TMA Young Physicians Memo

Fall 2014

Save the Date

Mark your calendar for 2015 TMA Winter Conference, which will take place Jan. 30-31 at the Hyatt Regency in Austin. The conference provides an opportunity for you to conduct TMA business, obtain continuing medical education, and network with peers. 

Highlights include the Young Physician Section (YPS) mixer the evening of Jan. 30 and the American Medical Association YPS delegates elections. Nominations for AMA-YPS delegate positions are due Jan. 15, 2015. To apply, submit a letter of intent and a current CV to All other Executive Council elections take place at TexMed 2015, which will be held in Austin May 1-2. A call for Executive Council nominations will be issued following Winter Conference. 

Stay tuned to TMA’s Action newsletter for more information and to register to attend upcoming conferences.  

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CMS Sets ICD-10 Testing Dates

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has instructed Medicare administrative contractors (MACs) to promote three specific testing weeks with health professionals and to provide data and statistics to CMS that demonstrate readiness for the ICD-10 transition. CMS scheduled the following testing weeks:   

  • Nov. 17-21, 2014;
  • March 2-6, 2015; and
  • June 1-5, 2015.  

The mandatory switch to ICD-10 is set for Oct. 1, 2015.

While submitters may test ICD-10 claims at any time through implementation, “the ICD-10 testing weeks have been created to generate awareness and interest, and to instill confidence in the provider community that CMS and the MACs are ready and prepared for the ICD-10 implementation,” CMS says.

In addition, CMS highlights the following key points of the testing process:  

  • Test claims with ICD-10 codes must be submitted with current dates of service, as testing does not support future dates of service.
  • Claims will be subject to existing National Provider Identifier (NPI) validation edits.
  • Test claims will receive the 277CA or 999 acknowledgment as appropriate to confirm Medicare accepted or rejected the claim.
  • Test claims will be subject to all existing electronic data interchange (EDI) front-end edits, including submitter authentication and NPI validation.
  • Testing will not confirm claim payment or produce a remittance advice. 
  • MACs and Common Electronic Data Interchange will be appropriately staffed to handle increased call volume on their EDI help desk numbers, especially during the hours of 9 am to 4 pm, local MAC time, during the testing weeks.   

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 Apply to Serve on TMA Boards, Councils, Committees

Each year, TMA accepts nominations to serve on boards, councils, and committees for terms of one to three years. The incoming TMA president makes appointments, which become effective at the conclusion of TexMed. Young physicians can self-nominate via an abbreviated application. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 15, 2015.  

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Nominate a Physician for the Young at Heart Award

Each year YPS recognizes a TMA physician member who has provided exceptional guidance and support to the section or to young physicians in general. Fill out an application by Jan. 15, 2015, to nominate a deserving physician. The award will be presented during the TMA House of Delegates opening session at TexMed 2015.

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Encourage a High School Senior to Pursue a Career in Medicine

Next year marks the 21st time TMA YPS will award its rural science scholarship. A rural Texas high school senior who excels in science will be awarded $1,000 for use toward continuing his or her education in the field of medicine.

In 2007, the YPS Rural Scholarship transformed into a memorial scholarship in the name of Michael O’Malley, MD. Dr. O’Malley, a recipient of a similar scholarship himself, was an internal medicine physician in Galveston and past chair of TMA YPS. Tragically, Dr. O’Malley died from cardiac arrest in his home at the age of 43 and left a wife and two young children. In his memory, TMA’s young physicians are continuing the tradition of helping rural high school seniors pursue a degree in the field of medicine.

All outstanding rural high school seniors interested in pursuing their education and becoming a physician can apply for this award. The future of medicine depends on a high-quality applicant pool, and this scholarship helps ensure the most talented students have the opportunity to pursue a career in medicine. 

Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 15, 2015, and mailed to Texas Medical Association, YPS Coordinator, 401 W. 15th St., Austin, TX 78701. The scholarship winner will be notified by mail in March 2015. 

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Advocacy Retreat Prepares You for 2015

The 2014 elections will be over soon. Now it’s time to get ready for the 2015 session of the Texas Legislature. The TMA 2014 Advocacy Retreat, Dec. 5-6 at Barton Creek Resort in Austin, is your chance to start building the health care system of tomorrow. 

Make your reservation at Barton Creek Resort by Nov. 14 to receive the special room rate of $199. Make reservations online, or call (800) 336-6158. Onsite registration for the retreat is available.

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2015 Leadership College Class Kicks Off Program Year

The TMA Leadership College Class of 2015 began its year of learning at TMA’s Fall Conference Sept. 12-13 near Bastrop. The TMA Leadership College, established in 2010 as part of TMA’s effort to ensure strong and sustainable physician leadership within organized medicine, is geared toward active TMA members younger than 40 or who are in the first eight years of practice.

Leadership College graduates serve as thought leaders who can close the divide among clinicians and health care policymakers and as trusted leaders within their local communities. Many also receive priority consideration for appointment to TMA councils and committees. 

Visit the TMA Leadership College webpage to learn more. For additional information, contact Christina Shepherd in TMA Membership Development by calling (800) 880-1300, ext. 1443, or (512) 370-1443, or by emailing

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Choosing Wisely: Earn Free CME Credits

Listen to Texas physicians leading the charge and earn free continuing medical education (CME) credits. Learn about how you can benefit from the Choosing Wisely® campaign, a no-cost initiative that promotes conversations among physicians and patients about the need, or lack thereof, for many commonly ordered tests or treatments. Watch the Choosing Wisely CME webinars and earn 3.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and 3.75 ethics credits. For a limited time, the Choosing Wisely CME bundle is available free at

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Last Call for Helmet Giveaways in October

It’s a celebration you won’t want to miss: TMA’s Hard Hats for Little Heads 20th birthday blitz in October. You still have time to plan a helmet giveaway to help Hard Hats celebrate 20 years of keeping kids safe. TMA wants to have 50 bike helmet giveaways across the state; at press time, we were about halfway there. Host an event in your community to help us reach the goal.

TMA provides everything you need for a successful event: free helmets, banners, event signage, promotional flyers, educational handouts, and media relations support. When you buy helmets, TMA will match your purchase with free helmets. Helmets are $7.35 each, including shipping. 

Email Tammy Wishard, TMA’s outreach coordinator, or call (800) 880-1300, ext. 1470, or (512) 370-1470 to RSVP about your event or to request an order packet. 

Hard Hats for Little Heads is made possible through a grant from the TMA Foundation thanks to top donors — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Prudential, and two anonymous foundations — and generous gifts from physicians and their families, and friends of medicine

 Stay Connected

Keep up with important news and connect with colleagues across the state through the YPS Facebook page.

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