Latest TMA News Releases 

Texas Physicians Offer Legislators Fix for Surprise Billing Problem
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and its physician members recognize surprise medical billing is a problem, and are offering lawmakers solutions that address the root causes. Physicians point to a confusing health insurance system they say leaves policyholders/patients too-often unaware, subject to unexpected out-of-pocket costs, inadequate coverage, and physicians frustrated by limited access to patients and their health plan networks.

TMA Applauds Trump Appointment to HHS
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Don R. Read, MD, on President-Elect Donald Trump’s announcement that he will appoint U.S. Rep. Tom Price, MD, of Georgia as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Insurers’ Delays Burden Patients, Physicians; Could Cost Patients More
A growing number of physicians say health insurers are slow to enroll them as plan providers in the health plan’s insurance network, which spells fewer physician choices for patients and financial strife for the doctors. The process of “credentialing” — when plans contract with a doctor, finalize enrolling him or her in their system, and acquire hospital and facility privileges for the doctor — is taking twice as long as normal. Physicians say three of the state’s biggest health plans, UnitedHealthcare (UHC), Aetna, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), are delaying enrolling doctors in networks to reduce plan costs and increase the plans’ revenue.

Treatment to Prevent HIV Promising ― If Key Patients Can Get It
Physicians can block HIV spread with a little-known treatment — if they can identify high-risk patients and administer the treatment to them. The questions can be difficult for physicians to ask, however. The questions can be personal, and they can be awkward for a patient to answer; but they are necessary to determine whether a patient’s sexual behavior or drug use puts him or her at risk of contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). When patients are at risk, doctors can prescribe the treatment, HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), that might curb that risk drastically, reports the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Texas Medicine magazine.

Government Mandate to Doctors Could Harm Some Patients
The federal government currently requires physicians to perform a medical procedure on patients to help them, but the procedure can instead cause serious harm to some, so Texas physicians are fighting to get the government to rescind the directive. If the doctors don’t follow orders, they and the hospital where the care takes place risk a poor grade.

Vaccinations Help Spread Holiday Cheer, Not Illness
‘Tis the season to gather and share pumpkin pie, fun with family and friends, and, unfortunately, bugs that can make people very sick. Physicians urge everyone to get a few key vaccinations now — before holiday gatherings — to help keep holidays healthy for the whole family, from the babies to the grandparents.


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