• 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  
  • Dallas Physician Becomes TMA President
    The Texas Medical Association (TMA) today installed Dallas surgeon Don R. Read, MD, as its 151st president. He took office in a ceremony before TMA’s House of Delegates policymaking body at TexMed, TMA’s annual conference, in Dallas. He will lead America’s largest state medical society for one year.
    Edinburg Physician Elected TMA President-Elect
    The Texas Medical Association (TMA) today voted Edinburg gastroenterologist Carlos J. Cardenas, MD, president-elect. He will serve in the office for one year before he assumes the TMA presidency. TMA’s policymaking body, the House of Delegates, elected Dr. Cardenas today during TexMed, its annual conference, in Dallas. 
    Austin Physician Wins TMA’s Highest Honor
    As he steps up to receive the highest honor bestowed by America’s largest state medical society, anesthesiologist Joseph P. Annis, MD, of Austin, says his accomplishments in medicine can be traced back to the loving support and encouragement of his closest family and friends. He says their influence gave him the maturity and wisdom to travel the pathway to success.   
    Delegates Vote to Preserve Billing Rights, Fight MOC Coercion
    The Texas Medical Association "has the green light to fight for state legislation that will address two crucial issues for Texas physicians," thanks to the TMA House of Delegates, Council on Legislation Chair Ray Callas, MD, wrote in a letter to all TMA member physicians.
    MACRA: Weigh In on New Patient Relationship Categories
    Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, you will have to report new patient relationship categories and codes on all Medicare claims. Before the codes can be developed, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wants your input on a series of questions pertaining to the new categories. Review the draft categories, and weigh in by sending your comments to TMA by Aug. 1, 2016.
    TMA Opposes Dental Board's Sleep Apnea Treatment Rules
    TMA is fighting the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners' (TSBDE's) proposed rule changes for dental treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. The association told TSBDE in a letter TMA "strongly opposes any attempt to expand the dentists' scope of practice through the promulgation of rules that TMA contends not only lack support in, but also conflict with, the applicable law passed by the Texas Legislature. Unfortunately, this opposition extends to the rules adopted to be effective on June 11, 2014, and the new March 18, 2016, rule proposal."
    TMA to House: Reduce Costs, Cut Red Tape, Boost Medicaid Pay
    TMA joined with seven state specialty societies in a letter urging Texas House budget writers to take strong action to improve Medicaid. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services held two days of hearings in April examining the Medicaid program.
    PQRS: Start GPRO Registration Process Now
    It's more alphabet soup from the feds. You have until June 30, 2016, to register with the Physician Value-Physician Quality Reporting System (PV-PQRS). Group practices with two or more eligible professionals interested in participating in the 2016 PQRS program year under the group practice reporting option should register now.
    Tips for Acing a Meaningful Use Audit
    A meaningful use audit that ends badly for you could mean you have to forfeit your meaningful use incentive dollars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Don’t let this happen to you.
    Physicians Foundation Survey Gauges Your Satisfaction
    How satisfied you are with the current state of medicine? The Physicians Foundation is surveying you and your 650,000 physician colleagues across the country to determine just that. The survey asks for your thoughts on health reform, electronic health records, new physician payment methods, ICD-10, and a variety of other topics. Take a few minutes to complete the survey.
    Use These Medicaid Tools to Help Get Paid More Efficiently
    Medicaid's new e-signature capability and its portal for verifying patients' Medicaid eligibility and accessing their available health information are two ways to help cut down on the busywork in your office.
    When Disaster Strikes, Ask for a Claims Filing Extension
    You know Texas weather. In 2015, floods, blizzards, tornadoes, and windstorms plagued the state. Some physician practices experienced severe damage, and they had to scramble to get back on their feet. Under Texas prompt payment laws, you may be able get an extension of the 95-day claims filing deadline if you believe you will not be able to meet it for some claims because of a catastrophic event, like a tornado.
    Register for the Texas Primary Care and Health Home Summit
    Be part of the fourth annual Texas Primary Care and Health Home Summit June 9–10 at the JW Marriott in Houston. The event, presented by the Texas Medical Home Initiative and Texas Health Institute and cosponsored by TMA, provides a learning laboratory for primary care transformation in Texas.
    Learn About HIV Screening at Test Texas Coalition Summit
    Do you want to learn more about routine HIV screening in health care settings? You'll have the chance at the 2016 Test Texas Coalition Summit on May 13 in Austin at the Doubletree by Hilton. Register today for the summit, hosted by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
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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?