• TMA's Legislative Victories Build on Past Successes

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    In a 2015 legislative session marked by new state leadership, new money, and big shifts in how Texas' major health care agencies oversee care delivery, the House of Medicine remained as steady as ever in its mission to ensure physicians can give their patients the best care possible. 

    Significant Victories  
  • TMA Tries to Lift New Medicare Burden From Small Practices
    According to Texas Medicine magazine, the new government requirement is putting a strain on smaller medical practices — and over time, could force some doctors to retire or surrender their small medical practice. That could reduce patients’ access to doctors’ care.
    TMB Adopts Call Coverage Rules
    At its Aug. 25 meeting, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) voted to adopt without change its recently proposed call coverage rules. The rules outline requirements for two models for call coverage: a reciprocal call coverage arrangement for physicians in the same or similar specialty and a nonreciprocal arrangement that does not require reciprocal call coverage.
    TMA, AMA Oppose Bill That Would Threaten Patient Safety
    TMA and the American Medical Association have serious concerns about proposed federal telemedicine legislation that would preempt state laws governing medical licensure, medical practice, and professional liability. The legislation would change the originating site of care from the patient's location to the physician's location, ostensibly to enable telemedicine across state lines for patients in the TRICARE program. TMA signed on to AMA's letter to Congress to object to the serious threat to important and demonstrated patient safety protections provided by adherence to licensure and medical practice laws in the state where the patient receives services.
    TMA Backs Definition of Emergency in Obstetrical Case
    Last month, TMA signed on to the Texas Alliance for Patient Access' (TAPA's) friend-of-the-court brief to support the application of the willful and wanton standard in a lawsuit involving emergency obstetrical care. TMA, TAPA, and other signatories contend emergency care provisions apply to medical care provided in an obstetrical unit without the pregnant patient first having been evaluated in a hospital's emergency department.
    Texas Hits Record for New Physician Applications
    The Texas Medical Board (TMB) finished is fiscal year last month having received a record number of new physician applications. TMB received 5,544 new applications, up 3 percent from the previous year's record 5,377 applicants.
    New Rules Say You Must Address Language Barriers
    Oct. 16, 2016, brings a new requirement for a sign to post on your practice walls, as well as a plan for fulfilling its promise. TMA’s new white paper has all the details about accommodating your patients with limited English proficiency.
    TMA, California, Florida Form Joint Venture
    TMA and the medical associations of California and Florida have formed PSO Services, LLC, a physician services organization with a national scope. The new company will offer a suite of market-based services to support physicians who want to remain independent during this time of increasing government regulation and changing payment models. Working to leverage the trust that physicians place in their state associations, PSO Services will focus initially on developing physician-owned networks to enter into value-based care contracts and manage population health.
    HHSC Offers STAR Kids Webinar for Physicians
    If you participate in Medicaid, don't forget about the STAR Kids managed care program coming Nov. 1. The legislature directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to develop the managed care program specifically designed for children aged 20 years and younger who have disabilities.
    TMA Offers New Cyber Security and Ransomware Tools
    Ransomware has reached Texas, and its emergence highlights the importance of up-to-date security. Health care is particularly vulnerable to the ransomware threat. KPMG's 2015 Health Care and Cyber Security Survey, which polled 223 U.S.-based health care executives, found four-fifths of respondents said cyber attacks had compromised their information technology.
    Register for the Texas Quality Summit
    This fall, TMA is hosting a unique event designed to help you improve performance, increase efficiency, and continue to deliver high-quality care. Join your colleagues for the Texas Quality Summit Nov. 18–19, and get the latest resources and hands-on training to take your practice to the next level. Register now, as seating is available to a limited number of participants on a first-come, first-served basis.
    Feds Announce First-Year Break on MACRA Penalties
    Responding to strong concerns from the Texas Medical Association and other physician organizations, a top federal official announced Thursday that physicians who at least try to comply with new Medicare payment rules next year will see no penalty in their 2019 payments.
    PQRS Feedback Reports, QRURs Coming Soon: Are You Ready?
    This month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will release the 2015 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) feedback reports and annual quality and resource use reports (QRURs). To access your reports online, you must first set up an Enterprise Identity Management System (EIDM) account. Setting up an account can take up to two weeks. Prepare to access your reports by registering for or reactivating your EIDM account now.
    Is MACRA Worth Your While?
    Does it make financial sense for your practice to participate in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) programs?
    PAT Transitions to Pharmacy Board; Expect Delays
    Effective Sept. 1, you will no longer be able to log in to the Prescription Access in Texas (PAT) website  with your login information. That's because the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program will transfer from the Texas Department of Public Safety to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) and will transition to a new type of software. TSBP advises there will be a delay in prescription history of up to two weeks during the transition.
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    TMA is helping to strengthen your practice by offering personal advice and creating a climate of medical success across the state. 

  • What could a TMA membership mean for you, your practice, and your patients?