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Act Now SGR Repeal Closer Than Ever
The “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014” (H.R. 4014/S. 2000), was introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Its author is U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville). It features the handiwork of Rep. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands). And it has the support of key congressional leaders from both parties and in both chambers. “We may not get this opportunity again,” said TMA President Stephen L. Brotherton, MD. “Take action now to support permanent SGR repeal.”
TMA Elects New Leaders
Alfredo Tomas Garcia III, MD, took the oath of office as TMA's 150th president, pledging to defend the patient-physician relationship. "We are not ‘providers,' " the Houston cardiologist told the House of Delegates. "We are healers. We are physicians."
Passionate Professor Wins Distinguished Service Award
A real giant of American medicine received TMA’s Distinguished Service Award, a well-deserved crown for a lifetime of leadership. “I regard this award not only as a tribute to my own contributions, but also a recognition of the achievements and performance of my students, house-staff, and fellows,” said Donald W. Seldin, MD, who built The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School from a ramshackle cluster of buildings to an institution that has spawned six Nobel Prize winners.
Lawmakers Pass Pair of TMA's Priority Immunization Bills
Last week, the Texas House of Representatives gave initial approval to two of TMA's priority immunization bills, both authored by Rep. J.D. Sheffield, DO (R-Gatesville).
AMA Provides SGR Repeal Bill Summary, Timeline
The American Medical Association’s Legislative Counsel has prepared documents on the recently enacted Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), also known as HR 2.
Physicians: Reenroll in Medicaid by March 24, 2016
The Affordable Care Act requires all Medicaid health professionals to reenroll in the program at least once every five years (some professionals must reenroll more frequently). Physicians are next on the list and must reenroll by March 24, 2016. However, if you initially enrolled or reenrolled on or after Jan. 1, 2013, you will be required to reenroll by the date indicated on your enrollment letter.
Start the PQRS GPRO Registration Process Now
The Physician Value-Physician Quality Reporting System (PV-PQRS) registration system is open through June 30. This registration applies to group practices with two or more eligible professionals interested in participating in the 2015 PQRS program year under the group practice reporting option (GPRO).
Bill Aims to Attract Mental Health Professionals
It's no surprise Texas is lacking in mental health professionals. A statewide survey sheds light on just how dire the situation is: 185 of Texas' 254 counties are without a psychiatrist. Overall, the state is home to just 4.1 psychiatrists per 1,000 patients, only slightly better than Nevada, Mississippi, and Idaho, nationally. Legislative efforts are in the works to try to attract more psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to underserved Texas communities.
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.
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