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SGR Death Throes? Congress Moves Closer to Medicare Pay Fix
Congress appears closer than ever to replacing what both physicians and lawmakers agree is a broken Medicare physician payment system, as legislative proposals in the U.S. House and Senate take shape. While physicians welcome the attention – and the leadership of some Texas congressmen – they are not exactly holding their breath.
TMA Answers Your Health Insurance Exchange Questions
If you missed the live health insurance exchange (HIX) webcast but still have questions about how the Affordable Care Act and the exchange health plans will play out in your practice, you have two upcoming opportunities to view an encore presentation. On Thursday, Dec. 19, TMA will replay the HIX webcast in its entirety at 7 am CT and again at 5 pm CT. This hour-long discussion led by TMA's Lee Spangler, vice president of medical economics, will help answer the HIX questions you need to ask yourself.
Congress Moves Toward Temporary Medicare Fee Hike, SGR Repeal
The annual avert-the-impending-Medicare-disaster effort is in full swing as Congress tries to avoid a devastating cut in Medicare payments to physicians caused by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. If that effort does not succeed, physician fees will be cut 23.7 percent on Jan. 1.
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.
Court Keeps Injunction in United Medicare Advantage Case
A federal appeals court has refused to allow UnitedHealthcare to continue kicking physicians out of its Medicare Advantage plans. On Dec. 12, the court declined United's request to lift an injunction against the insurer and referred the case to a three-judge panel. The appeals court ordered the parties in the lawsuit to file briefs later this month.
TMA: Meaningful Use Delay Not All That Meaningful
The government's decision to postpone Stage 3 meaningful use by extending Stage 2 for a year is not the good news it appears to be, TMA says in a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials.
Not Using NDC Numbers on Medicaid Claims? Start NOW
If you're not already doing so, start including National Drug Code (NDC) numbers on your Medicaid fee-for-service and HMO claims for prescription drugs because Texas will begin enforcing the provision on Jan. 1, 2014. The requirement applies to all outpatient prescription drugs, except vaccines, and to long-acting reversible contraceptives.
Learn to Compete at TMA's Winter Conference
The health care marketplace is changing drastically for physicians of all stripes. What new demands will this place on your practice? What is the path forward for physicians who want to remain in private practice? How can physicians in all practice settings protect their clinical and financial autonomy? Join your colleagues at TMA's 2014 Winter Conference at the Hyatt Regency Austin Jan. 31-Feb. 1 to find out how TMA can help you survive and compete in your changing environment.
News From Workers' Comp
Insurance carriers in the workers' compensation system cannot require injured workers to get their prescriptions filled at pharmacies designated by the insurer, a Texas Department of Insurance official said in a Dec. 9 memo.
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