• 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  
  • Houston Judge Changes Course, Says DOs Can File Commitment Papers
    Physicians across Texas are breathing a sigh of relief — at least for now — thanks to Harris County Probate Judge Rory Olsen's decision to allow doctors of osteopathy (DOs) to file Certificates of Medical Examinations needed for mental health commitments. TMA and a host of other physician organizations have been fighting the judge's initial ruling, which prohibited DOs from signing the commitment papers.
    ICD-10 Update Creates Problems for PQRS Reporting, Value Modifier
    As if physicians don't have enough headaches and hassles to deal with to keep their practice doors open, the latest news from the American Medical Association is not good. It turns out the Oct. 1 ICD-10 update will negatively affect some physicians who participate in quality reporting for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM) programs. To determine whether the update affects your specialty, review the list of affected quality measures.
    TMA Supports JUA's Ability to Write New Business
    On Oct. 5, TMA sent a letter urging Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Commissioner David Mattax to prevent the Texas Medical Liability Insurance Underwriting Association (JUA) from suspending the writing of new business. The JUA, established in 1975, is "critically important as a last stop gap to assure that licensed physicians and health care providers are able to continue to provide medical and dental care for their Texas patients," TMA wrote.
    Be in the Know When You Purchase an EHR
    The recently updated TMA EHR Vendor Comparison Tool provides TMA member physicians access to an assessment of EHR products that have a solid Texas market base. It gives physicians a view of company information, product functionality, pricing, and interoperability capabilities when comparing EHR systems.
    TMF Launches Quality Payment Program Network
    The TMF Quality Innovation Network Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) has created a new network to help physicians and clinicians make the transition under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) to participate in Medicare's new Quality Payment Program and its Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). To learn more and create a free account, visit the TMF Quality Payment Program web page.
    What Happened to 2017's Half-Percent Medicare Fee Hike?
    Zero. That's how much physicians' overall Medicare fees will go up next year, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS') complex rule on the 2017 proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.
    Half of All U.S. Physicians Say They Are Burned Out
    U.S. physicians love their patients and hate paperwork. Unfortunately, a newly released survey by The Physicians Foundation finds that the paperwork is winning. Fifty-four percent of physicians surveyed say their morale is somewhat or very negative, and 49 percent say they either often or always feel burned out.
    Looking for an Excuse to Walk? Join the Step It Up! Challenge
    As promised, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, released a nationwide, two week-long challenge to promote walking. The challenge began on Thursday, Oct. 13.
    Nominate a Gifted Texas Science Teacher Who Deserves Recognition
    TMA is giving away $24,000 in cash prizes. Help spread the word. Three Texas science teachers will receive $5,000 each and an all-expense paid trip to TexMed 2017 in Houston for the award ceremony. Their schools will receive a $2,000 award to use for the science curriculum. Second-place winners receive $1,500 and another $1,000 for their schools.
    Register Now for the Texas Quality Summit
    This fall, TMA is hosting a unique event 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 limited.
    Yes, This Campaign Season is Almost Over

    Almost lost in the interminable slog through the mud of the 2016 presidential campaign are the critically important races for key Texas courts and the state Senate and House of Representatives. Luckily, TEXPAC and engaged local physicians around the state have kept their fingers on those races and prepared a strong slate of endorsed candidates to recommend to TMA members.

    Last Chance to Win $5,000 for Your Champion of Health
    You have until Oct. 31 to nominate a program in your town or city that promotes healthy lives and healthy communities for a $5,000 grant. The   2017 John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award focuses on exceptional projects that address urgent threats to the public's health and those that further TMA Foundation's mission: to help physicians create a healthier future for all Texans.
    TMA's Medicaid Recommendations Can Improve Care, Reduce Costs
    As state lawmakers begin preparing for the 2017 legislative session, TMA and four state specialty societies delivered a detailed, five-page document with significant recommendations to improve the Texas Medicaid program.
    CMS Releases PQRS Feedback Reports, QRURs
    If you submitted data to Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) for the 2015 program year, now is the time to review your quality reports. The reports include information about your quality and cost performance and whether you'll get hit with penalties or receive bonus payments. Access and review your reports now, as the deadline to appeal any errors is Nov. 30, 2016.

    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?