feed, the same way you get the TMA Practice E-Tips RSS feed.
E-Tips RSS Feed
TMA Practice E-Tips, a valuable source of hands-on, use-it-now advice on coding, billing, payment, HIPAA compliance, office policies and procedures, and practice marketing, is available as an RSS feed on the TMA website. Once there, you can download an RSS reader, such as Feedreader, Sharpreader, Sage, or NetNewsWire Lite. You also can subscribe to the RSS feeds for TMA news releases and for Blogged Arteries, the feed for Action.
Do You Twitter? Follow TMA
As part of its work to explore new communications technologies, TMA regularly publishes on Twitter, the hot, 140-character "micro-blogging" service.
If you Twitter, follow TMA to get practice management tips, news bits, and political chatter – and we'll follow you, too. If you don't know what we're talking about, click here to check it out.
What are TMA member physicians saying on Twitter each day about health care, politics, science, and more? You don't need a Twitter account to be part of the conversation. The TMA Member Physicians Daily comes out around 10 am each day. You can subscribe via e-mail or RSS feed. TMA's own Twitter feeds reach more than 20,000 unique individuals online each week.
This Just In ...
Want the latest and hottest news from TMA in a hurry? Then log on to Blogged Arteries . You can hear the latest Podcast TMA episodes and read the most recent news from Action and Texas Medicine.
TMA Education Center
The TMA Education Center offers convenient, one-stop access to the continuing medical education Texas physicians need. TMA's practice management, cancer, and physician health courses are now easier than ever to find online. The seminars listed below are among the CME opportunities found in the TMA Education Center.
Practice Management, Ext. 1421
Recorded Web Seminars
Avoiding RAC Audits
Avoiding the Courthouse: 10 Practice Pitfalls
Communication Skills: Why Bother?
HIPAA and the HITECH Act
10 Ways to Turn Satisfied Patients Into Loyal Patients
Write, Click, or Paste ... The Changing World of Documentation
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