• 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 Urges TMB to Withdraw Disciplinary Hearing Rules
    TMA is not impressed with the Texas Medical Board's (TMB's) proposed new rules concerning informal show compliance proceedings and informal settlement conferences (ISCs). TMA tells TMB in a letter the association wants an overhaul of the ISC process to make it more fair and transparent. TMA's letter expresses strong opposition to the proposed rule and states "instead of allowing the process to become fairer and more transparent, the proposed rule makes ISCs more like a formal administrative hearing without the guaranteed accompanying protections."
    Texas Reports First Zika-Related Death
    The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) confirmed an infant who recently died in Harris County had microcephaly linked to the Zika virus. The baby died shortly after birth and is the first Zika-related death reported in Texas, according to DSHS.
    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.
    Register for TMA Fall Conference: MACRA, Zika, What's Next?

    It’s not too late to register for the 2016 TMA Fall Conference at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, Sept. 23–24. This free member benefit offers you the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and learn more about new developments like the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), telemedicine, and the Zika virus.

     
    TMA Committee Weighs in on Women's Health Proposals

    TMA's Committee on Reproductive, Women's, and Perinatal Health has submitted two comment letters to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) concerning DSHS’ plans for some women’s health services.

     
    STAR Kids Takes Effect Nov. 1; Training Available

    If you participate in Medicaid, don't forget about the implementation of the STAR Kids managed care program on 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 and younger who have disabilities.

     

     

    Day of Solidarity to Prevent Med Student, Physician Suicides

    The United States loses an estimated 400 physicians to suicide every year. On Aug. 20, medical professionals will stand together in solidarity to say "no more."

     
    Test Patients With Cyclospora Symptoms; Report Confirmed Cases

    The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) encourages health care professionals to test for Cyclospora in patients who have diarrheal illness lasting more than a few days or diarrhea accompanied by severe anorexia or fatigue.

     
    Focus on Member Services: Avoiding Risk

    Managing a medical practice comes with inherent risks, and physicians can face serious consequences for violating privacy, fraud, or abuse statutes. That's why physician members turn to TMA for help in establishing effective compliance programs, understanding the latest regulations, and navigating advancements in health IT.

     
    TMA Honors Best Health Reporting of 2016

    Chagas disease, concussions, mental health: Texas journalists expertly covered these and other topics to take top honors in the TMA 2016 Anson Jones, MD, Awards. TMA physicians presented the awards to journalists in newsroom ceremonies or at local county medical society meetings this spring.

     
    Protect Your Online Reputation

    Google yourself. You might be surprised to see what comes up. Open a web browser, and type your name in the search box. Do you like what you see? Does it make your blood boil? Is there anything there? If your name is not that unique, do the results actually refer to you?

     
    DOJ Sues to Block Health Insurer Mergers
    Two potential health plan mergers have come under intense fire. Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), acting under the direction of the U.S. Attorney General and the states of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio, as well as the District of Columbia, brought a civil antitrust action to prevent the Aetna-Humana merger from going through. The government also sued to enjoin Anthem from acquiring Cigna. TMA and organized medicine have been scrutinizing the proposed mergers, which physicians say would profit insurers while leaving doctors and patients with fewer choices and higher costs. Aetna seeks to acquire Humana Inc. in a $37 billion deal focused largely on buying up Humana's Medicare Advantage business, while Anthem Inc. looks to take over Cigna for $50 billion.
    TMA Opposes Independent Nursing Practice in VA System
    TMA joined more than 75 national specialty societies and state medical associations in voicing their strong opposition to a proposed rule that would allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) — nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists — to practice independently within the Veterans Administration (VA) health system. TMA and the organizations outlined their concerns in a letter to David J. Shulkin, MD, VA under secretary. The letter urges the VA to consider policy alternatives that prioritize team-based care rather than independent nursing practice.
    TeleTown Hall Meeting Answers Texas Physicians’ MACRA Questions
    Almost 2,500 TMA-member physicians participated in the association's July 27, 2016, TeleTown Hall meeting on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). If you missed the call, listen to the recording.
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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?