Action Current Issue - full text

 TMA Action Aug. 3, 2015   News and Insights from Texas Medical Association

 

INSIDE: Feds Answer Questions on ICD-10 Flexibilities

Feds Answer Questions on ICD-10 Flexibilities
Make an August House Call on Your U.S. Senators and Representative
Humana Again Terminating Texas Physicians From Medicare Advantage Network
BCBSTX to Drop Individual PPO Plans
TMA Participates in Medical Board Call Coverage Stakeholder Meeting
TMA Says Involve Physicians in Medicaid 1115 Waiver
Did You Get Your Meaningful Use Dollars?
PQRS and the Value Modifier: How to Interpret Your Quality Report, Improve Performance

Does Your Pharmacy Accept EPCS?
Report Reveals Texas Hospitals' Potentially Preventable Complications Data
Report Says Volume, Not Value, Still Drives Physician Compensation
Do You Know a Minority Medical Student Applicant Deserving of a Scholarship?
Nominate an Excellent Texas Science Teacher Who Deserves Recognition
Earn CME Credit at the TMA Physician Health and Wellness Conference
This Month in Texas Medicine
 
 

Feds Answer Questions on ICD-10 Flexibilities


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a "Clarifying Questions and Answers" document to help explain its July 6 announcement of a year's worth of slightly relaxed standards on the new ICD-10 coding system. As questions still appear to outnumber answers, Texas physicians should turn to the Texas Medical Association's extensive set of tools and resources to help prepare for the transition.

The basic message from CMS remains the same: For 12 months after the shift to ICD-10, Medicare will not deny claims solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis codes provided, as long as the physician submits an ICD-10 code from an appropriate family of codes. And, during that year, Medicare claims will not be audited based on the specificity of the diagnosis codes as long as they are from the appropriate family of codes.

CMS also announced that the promised ICD-10 ombudsman will be in place by the Oct. 1 deadline, but not necessarily any sooner.

Meanwhile, commercial health plans are telling TMA that the CMS announcement last month will have little to no impact on how they process claims after the Oct. 1 switch to ICD-10. All of the plans TMA has contacted say they are making no changes to their ICD-10 implementation plans, and they have received no directive from CMS to make any changes. The plans will not make advance payments available, nor will they honor the 12-month denial period.

Texas Medicaid officials tell TMA they do not expect the CMS announcement to have any impact on how Medicaid adjudicates claims, as it usually does not match the diagnosis code (ICD) and CPT code at the front end of claim processing. Instead, the 12-month grace period will make a difference if a Medicaid claim is audited. If the physician uses an incomplete ICD-10 code but provides one from the correct family of codes, Medicaid would honor the claim.

Remember: The sooner you learn to code claims and document services to the full level of specificity, the sooner you can get paid most accurately for your services.

Here's how TMA is helping:  

  • Registration is open for TMA's live seminars: ICD-10 Essentials — two seminars in one day: one for physicians and one for office staff. In Essentials in ICD-10 Coding, staff can perfect their coding and auditing skills with hands-on exercises using ICD-10. In Essentials in ICD-10 Documentation, physicians can find out how to improve their documentation to support increased code specificity and to set up their staff for success. These seminars run Aug. 4 through Sept. 16 in cities around the state. 
  • Specialty-specific, physician-developed three-hour online courses. Choose from 21 medical specialties to learn physician documentation tailored to your specialty. Each self-paced course shows you critical documentation elements you'll need to maintain payment under ICD-10 and features the top clinical conditions for each specialty with emphasis on their associated documentation and coding requirements. Complete this online documentation training now. Use coupon code 10DOCTMA to save $100 on the registration. 
  • Register for on-demand recordings of ICD-10 planning and implementation courses. View the on-demand webinar list
  • Visit TMA's ICD-10 Resource Center for tools, information, and links to on-demand webinars, including specialty-specific webinars.
  • Call (800) 523-8776 to learn more.  

Physicians also should plan to attend CMS' Countdown to ICD-10 National Provider Call, from 1:30 pm to 4 pm (CT) on Aug. 27. TMA staff will participate in the call. Details are available on the CMS website.

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


Make an August House Call on Your U.S. Senators and Representative


This month, members of Congress will be home for the August recess. TMA urges physicians to make appointments with your representatives in August to share medicine's prescription for federal health care changes.

In meeting with U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and your U.S. representative (find contact information on the TMA Grassroots Action Center), TMA encourages you to discuss these critical issues pending in Washington.

Maintenance of Certification

Language in the bill that repealed the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula (SGR) leaves many physicians worried that maintenance of certification (MOC) will become a condition for participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and other government health care programs. 

TMA is asking Congress to clarify that there is not and will not be such a requirement.

ICD-10 Transition

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a one-year "grace period" protecting physicians from the coding errors and technical glitches that likely will accompany the Oct. 1 mandatory transition to the ICD-10 coding system. This is a start, but just a start. The press release is long on words but short on action. 

TMA is asking Congress to maintain strict oversight of the ICD-10 rollout, be prepared to act quickly in the event of a technical disaster, and ensure that: 

  • Claims will not be reduced or denied based on failure to fully comply with the new coding system;
  • Physicians will not be penalized or audited for errors or malfunctions of CMS' systems; and
  • CMS makes advance payments available to help physicians experiencing serious payment delays. 

RAC Audits

Medicare pays recovery audit contractors or "RACs" like bounty hunters to find overpayments made to physicians and health care providers. This provides these contractors with incentives to disrupt doctors' practices as they comb through patient files looking for the tiniest of errors. 

TMA is asking Congress to establish incentives for RACs to make more accurate audit findings, to reduce the time period for which claims may be audited, to direct RACs to focus only on practices with demonstrated inappropriate billing patterns, and to provide due process and fair procedures for physicians who are subject to a RAC audit. Please ask your member of the Texas delegation to sign on as a cosponsor of HR 2568, the Fair Medical Audits Act of 2015, by Rep. George Holding (R-NC).

Physician-Owned Facilities

Section 6001 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits new doctors from investing in hospitals that take Medicare patients; no physician-owned hospitals may start nor may current ones expand. This significantly inhibits physicians' legal right to own or invest in hospitals and other facilities that provide their patients high-quality care. TMA strongly supports responsible physician investment in technology, facilities, services, and equipment. Congress should focus not on who owns the medical facility but on the quality of the facility and appropriateness of patient care. 

TMA is asking Congress to repeal ACA's Section 6001. 

Site-of-Service Differential

Medicare typically pays two to three times as much for a service or procedure provided in a hospital clinic or outpatient department as it does for the same service or procedure done in a physician's office. The purported rationale is to help hospitals cover the costs of expensive operations such as laboratories and emergency rooms. 

TMA is asking Congress to require Medicare to pay appropriately for services and procedures regardless of where they are performed instead of paying hospitals more in one area and then cost-shifting.

Medical Education

Medicare payments to residency programs for graduate medical education (GME) have been frozen since 1997. This has placed increasing pressure on governments, medical schools, and hospitals in fast-growing states like Texas to find ways to establish enough residency slots to keep up with the demand for new physicians. In addition, most of the Medicare funding for GME flows to hospitals even though a large portion of residency training now takes place in outpatient settings. 

We need to make sure Congress continues to provide opportunities for GME to ensure we have appropriate numbers of health professionals to meet the needs of 21st-century America.

Direct Contracting

The Medicare Patient Empowerment Act would allow seniors to use their current Medicare coverage to see a doctor who is not accepting Medicare. It would strengthen patient choice and access to physicians. It would ensure that seniors can see any doctor they choose and still use the Medicare benefits for which they have paid, without having to change their Medicare plan. The act would allow Medicare patients and their physicians to enter into private contracts without penalty. 

TMA is asking Congress to pass the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act.

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


Humana Again Terminating Texas Physicians From Medicare Advantage Network


TMA has learned Humana is terminating 422 physicians in 17 Texas counties from its Medicare Advantage Plan network, effective Jan. 1, 2016. Humana sent termination notices to physicians on July 1. 

If you receive a termination letter from Humana, federal law gives you the right to appeal Humana's decision through a third-party physician review panel. You must submit your written request for an appeal within 30 calendar days of the date of the notice from Humana. The request must include any written information you wish the physician review panel to consider.

TMA's white paper outlines your rights if an insurance plan terminates you from its network. If you receive a termination letter from Humana and have questions, you can contact Humana's network relations director at (800) 626-2741.

In a letter to Genevieve Davis, director of TMA's Payment Advocacy Department, Humana indicated it is in the process of "realigning" its Medicare Advantage primary care physician network in Texas.

Humana stated its ongoing evaluation of the network includes "a review of each practice's panel size, administrative compliance and the level of participation across the provider engagement continuum." The insurer also considers "network access requirements, practice specialty needs and geographic factors. Humana actively manages and oversees its Medicare Advantage network to ensure it meets the needs of its various stakeholders including members, physicians, and plan sponsors." 

Humana is terminating from its Medicare Advantage Plan network physicians practicing in the counties of Bexar (30), Collin (13), Dallas (110), Denton (38), El Paso (4), Ellis (3), Grayson (11), Harris (84), Hunt (5), Kaufman (2), McLennan (1), Nueces (3), Tarrant (65), Taylor (2), Travis (30), Williamson (12), and Wise (9).

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


BCBSTX to Drop Individual PPO Plans


The Dallas Morning News reported last month that about 367,000 Texans "will lose their individual health insurance policies next year when Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas [BCBSTX] stops offering its Blue Choice PPO [preferred provider organization] plans." The insurer said it paid out $400 million more in claims in 2014 than it collected in premiums. 

This affects only those patients enrolled in an individual PPO plan, which may or may not have been bought on the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange. Affected ACA patients will have to select another BCBSTX product or another health plan when open enrollment begins on Nov. 1, 2015. At this time, TMA does not know which health plans and product types will be offered in 2016. TMA expects information to be posted in October 2015. However, the information may not be available until the portals are open on Nov. 1.

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


  TMLT Action Ad 4.13

TMA Participates in Medical Board Call Coverage Stakeholder Meeting


Last month, during a meeting with telemedicine stakeholders, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) requested insight about the need for rulemaking pertaining to "call coverage" and telemedicine. TMB did not provide any proposed language for discussion. Rather, TMB staff used the open discussion to obtain input and suggestions for future presentation to TMB members as they decide whether to make any revisions to telemedicine call coverage regulations.

Current rules for call coverage using telemedicine require the participation between physicians of the "same specialty" for each other's active patients. Some stakeholders voiced concerns that they perceive that requirement as too restrictive — particularly in smaller groups and rural areas. In a prior comment letter, TMA had suggested TMB modify this language to expressly permit coverage by physicians in the same or similar specialty. 

Another limitation some stakeholders identified is the current requirement for reciprocal services (i.e., an offer to cover for the other physician at another time). TMA's representative, Dallas internist Sue Bornstein, MD, recognized the challenges of ensuring accessibility to care in rural areas but emphasized the need to encourage continuity of care and accountability between the treating physician and covering physician, as well as between the physician and patient. 

The TMB stakeholder meeting came on the heels of the April adoption of rules that require physicians to conduct a face-to-face or in-person examination before prescribing drugs. TMA viewed the effort as a big step toward protecting patients. Those rules are being challenged in federal district court alleging, among other things, TMB violated federal antitrust laws by adopting the rules. In May, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman granted a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that blocked TMB's rule. The injunction will continue until the federal lawsuit against TMB is resolved. A trial on the merits is tentatively scheduled for February 2017.

TMA will remain engaged in petitioning the government through the telemedicine rulemaking process as the board continues to consider the matter.

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


TMA Says Involve Physicians in Medicaid 1115 Waiver


Texas' five-year 1115 Medicaid Transformation Waiver will expire Sept. 30, 2016, unless the government grants a renewal or extension. TMA President Tom Garcia, MD, told Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor in a letter the association "absolutely supports renewal of the waiver beyond its initial five years," but with more physician involvement.

To extend or renew the waiver, HHSC has to submit a request to the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) by Sept. 30, 2015. In the letter, TMA says the funding from the waiver "will help communities maintain or expand indigent care initiatives; support important delivery system reform and improvement projects begun under the initial waiver; and continue to test novel, emerging ideas to improve health care access and outcomes among low-income Texans."

Texas received a waiver in 2011 to allow it to expand Medicaid managed care statewide, to establish a new uncompensated care pool for safety net hospitals and health professionals, and to establish and fund innovative projects to improve availability and quality of services to Medicaid and uninsured Texans. Federal and state funds sustain the waiver, with primary funding coming from large hospital districts.

While TMA supports renewing or extending the waiver — the funding from which is critical to Texas' health care safety net — the association also recognizes that the transformation envisioned by the waiver remains elusive because of the lack of meaningful and ongoing input from community-based physicians. CMS and HHSC must change the waiver to rectify the lack of true collaboration among facilities and physicians, Dr. Garcia says, adding that Texas must increase Medicaid payments to physicians to sustain any delivery system changes achieved by the waiver.

"The association strongly supported the waiver at its inception not only because of the vital funding it would provide to Texas' safety net hospitals over the life of the agreement, but also because of its potential to improve health care delivery and health outcomes for uninsured and Medicaid patients. However, as you know, at the outset of the waiver planning process, many of our members were frustrated by the lack of meaningful, local engagement of community-based, privately practicing physicians, particularly since one of the stated waiver goals was to foster collaboration among hospitals, physicians, and other providers," he wrote. 

Dr. Garcia calls on the state to "establish a clear expectation that hospital districts and counties that fund the state's portion of the waiver will collaborate meaningfully with their local community-based doctors, on whom the Medicaid program strongly depends."

The letter suggests HHSC "strongly consider" these waiver revisions: 

  • Establish competitive Medicaid physician payments to attract and retain physicians within Medicaid. 
  • Design a pragmatic, private health insurance initiative to extend coverage to the 1 million Texans earning too much for Medicaid but too little to qualify for federal health insurance subsidies, similar to the thoughtful initiatives designed in Indiana, Michigan, and other conservative states. 
  • Establish an ongoing physician advisory council composed of privately practicing physicians as well as their academic and hospital-affiliated peers to actively assist in the development, implementation, and evaluation of new or renewed Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program projects. 
  • Require each regional health care partnership (RHP) to establish a physician advisory committee composed of county medical society physician representatives and practicing community and academic physicians (to the extent the latter practice within the region) to ensure that physicians are actively involved with the RHP in designing, implementing, and evaluating projects. Each committee would be required to convey its recommendations not only to its RHP but also to HHSC and the general public to ensure greater transparency. 

Visit the HHSC website to view the 1115 Waiver Extension Application Draft, attachments, and public notice. HHSC took comments on the draft during July at statewide public meetings. If you were unable to attend a public meeting, you can complete an online survey about the 1115 Waiver Extension Application Draft, specifically the DSRIP program and uncompensated care requests for the extension period. You can also ask questions or submit comments via email by Aug. 5. 

For more information about the 1115 Medicaid Transformation Waiver, visit the HHSC website.

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


Did You Get Your Meaningful Use Dollars?


If you had your meaningful use incentive unfairly recouped through audits, or if you never received your earned incentive, TMA wants to know. This would apply only to physicians who met all of the requirements of the meaningful use program and did not receive or get to keep their dollars.  

If this happened to you, please email Shannon Vogel, director of health information technology (HIT) at TMA, and provide the details. TMA is gathering this information to further press Congress for needed program changes.  

If you have questions about meaningful use, email TMA's HIT Department or call (800) 880-5720.

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


PQRS and the Value Modifier: How to Interpret Your Quality Report, Improve Performance


The TMF Quality Innovation Network Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) will host more webinars on Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs). These open forums are free and will provide you with information to help you interpret your QRUR and improve your performance. 

What is a QRUR?

The QRUR is a component of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBM) program. The VBM aligns with and is based on your participation in the CMS Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). The QRUR provides detailed information on your quality and cost performance and how you compare with your peers. Read more about QRURs in the July 2015 issue of Texas Medicine.

Registration

Before each open forum, please review the 2013 QRUR Interpretation and Quality Improvement Guide. Participants should bring their questions to the open forum or email them in advance to ensure they are answered during the webinar. Register online, and mark your calendar for these events: 

  • Tuesday, Aug. 11, 12:30-1:30 pm CDT: Open Forum: QRUR — Understanding the Methodology to Read and Interpret the Findings (register online).
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15, 12:30-1:30 pm CDT: Open Forum: QRUR — Action Steps to Help Improve Scores on Cost and Quality Measures (register online).

Technical Assistance

Under contract with Medicare, the TMF QIN-QIO provides free consulting services and technical assistance to eligible physicians, physician groups, and other health care professionals for Medicare's quality programs. Create a free website account, and join the networks to learn more about how you and members of your practice or hospital can benefit.  

More Information

Stay informed with the latest PQRS news by subscribing to the PQRS listserv. For continuing medical education credit, learn about PQRS and how it relates to the VBM program from the TMA Education Center and earn 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ (enduring) and 1 ethics credit. Or watch a CMS video presentation for an overview of PQRS and to learn how your participation in PQRS in 2015 will determine how the VBM will be applied to physicians' payment in 2017. For more information, visit the TMA PQRS Resource Center.

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


  TMAIT Action Ad 6.15

Does Your Pharmacy Accept EPCS?


Now that electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) is legal with the proper e-prescribing software, many physicians are finding out that some of their frequently used pharmacies do not accept EPCS. 

Surescripts data indicate approximately 85 percent of the pharmacies in Texas now accept EPCS. These are primarily the chain pharmacies and not necessarily the independently owned pharmacies. To see which pharmacies in your area accept EPCS, use the Surescripts e-prescribing pharmacy locator tool. When you enter a ZIP code and mile radius, you will find which pharmacies accept e-prescribing and, of those, which are EPCS-enabled. 

There may be instances in which pharmacy staff deny the prescriptions because they don't have the proper training and don't even realize they can accept EPCS. TMA would like to know if and when that happens. If an EPCS-enabled pharmacy denies your EPCS prescription, email Shannon Vogel, director of health information technology at TMA, the name of the pharmacy and the time of the prescription denial. TMA will then report these inconsistencies. The executives at the chain pharmacies have invested in this technology, and they want their pharmacies to use it. 

If you have questions about e-prescribing or other practice technologies, email TMA's HIT Department or call (800) 880-5720. 

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


Report Reveals Texas Hospitals' Potentially Preventable Complications Data


The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has released the Potentially Preventable Complications in Texas Calendar Year 2012 Report, which shows that about 6.8 percent of Texas health facility inpatient stays (single patient visit or admission through discharge) in 2012 had at least one potentially preventable complication (PPC). 

The report, which lists the hospitals and facilities that reported PPC data, defines PPCs as "harmful events or negative outcomes that develop after hospital admission and may result from the process of care and treatment rather than from a natural progression of underlying disease." 

Among the 347 hospitals included in the analysis, more than 50 percent had PPC rates lower than the statewide average. The report also indicates that 76.4 percent of hospitals had fewer or equal numbers of PPC stays than expected, and 23.7 percent had higher numbers of PPC stays than expected.

The report's results will help Texas develop and expand policy for improving health outcomes.

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


Report Says Volume, Not Value, Still Drives Physician Compensation


Merritt Hawkins' 2015 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives features the latest data on physician employment and compensation trends. Check out the infographic previewing survey results. The complete report can be obtained by calling Merritt Hawkins at (800) 876-0500.

Key survey findings include: 

  • Demand for psychiatrists is at an all-time high as the national shortage of behavioral health professionals grows.
  • The great majority of newly recruited physicians (more than 90 percent) are employed rather than in independent practice.
  • Volume, not value, continues to drive physician compensation.
  • For the ninth year in a row, family physicians are No. 1 on Merritt Hawkins' list of most-recruited doctors.
  • Team-based care/population health is sparking demand for physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and chronic care specialists. 

The new report suggests the use of value-based physician incentives has stalled. Of those offering physicians a production bonus last year, only 23 percent based the bonus in whole or in part on value-based metrics, such as patient satisfaction, compared with 39 percent two years ago. 

Despite the national movement from volume- to value-based payments, Merritt Hawkins' report shows physician compensation continues to be driven by volume-based metrics such as relative value units, patient visits, and net collections. 

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


Do You Know a Minority Medical Student Applicant Deserving of a Scholarship?


The TMA Minority Scholarship Program has provided scholarships to underrepresented minority medical students since 1998. This scholarship supports TMA's vision, "to improve the health of all Texans," and its long-standing priority of addressing health disparities. 

Please consider reviewing the scholarship's qualifications and forwarding the online application to those who may benefit. Also, consider donating to the TMA Foundation so that all Texas medical schools receive funding for an annual scholarship.

For more information about the scholarship program, email Gail Schatte at TMA, or call her at (512) 370-1600 or (800) 880-1300, ext. 1600. To contact the TMA Foundation, call (512) 370-1664, or (800) 880-1300, ext. 1664.

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


 PC Action Ad June 13

Nominate an Excellent Texas Science Teacher Who Deserves Recognition


TMA is giving away $24,000 in cash prizes. Please help spread the word. Three Texas science teachers will receive $5,000 each and an all-expense paid trip to TexMed 2016 in Dallas for the award presentation ceremony in May 2016. Their schools will receive a $2,000 award to use toward the science curriculum. In addition, second-place winners receive $1,000 for their schools.

Each year, TMA's Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching recognize and reward schoolteachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels who share their energy and enthusiasm for science with their students. We do this because innovative teaching supports the basic premise of medicine: Health care has a scientific foundation.

All Texas state-certified, full-time public and private school science teachers with a minimum of two years of completed classroom experience who will return to teach during the 2016-17 school year are eligible. Teachers specializing in all areas of science are welcome.

To nominate science teachers or to apply, visit the TMA website, where you will find more information and the appropriate forms. Deadlines are Oct. 26 for nominations and Dec. 18 for applications. (All nominees will be contacted by TMA and asked to complete an application.) 

Together, let's make sure Texas science teachers are well represented. If you'd like to provide support for the Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching, visit the TMA Foundation donor page.

For more information, email Gail Schatte at TMA, or call (800) 880-1300, 1600, or (512) 370-1600.

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


Earn CME Credit at the TMA Physician Health and Wellness Conference


Physician Minefields: Boundaries, Behaviors, and Time is the theme of the TMA Committee on Physician Health and Wellness (PHW) Fall Conference, which takes place Oct. 16-17 at the Omni Corpus Christi. The conference has been accredited for a maximum of 9 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, 7 of which are credits in ethics and/or professional responsibility education. Register online.

Conference presentations include: 

  • Challenges of Professional Boundaries
  • The Evolution of Modern Medicine Has Made the Spiritual Foundation of 12-Step Recovery Obsolete: Fact or Fiction?
  • Texas Medical Board Regulatory Updates Pertaining to Boundaries and Behaviors 
  • Break the Silence: Physician Suicide 
  • What Are Emotions? Normal Turned Up Too Loud 
  • Boundary, Behavior, and Time Management Resources for Texas Physicians 
  • Physician Personalities and Burnout 
  • More Money, More Time, Less Stress 
  • Working With Professionals With Sexual Compulsivity Issues and Boundary Violations  

To request a conference brochure, email Linda Kuhn, TMA PHW program manager, or call (800) 880-1300, ext. 1342, or (512) 370-1342. 

Action, Aug. 3, 2015


This Month in Texas Medicine


The August issue of Texas Medicine features a cover story on TMA's 2015 legislative victories. In the issue you'll also find information on public health gains this legislative session, a Texas Supreme Court decision that gives doctors greater protection against sham peer review, and enhancements to Medicaid's electronic enrollment portal.


Click to launch the full edition in a new window.

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.


Action, Aug. 3, 2015


 

 This Just In ...

Want the latest and hottest news from TMA in a hurry? Then log on to  Blogged Arteries.   


Deadlines for Doctors

TMA's Deadlines for Doctors alerts you and your staff to upcoming state and federal compliance timelines and offers information on key health policy issues that impact your practice.  

10/1/15
ICD-10 Implementation Compliance   

10/3/15
First-Year Participants' Last Day to Begin 90-day Reporting Period of Meaningful Use for the 2015 Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs


 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.  

Webcasts

Essentials in ICD-10 Coding   
Essentials in ICD-10 Documentation

Conferences and Events

TMA Fall Conference
Sept. 25-26
Austin

About Action       

 Action, the TMA newsletter, is emailed twice a month to bring you timely news and information that affects your practice

To change the email address where you receive Action, go to Member Log-In on the TMA website, then click on "Update Your TMA Demographic Information (including newsletter subscriptions and preferences)."

To unsubscribe from Action, email TMA's Communication Division at tmainfo@texmed.org.

If you have any technical difficulties in reading or receiving this message, please notify our managing editor, Shari Henson. Please send any other comments or suggestions you may have about the newsletter to Crystal Zuzek, Action editor.


TMA: 401 West 15th Street, Austin TX 78701   Ph: (800) 880-1300, (512) 370-1300 
Copyright 1999-2015 Texas Medical Association
 TMA Web site Privacy Statement    TMA Contacts    How to Find It   RSS Feeds 
  


Comment on this (Must be logged in to comment)

Add Comment

Text Only 2000 character limit

Looking for more?