ACA Exchange Plans: Questions and Answers for Texas Physicians
Confused by all you've heard about the Affordable Care Act marketplace insurance plans? Do you know whether you're in — or out — of the narrow networks? How will you tell if a patient is on an exchange plan? What happens to you if patients don't make their premium payments? What, if anything, can you do about all of this? TMA answers these and other tough marketplace exchange questions.
TMA Webcast Explains Health Insurance Exchanges
A one-hour live webcast, Health Insurance Exchange: Business Impact, at noon CST on Dec. 5, will help answer many of the questions you probably have about the health insurance exchanges
created by the Affordable Care Act. Lee Spangler, TMA vice president for medical economics, will examine the details of the exchanges and what they mean to your practice.
When Patients Don’t Pay Their Premiums in the ACA Marketplace
Will physicians have to refund payments to an insurer if a patient who bought coverage from that insurer in the Affordable Care Act marketplace doesn’t pay his or her premiums?
2014 Medicare Participation Deadline Extended
Jan. 31 is the new deadline for physicians to decide whether to participate in the Medicare program in 2014. The deadline originally was Dec. 31, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended it because CMS released the 2014 physician fee schedule later than usual.
SGR Repeal Bill Good, Could Be Better, Must Pass
A bipartisan plan to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula is a good start but still needs work, the Texas Medical Association and eight other states in the Coalition of State Medical Societies say in a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee.
New SGR Replacement Plan Unveiled
Once again, Texans in Congress are playing key roles in fixing our broken Medicare payment system. The latest joint proposal comes from the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate
Finance Committee. Rep. Kevin Brady chairs the Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, and Sen. John Cornyn sits on the Senate Finance Committee and its Subcommittee on Health Care.
Pediatrician Suggests You Choose Wisely With Patients
Marylou Buyse, MD, pediatrician and chief medical director of Scott & White Memorial Hospital Health Plan, wants Texas physicians to spark discussion with patients by using Choosing
Help Patients Choose the Right Flu Shot
Are your patients asking questions about flu vaccination? National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 8-14. It's a perfect time to encourage your patients to get vaccinated for the flu to help them stay
healthy during the holidays.
ACP Conference Focuses on Medical Home
You can learn how to make quality work for your practice and your patient and to transform care for diabetics and others with multiple comorbid conditions by attending a conference sponsored by the
American College of Physicians (ACP) Texas Chapter next month in San Antonio. "In Search of Joy in Practice: Innovations in Patient-Centered Care" will take place Jan. 24-25 at the Omni La Mansion del Rio.
Nominate Excellent Health Reporting for TMA Award
If you've read, seen, or heard something in the media recently on health care that made you take note, nominate it for TMA’s Anson Jones, MD, Awards. Your nomination lets journalists know you're paying attention, gives them a pat on the back, and encourages them to keep reporting on medicine.
Find It, Fix It, Keep It: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Affordable Care Act: Find What’s Missing. Keep What Works. Fix What’s Broken.
Are You on the Medicaid Fee Increase List?
The Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) has compiled a list of primary care physicians eligible for the temporary fee increase for treating Medicaid patients that was authorized by the Affordable Care Act. On the list are the names of physicians who filed the required form by Oct. 16, attesting that they are eligible for the increase.
Tell HHSC How to Simplify Medicaid Managed Care
As the October Texas Medicine reported, physicians are frustrated with the state's Medicaid managed care program. Payment and preauthorization delays, network adequacy, and poor communication by Medicaid HMOs are among the concerns. So how would you simplify the program? The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) wants to know. Tell them by Dec. 6.
Texas RECs Offer Free Help to Some Medicaid Specialists
A grant from Texas Medicaid now allows the four Texas regional extension centers (RECs) to help physicians participating in the Medicaid electronic health record meaningful use incentive program. Physicians with at least 30 percent Medicaid volume can receive up to $63,750 in incentives over six years.
OSHA Deadline: Training About Hazardous Materials
Labels and safety data sheets (SDSs) for hazardous chemicals are getting a makeover, and practices had to train their staff to understand them by Dec. 1, 2013.
Delegating and Supervising Prescribing Privileges for APRNs/PAs
New state law governing the delegation and supervision of prescribing privileges for advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants went into effect Nov. 1.
Marketplace Means Decisions for Doctors
opening of the health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
on Jan.1 means you must be vigilant in your dealings with the health insurance
companies. Or you could face major problems. For example, do your existing
contracts with insurers mean you're already included in an exchange network? And,
it's possible you'll have to refund payments to an insurer if a patient who
bought coverage in the ACA marketplace doesn't pay his or her premiums.
AMA: U.S. House Addressing Medicare Payment Reform
In recent weeks, proposals have been unveiled on Capitol Hill that would eliminate Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Generally, these proposals reflect many of the principles that the American Medical Association, state medical societies, and national specialty societies shared with Congress this past October. The fact that the committees began this process so early in the year and CBO’s recently lowered estimated cost for repealing SGR by more than $100 billion (to $138 billion) also are very positive signs.
Texan Leads in Pushing Bipartisan Support for SGR Repeal
U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-Bryan) joined a Democratic congressman in urging House leaders to repeal Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula this year. Representative Flores and Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) are asking their colleagues to sign on to a bipartisan letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Medicine Protests Medicare Advantage Terminations
Physicians across the country are being kicked out of Medicare Advantage plans, undermining patients' rights and denying them access to care, TMA, the American Medical Association, and numerous national specialty societies and state medical associations say in a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The Digital Practice: Building a Stronger Online Presence
The latest consumer statistics suggest that more than 90 percent of potential patients will research your practice online before deciding where to go for their health care. So what does your online presence say about your practice?
Preparing Your EHR for 2014
Physicians participating in the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program must upgrade their EHR system to the 2014 certified version before attesting in 2014. Check the Certified Health IT Product List to see if your vendor has updated the product you use. If you do not see your EHR system listed, you should ask your vendor about its timeline so that you can adequately prepare and perform testing before going live with the upgrade product.
Anson Jones, MD, Awards Honor Physicians
Do you write a medical column for your local newspaper? Host a radio health show or a weekly medical segment on the local TV news? If so, enter your work in the TMA Anson Jones, MD, Awards contest.
TMA Offers Updated Procedures Manual
TMA’s updated Policies and Procedures: A Guide for Medical Practices is now available for purchase though the TMA Education Center. Simply add the product to your cart and purchase this updated manual. Everything you need to comply with new rules and regulations is included.
TMA Offers New Policies & Procedures Guide
TMA's Policies & Procedures – A Guide for Medical Practices contains more than 200 up-to-date policies and procedures, tools, sample letters, and forms you can customize for your office. TMA's practical and easy-to-use guide is specific to Texas medical practices and Texas law.
Help Your Patients Achieve a Healthy Weight
Do you advise your patients to lose weight? If so, check out the American Medical Association's Healthier Life Steps® program, which offers hands-on tools to help patients establish and achieve their goals. You’ll even find tips to start a discussion about weight loss with your patients.
Judge Upholds Prop 12 Tort Reform Caps
Caps on pain and suffering awards in health care lawsuits – part of the landmark 2003 tort reform law TMA and its allies pushed through the legislature – are constitutional, U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap ruled in March. He denied claims by 10 plaintiffs who contended the caps on noneconomic damages violated the U.S. Constitution. He also dismissed claims that a cap on damages unconstitutionally takes private property and that it bars access to the courts.
Medical Liability Reform’s Promises Kept
10-Year Anniversary TMA Survey Documents Increased Access to Care
Meaningful Use Attestations by Vendor
TMA's Health Information Technology Department has analyzed new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data on meaningful use attestations by electronic health record vendors in Texas. The numbers help physicians see which products have the greatest success rate in attesting for the meaningful use incentive program.
HIT Tools and Resources at Your Fingertips
TMA works diligently to give you the tools you need to tackle the challenges of technology. Whether you need help selecting an electronic health record (EHR) or understanding the EHR incentive program or information on e-prescribing, TMA has the resources. You can find links to all of these tools on the Technology page of the TMA website.
Good Practices Deserve Recognition
Texas physician practices continue to make great strides in providing reliable preventive services by using health information technology and effective care management methods. These practices should be recognized for their hard work.
Walk the Walk
Ready to practice what you preach? TMA’s Walk With a Doc program is part of a national grassroots movement devoted to encouraging healthy physical activity. We want to reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle and improve the health and well-being of our country, and we want your help.
Learn about the Blue Advantage HMO Network
If you signed a contract with the new Blue Advantage HMO network, you might want to attend a provider orientation session.
Have You Talked To Your EHR Vendor About ICD-10?
Vendors are key partners who can help you prepare for ICD-10. You can assess an electronic health record (EHR) vendor's capabilities by answering key questions.
TMA Opposes VA's APRN Proposal
It's a bad idea. That's the gist of what TMA, the American Medical Association, and other state medical societies say in a letter to Robert Petzel, MD, undersecretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs about the proposal in the Veterans Health Administration Nursing Handbook to designate advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) as independent providers and to allow them to practice without physician supervision regardless of individual state regulations.
TMA Answers Your Patients' Insurance Marketplace Questions
"Hey Doc," TMA's multimedia patient education campaign about the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace, continues into its third month on video, on the Internet, and in the news media. To keep up with the program or to refer your patients, go to heydoc.texmed.org.
“Hey Doc” Gives You Answers to Patients’ ACA Questions
Americans' physicians are their most trusted source for information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new national poll, but that's not where they're getting their news.
Meaningful Use Requirements Change in 2014
Ready for Stage 2? The first year of Stage 2 meaningful use under the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health records incentive programs begins in 2014 for eligible physicians and other health care professionals. Stage 2 brings changes to the program.
Not Doing PQRS? Quick Action Will Avoid a Penalty
For practices not currently participating in the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), another Medicare penalty is looming. Take action now to sign up to prevent it.
You Love Patients, Hate EHRs
Giving patients high-quality care is the most satisfying thing about being a physician, according to a RAND Corporation study sponsored by the American Medical Association.
TMA Seminars Prepare You for Medicare in 2014
time again to start thinking about Medicare for 2014. TMA's Medicare
2014 seminar series will help you and your
staff get on top of next year's changes and make your current Medicare process
“Hey, Doc”: Where Can I Get Help Signing Up in the Marketplace?
This week, TMA’s “Hey, Doc” education campaign answers Texans’ questions about where they can get help signing up for coverage in the new health insurance marketplace, when they can create an account, and how they can get ready to sign up.
Award Honors Academic Physicians
TMA Award for Excellence in Academic
teaching physicians who are clinicians and have a record of TMA leadership, scholarly
activity, mentoring, professional development, advocacy, and community service.
If this sounds like you, TMA encourages you to apply for this award created for
doctors like you.
TMA Launches Physician Services Organization
Texas' premier physician associations have established an organization to deliver doctors the survival tools they need to provide demonstrably better and more efficient patient care and compete in today's health care marketplace.
“Hey, Doc”: When and How Do I Sign Up in the Marketplace?
This week, TMA’s “Hey, Doc” education campaign answers Texans’ questions about when and how to sign up for coverage in the new health insurance marketplace.
ICD-10 One Year Away
of today, you have exactly one year to complete the transition from the ICD-9
to the ICD-10 system for coding your claims. Unless you begin using ICD-10 on
Oct. 1, 2014, your claims will not be paid.
State Hires Medicaid Meaningful Use Auditor
Texas Health & Human Services Commission hired Davila, Buschhorn & Associates to audit
payments to Texas physicians under the Medicaid electronic health record (EHR)
incentive program. A separate auditing firm is examining Medicare EHR
Mentors Wanted for Tomorrow's Physician Leaders
Remember your first professional mentor? The physician who introduced you to all the right people? The one who shared invaluable tricks of the trade? The one who helped steer you away from trouble? It's time to repay the favor.
Unspent Funds? Renew Your TMA Membership Today
you have funds remaining in your 2013 continuing medical education/dues budget allotment?
If so, renew your 2014 TMA membership early, before your funds expire.
Together Rx Access Ends in February
The Together Rx Access program, which allows
individuals and families without prescription drug insurance coverage to buy
discounted medications, will shut down Feb. 28.
Managing Childhood Concussion
60 percent of high school students in the United States participate in
organized sports, and the number of younger athletes increases annually.
Because back to school means back to sports for most Texas children, the identification and management of concussion is becoming an even bigger public health issue than in
Keep Those Anson Jones Nominations Coming
The TMA Anson Jones, MD, Award honors
outstanding health journalism, and we need your help to find the best stories of
2013. If you've seen, heard, or read an outstanding story this year, nominate it for an award.
CME the Easy Way
TMA has taken physician continuing medical education (CME) to the next level through the TMA Education Center. You can now access and complete CME and have your earned credits applied to your transcript instantly, thanks in part to TMA's collaboration with technology partner InReach.
Is Your EHR 2014 Certified?
All electronic health record (EHR) users must upgrade their systems before attesting to meaningful use under Medicare for the 2014 payment year. It does not matter whether you attest to Stage 1 or Stage 2 of meaningful use.
Aetna to Pay $120 Million in Claims Dispute
Aetna's creation of a $120 million fund to pay physicians for out-of-network claims moved closer to reality last month when a New Jersey federal judge tentatively approved a settlement of the class action lawsuit by the Texas Medical Association and its organized medicine partners. Final approval is scheduled for March.
Preceptorship Program to Accept Applications
The General Internal Medicine Statewide Preceptorship Program will begin accepting applications on Jan 7.
CMS Sends Home Health Reports
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent physicians comparative billing reports on home health services. The reports contain peer comparisons that give you insights into your coding and billing practices through tables and graphs that compare your billing and payment patterns to your peers both statewide and nationally.
TMA Wants ICD-10 Canned
TMA is glad the federal government postponed adoption of the ICD-10 coding system until 2014 but believes it should completely scrap ICD-10 for a more up-to-date coding system. If officials don't do that, then they should delay ICD-10 even longer. That was the message TMA delivered in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on May 11.
Does Your Practice Have an ICD-10 Physician Expert?
Every practice, no matter how big or small, needs the leadership, knowledge, and foresight of a physician expert to properly and efficiently implement ICD-10 next year. He or she must become familiar with every aspect of ICD-10 and be a content expert to partners and staff. As the executive of the implementation process, that doctor must make sure all necessary tasks have been delegated and keep the conversion on track.
Pertussis Prompts Health Alert
If pertussis cases continue to be diagnosed and reported at the current rate, the deadly disease will reach its highest level in the state in more than 50 years, warns the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in a health alert issued Sept. 3.
AMA Analyzes Medicare Physician Fee Rule
The American Medical Association has prepared an eight-page analysis of the government's proposed 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.
Medicare Data Release Worries Medicine
The potential release of Medicare physician claims data to the public "can have unintentional, adverse consequences for patients, providers, and the health care system" if not done correctly, the Texas Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and other state medical societies warned federal officials in August.
2014 Leadership College Class Chosen
Twenty-five physicians from across Texas have been chosen as the Class of 2014 of the TMA Leadership College. The class, chosen from a record 58 applicants, is the largest one yet. The first class had 28 applicants.
TMA Honors Science Teachers
TMA and the TMA Foundation will honor deserving Texas educators again in 2014 with the Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching.
Proposition 12 Produces Healthy Benefits
Proposition 12 continues to produces healthy benefits. Improving access to medical care is critically important to all Texans. This is especially true for children, pregnant women, the aged, the poor, those in an emergent condition and those in rural Texas. Charity care has greatly increased since the passage of the 2003 reforms.
Preparing for EHR Divorce
It's said that choosing an electronic health record (EHR) system is like choosing a spouse. While the majority of EHR unions seem destined for happily ever after, that is not the case with all. Physicians should have an exit strategy as they enter the EHR vendor relationship. The best way to do this is to seek mutually agreeable contract terms.
HIPAA Security Requires Practice Risk Analysis
The HIPAA Security Rule addresses administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (e-PHI). It also requires that every practice perform a risk analysis to look for potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of all e-PHI that an organization creates, receives, maintains, or transmits.
It's Time to Start ICD-10 Implementation
You and your practice staff have hopefully taken the necessary planning and preparation steps to get your ICD-10 transition off to the right start. But the period for planning is quickly coming to an end, and now it's time to get serious about a practical and efficient ICD-10 implementation.
Nominate a Journalist for Health Reporting
Have you read, heard, or seen a great health news story this year? If so, take a moment now to nominate it for a TMA Anson Jones, MD, Award.
TMA Webpage Gives Access to Choosing Wisely Tools
The Texas Medical Association has launched its Choosing Wisely website with materials available for Texas physicians to help spark discussion with patients and avoid unnecessary care.
First Repair for Broken Medicaid System? Better Payment
Texas physicians are still being asked to lose money every time we care for a Medicaid patient. This forces most of us to limit the number of Medicaid patients we can see. That, in turn, makes it very difficult for a Medicaid patient to find a physician. The most recent TMA survey found that only 31 percent of Texas physicians accept all new Medicaid patients. That number has plummeted from almost 67 percent since the turn of the century. So, before the state and federal government expand the populations eligible for Medicaid, patient care rates need to be raised to cover the real cost of care.
Medicaid Reform Needs You
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is accepting applications for members for four new advisory committees established by Senate Bill 7. The bill seeks to improve the coordination of Medicaid long-term care services with acute care services.
Two EHR Monitors Better Than One
Physicians using electronic health records (EHRs) may consider using two computer monitors. It's an inexpensive way to enhance the workflow and allow viewing of multiple EHR pages or documents from other sources. Time is of the essence during a patient visit, and EHRs may negatively affect productivity. The second monitor may help physicians during patient visits.
Want the Newest Info on ICD-10?
Let the TMA Knowledge Center's alert service keep you up to date with the newest articles and latest developments on ICD-10 and other health care topics.
Check Out 2013 Legislative Summary in Texas Medicine
As the dust settles on the 83rd regular session of the Texas Legislature, here's an excellent resource: TMA’s August issue of Texas Medicine magazine, which offers an in-depth, detailed examination of new laws affecting patients and their physicians.
Do EHR Mandates Exist?
It depends. What is your definition of a mandate? You do not have to use an electronic health record (EHR) in your practice, but if you don't, Medicare penalties will be incurred beginning in 2015.
Act Now to Get Medicaid Fee Increase
Later this year, Texas will increase Medicaid payments to Medicare parity for two years – retroactive to Jan. 1, 2013 – for select primary care services provided by primary care physicians and related subspecialists.
TMA Challenges Dentists' Sleep Apnea Rule
Dentists should not independently diagnose and treat sleep apnea because they are not trained to do so, TMA told officials of the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.
PPACA Employer Mandate Delayed
Physicians who have 50 or more employees have another year to comply with the "employer mandate" of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The law requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance coverage or pay a penalty.
Congress Takes Up Medicine's Plea on SGR, IPAB
TMA officials are optimistic about proposals to reform Medicare's physician payment system this year, a top goal for the association's federal legislative agenda.
Start Preparing to Upgrade Your EHR
Beginning in 2014, all physicians participating in the federal electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use incentive program must use a Stage two-certified EHR. This is true even for physicians attesting for Stage one meaningful use.
TMA Offers Complete ICD-10 Implementation Solution
Wish you had someone to hold your hand through the changeover to ICD-10? TMA's new Complete ICD-10 Implementation Solution will guide you step by step through learning, planning, organizing, implementing, and analyzing your practice's ICD-10 transition. It includes all the tools – including budgets, organization surveys, and impact assessments – needed for a successful transition.
TMA Questions Cigna Red-Tape Hassle
TMA believes a Cigna referral policy imposes a red-tape hassle on physicians and patients and will ask the Texas Department of Insurance to determine if the company has violated the agency's network adequacy rules.
HIEs Ready to Sign Physician Practices
One of the greatest promises of health information technology and electronic health records is the ability to securely access and share patient information at the point of care. Currently, there are 12 health information exchanges (HIEs) in Texas funded with federal grants that can provide information about patients at the point of care.
ICD-10 Seminar Now Available on Demand
Did you miss TMA's recent seminar on preparing for ICD-10? Did you attend one of the sessions but would like a review? The seminar, ICD-10 Now! How and Why, is now available as an on-demand webinar through the TMA Education Center.
TMA Helps You Meet New Meaningful Use Rules
Physicians participating in the Medicare or Medicaid meaningful use incentive programs will have to meet increasingly more difficult criteria in 2014 when Stage 2 begins. The new requirements will apply to physicians who started the meaningful use program in either 2011 or 2012. Those who began in 2013 won't move to Stage 2 until 2015.
TMA Wise Choice for Choosing Wisely Grant
The ABIM Foundation awarded TMA a $50,000 grant to advance the Choosing Wisely campaign among Texas physicians. Choosing Wisely is leading a national conversation about doing the right thing at the right time for the right patient and avoiding unnecessary care. TMA is one of only five state medical associations to receive a grant from the ABIM Foundation.
Fort Worth Physician Sworn in as TMA's 148th President
Stephen L. Brotherton, MD, of Fort Worth, took office as the Texas Medical Association's (TMA's) 148th president Saturday during the associaton's annual meeting in San Antonio. TMA's House of Delegates, the association's policymaking body, elected Dr. Brotherton TMA president-elect last year.
Governor's Signature Caps Successful Legislative Session
The Texas Medical Association's victories in the 2013 legislative session became official when Gov. Rick Perry signed into law TMA-backed bills to reduce the red tape snarling your practice and to give your patients new protections.
Governor's Signature Caps Successful Legislative Session
The Texas Medical Association has long beat the drum for bolstering graduate medical education, 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.
Many Texas Physicians Not Fully Using EHRs
Does your practice use your electronic health record (EHR) system's full potential? Is the use of technology boosting your revenue and showing measurable increases in quality? For many physicians across Texas, the answer unfortunately is no, even though the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 provides incentives to adopt and meaningfully use an EHR. Having an EHR system in place is not enough. You and your staff must also learn to understand and use the data at your fingertips for the benefit of your patients and your practice.
TMA Helps Make Cheerleading Safer
TMA's advocacy to improve safety in interscholastic athletics has helped convince state officials to adopt rules to reduce cheerleaders' risk of concussions.
TMA: Make SGR Replacement Plan Better
TMA told congressional leaders it "generally supports" their efforts to replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, which continually threatens drastic cuts in Medicare payments to physicians, but offered suggestions to make the reform effort even better. TMA President Stephen L. Brotherton, MD, made the suggestions to improve the SGR Formula Replacement Proposal in a letter to leaders of the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees and two of their subcommittees.
CMS Audits Meaningful Use
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is auditing physicians and other health care professionals who receive meaningful use incentive payments. CMS is required to audit those attesting to meaningful use, but until this point, the agency has only posted general information about the audits.
Help TMA Recognize Outstanding Health Reporting
This year, for the first time, physicians, medical students, county medical societies, and TMA Alliance members can nominate local journalists for a TMA Anson Jones, MD, Award.
Appeals Court Backs TMA on Workplace Breastfeeding
The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agrees with TMA and the Texas Pediatric Society that a Houston federal judge wrongfully ruled against a woman who says her employer fired her because she wanted to pump breast milk. The court said "discriminating against a woman who is lactating or expressing breast milk" violates federal law. It overturned the decision and sent the case back to the trial court for further proceedings.
DocbookMD Now Includes Your Staff
TMA's HIPAA-secure, mobile communication app DocbookMD historically has been accessible only to physicians. However, this free TMA member benefit keeps getting better.
Aetna Aexcel Ranking Letters Coming
TMA's Payment Advocacy Department has learned Aetna will begin sending physicians letters informing them of their ranking in its Aexcel network in early June. The rankings take effect Jan. 1.
TMA Calculates Impact of Medicare Fee Cut
Medicare payments to physicians dropped 2 percent on April 1 because of the federal budget sequester. TMA's Payment Advocacy Department analyzed the impact of the fee reduction and compiled a list of answers to questions you may have.
Medicaid Fee Hike Requires Eligibility Confirmation
Primary care physicians who treat Medicaid patients will receive fee increases for 2013 and 2014 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but only if they sign an attestation form confirming they're eligible for the raise, state officials say.