Stories written by Alisa Pierce

Ask “Dr. ChatGPT”: What Physicians Should Know About AI - 07/10/2024

  Health care adviser Harvey Castro, MD, details what physicians should know about artificial intelligence.     


Open House: TMA’s House of Delegates Foster Member Engagement - 07/10/2024

Recent changes by TMA’s House of Delegates foster member engagement and address the needs of Texas physicians.


Ready to Practice: Texas Looks to IMGs to Address Workforce Shortages - 07/10/2024

Texas and other states look to international medical graduates to address workforce shortages.


CMS Advises: Check Medical Records Requests for Phishing - 07/01/2024

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS warns physicians to be aware of common phishing scams for medical records, such as fraudulent medical records requests faxed to practices.


Physicians Can Delegate Breach Notifications to Change Healthcare Following Cyberattack - 06/26/2024

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights announced  May 31 that covered entities – such as health plans, health care clearinghouses, and physicians – affected by privacy breaches stemming from the February cyberattack on Change Healthcare and its parent corporation UnitedHealth Group may delegate breach notifications to both companies.


HHS Establishes Information-Blocking Disincentives for Clinicians - 06/25/2024

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a final rule that aims to hold health care professionals, including physicians, accountable for information blocking as determined by the HHS Office of Inspector General.


G-Code Payment Frustration Persists With Inconsistent Implementation - 06/25/2024

Deepening ongoing physician concerns over Medicare’s add-on code for complex care, two major payers have either reduced payment for G2211 claims or announced plans to stop paying certain claims associated with the code altogether. Read more.


FTC Mandates Vendors Notify Patients of Breaches in Health Information - 06/24/2024

The Federal Trade Commission has amended its Health Breach Notification Rule to require vendors of personal health records and related entities not covered by HIPAA to notify individuals, the FTC, and, at times, the media, when a breach in protected health information occurs. The change will take effect July 29.


TMA Presses Congress to Preserve Independent Practice Viability - 06/13/2024

Administrative hassle, cyberattacks, and other threats to physician practice viability have caught the attention of federal lawmakers, with the Texas Medical Association weighing in heavily on the attendant impacts on physician practices following a May 23 hearing, “The Collapse of Private Practice: Examining the Challenges Facing Independent Medicine.”


Virtual Vigilance: Robust Cybersecurity Can Safeguard Practices - 06/04/2024

System blackouts. Ransom notes. Lost revenue. Compromised patient care. Once straight from physicians’ nightmares, these threats are now reality for their practices as cyberattacks infiltrate health care. The more medical practices and health care organizations fall victim to ransomware cyberattacks, the more important it becomes to prevent them.


TMA Special Funds Foundation Builds New Medical Student Scholarship After $1.1 Million Donation - 06/04/2024

Another batch of medical students will be encouraged to return to their hometowns to practice medicine thanks to a $1.1 million gift the Texas Medical Association’s Special Funds Foundation recently received – its largest individual donation – to establish a new medical student scholarship for Tarrant, Johnson, and Parker County students.


Party With a Purpose - 05/29/2024

The Texas Medical Association Foundation’s (TMAF’s) 31st annual gala, Wonderland, will feature designs and décor inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.


The Waco Way: How This Addiction Medicine Specialist Targets Primary Care Challenges - 05/29/2024

How one addiction medicine specialist turned passion into practicality to target behavioral health challenges in primary care.


Speaking Their Language: TMA Payment Experts Fight for Physicians’ Best Interests - 05/17/2024

Texas Medical Association experts communicate with payers on behalf of physicians’ best interests.


New TMA Policies Aim to Strengthen Physician Workforce Pipeline - 05/14/2024

Among others, top new policies direct TMA to study ways to assist unmatched medical graduates and to advocate for increased per-resident funding to offset medical schools’ teaching costs – a rate that has not budged since 2008. Read more.


Jenny Shepherd Says “I Do” to TMAA Presidency - 05/13/2024

The longtime medical advocate became the 107th Texas Medical Association Alliance (TMAA) president at TexMed May 4.


ChatGPT Adviser Harvey Castro, MD, Shares AI Insights at TexMed - 05/09/2024

As a Dallas emergency physician, Harvey Castro, MD, began experimenting with ChatGPT – an artificial intelligence chatbot trained on data from the internet to generate human-like responses to text prompts – in November 2022 after asking himself what he’d “want from AI in a hospital setting.”


The Secret Handshake: TMA Experts Identify Medical Documentation Missteps - 05/06/2024

TMA experts help identify medical documentation missteps that may lead to payment and prior authorization denials.


Coding with Care: Knowing Billing Codes for Complex Care Can Maximize Revenue, Access to Care - 05/06/2024

Knowing billing codes for complex care can maximize revenue and access to care.


Valuable Screentime: Telemedicine Paves the Way for Increased Access - 05/06/2024

Telemedicine paves the way for increased health care access.


Superior, Availity Reconnected to Change Healthcare Clearinghouse - 04/26/2024

Claims are now automatically flowing to Texas managed care organization Superior HealthPlan through Availity after the platform reconnected to Change Healthcare’s rebuilt clearinghouse April 8.


Cigna to Deny Claims Without Z-Code Documentation - 04/24/2024

Starting July 14, Cigna Healthcare will deny certain claims that are billed with a Z code and without documentation, a move that could add to physicians’ administrative burden.


Novitas Solutions Warns of Top 10 Medicare Claims Errors - 04/15/2024

Novitas Solutions, the Medicare administrative contractor for Texas, has released a top 10 list of errors made between January and March 2024 physicians should be aware of to mitigate billing problems in their practices.


Cigna Launches Digital Newsroom for Payer Updates - 04/12/2024

Physicians and practice staff looking for updates from one of Texas’ major payers, Cigna Healthcare, can now refer to the company’s new digital newsroom.


Shielding the Gold Card Law: TMA Fights to Guarantee Gold Card is Implemented as Intended - 04/09/2024

Texans earned one of its most prolific victories with its prior auth exemption law but still fights to guarantee it's implemented as intended.