• 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 Five-Step Checklist for MACRA Readiness
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a draft rule to implement the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) on Jan. 1, 2017. Although the final rule will not be published until or around Nov. 1, 2016, the Texas Medical Association recommends that you prepare your practice now.
    TMA Convenes Expert Panel to Tackle Zika
    TMA is working to get ahead of this year's highest-profile potential public health threat with the formation of a workgroup to strategize prevention and response to Zika virus disease.
    How Will Value-Based Modifier Affect Your 2017 Medicare Payments?
    MACRA's not here yet, but VBPM still is. Are you ready? As TMA fights to improve the draft rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), you need to remember that the old Medicare quality measurement laws are still in place for now.
    Running Low? Order Schedule II Prescription Pads Now
    Responsibility for the oversight and processing of orders for Schedule II prescription forms in Texas shifts from the Department of Public Safety to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy on Sept. 1, 2016.
    MACRAeconomics 101 Coming to Your Home Phone
    Have you heard all the hubbub about the proposed MACRA rule? Are you confused? Angry? Worried? Totally in the dark? TMA is working hard to change the rule the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has drafted to implement the Medicaid Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015.
    Warning: No Balance Billing for Dual Eligibles
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reissued guidance recently to remind physicians of the prohibition on balance billing for patients who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.
    CMS Proposes a Break for Docs on Meaningful Use Reporting
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposes easing some of the meaningful use requirements and adjusting the 2016 reporting period from one year to 90 days.
    Governor Abbott Names TMA Board Member to Chair Texas Health Services Authority
    Gov. Greg Abbott has reappointed Austin colon and rectal surgeon David Fleeger, MD, to the Texas Health Services Authority Board of Directors and named him as presiding officer of the board. Dr. Fleeger is a member of the TMA Board of Trustees and president of Central Texas Colon and Rectal Surgeons.
    Don’t Neglect These Tropical Diseases
    The Texas Department of State Health Services invites you to a live webinar on "neglected tropical diseases" in Texas. The webinar will cover ascariasis, Chagas disease, cysticercosis, dengue, echinococcosis, fascioliasis, hookworm, leishmaniasis, paragonimiasis, taeniasis, and trichuriasis.
    Make a New Plan: Texas Physicians Offer 50 Ways to Fix MACRA
    TMA on Monday sent a 27-page formal comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) listing TMA's 50 recommendations to improve the agency's draft rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
    New CDC Registry Tracks Zika Virus Pregnancy Data
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is getting a better indication of just how many pregnant women in the United States and its territories have Zika virus. CDC established the National Zika Pregnancy Registry and is collaborating with state and local health departments to collect information about pregnancy and infant outcomes in women with laboratory evidence of Zika. CDC says it will use the data to update recommendations for clinical care, to plan for services for pregnant women and families affected by Zika virus, and to improve prevention of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.
    Standing Order Allows Pharmacists to Prescribe Naloxone
    The Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA) implemented an expansive physician-authorized "standing order" regarding the dispensing of naloxone/narcan, a fast-acting antidote that can be administered to someone who is overdosing on opioids. Effective Aug. 1, the standing order will allow qualified Texas pharmacists to dispense naloxone to patients and/or family members or friends of patients who have a medical need.
    Act Now to Avoid Losing Your Medicaid Enrollment Status
    Thanks to lobbying from TMA and organized medicine, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services extended the deadline for physicians and other health professionals, including advanced practice nurses and physician assistants, to reenroll in Medicaid to Sept. 25, 2016. The initial deadline for reenrollment, driven by a provision in the Affordable Care Act, was March 24.
    Why Did I Get That Medical Bill?
    A new epidemic has hit; call it "insurance illiteracy." Numerous studies (like this national research and this Texas study) show the public's growing lack of understanding of basic health insurance terms, such as "copay," "out-of-pocket expense," and "network." Reasons given for the problem include the addition of large numbers of people newly insured under the Affordable Care Act and the health insurance industry's growing array of confusing new products and cost-containment strategies.
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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?