Stories written by Alisa Pierce

All in Good Faith: No Surprises Act Requires Practices to Provide Good Faith Estimates of Charges - 11/30/2023

No Surprises Act transparency provisions require practices to provide patients good faith estimates of expected charges – on strict timelines

All in Good Faith: No Surprises Act Requires Practices to Provide Good Faith Estimates of Charges - 11/30/2023

No Surprises Act transparency provisions require practices to provide patients good faith estimates of expected charges – on strict timelines

Shielding the Gold Card Law: Texans Still Fight to Guarantee Gold Card is Implemented as Intended - 11/30/2023

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

CMS Extends Telehealth Flexibilities to Protect Physician Privacy - 11/27/2023

Following staunch advocacy by the Texas Medical Association, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will not require physicians to list their home address as a practice location on Medicare enrollment forms for another year when providing telehealth services, safeguarding their privacy and safety.

Voter Approval of Broadband Funding Bolsters Telemedicine - 11/27/2023

Texas voters said yes to the creation of a $1.5 billion broadband infrastructure fund Nov. 7, voting in favor to expand internet connectivity to roughly 7 million state residents who lack access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet.

Feds Propose Information-Blocking ‘Disincentives’ - 11/14/2023

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a proposed rule that would establish what it is calling “disincentives” that could amount to serious penalties for physicians and health care professionals found to have committed information blocking.

Executive Order Requires Safe, Secure Use of AI in Health Care - 11/10/2023

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Oct. 30 establishing new standards for the safe and secure use of artificial intelligence via federal oversight across different sectors, including health care.

Reintegration: NarxCare and Pharmacy Management Systems Free for Physicians - 11/07/2023

Integration of the state prescription monitoring program and NarxCare into EHRs and pharmacy management systems again is free for physicians, following TMA advocacy  

Applications Open for TMAF Outstanding Science Teacher Awards - 11/06/2023

For over three decades, the Texas Medical Association’s Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching have granted cash awards to educators who cultivate a passion for science and an interest in medicine among their students.

Trafficked in Texas: Physicians Play a Role in Identifying Human Trafficking Victims - 11/06/2023

Physicians play a unique role in identifying human trafficking victims; TMA CME can help.

Prescription Pitfalls: Vendor Drug Program Restricts Physicians to Prescribing Certain Medications - 11/05/2023

Amid rising drug costs, Texas Medicaid’s Vendor Drug Program often restricts physicians to prescribing medications that may not be best for their patients

Feds Update HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool - 11/01/2023

To aid small- and medium-sized practices in complying with the HIPAA Security Rule, federal officials have updated their risk assessment tool designed to help practices identify areas where electronic  protected health information (ePHI) is at risk.

Smith County Podcast Sparks Alliance Connections - 10/30/2023

Smith County Medical Society Alliance members found an innovative and creative way to introduce new and current members to all the chapter has to offer and teach them how to advocate on behalf of the family of medicine.

All You Need to Do Is RSVP: Alliance Leader Opens Invitation to Medical Advocacy - 10/26/2023

TMA Alliance leader Jenny Shepherd’s open invitation to medical advocacy is an award-winning approach

All You Need to Do Is RSVP: TMA Alliance Leader's Open Invitation - 10/26/2023

TMA Alliance Leader Jenny Shepherd extends an open invitation to join medical advocacy.

CMS to Implement Street Medicine Code - 10/25/2023

Following advocacy from the Texas Medical Association and medical student members, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created a place of service code for street medicine, making it possible for physicians to get paid for services provided to people who are currently unhoused effective Oct. 1.

Proposition 8 Aims to Expand Broadband Access - 10/16/2023

The fate of a $1.5 billion Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund rests on a Nov. 7 referendum to expand internet connectivity to roughly 7 million residents who lack access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet.

Impact of TMA’s Legislative Wins for Practices Addressed at Business of Medicine - 10/10/2023

Rounding out a weekend of business meetings and educational sessions aimed at navigating modern health care challenges, the Texas Medical Association’s inaugural Business of Medicine conference concluded with the tradition of an update of medicine’s hard-fought wins during the legislative session and what those wins mean for the practice of medicine.

Medicine Meets AI: Artificial Intelligence Has Potential in Patient Care - 09/29/2023

ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence platforms have potential in patient care, but that future is still a long way off.

PMP Integration Free to Physicians - 09/18/2023

As of Sept. 1, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy offers statewide integration of the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program and NarxCare into electronic health records and pharmacy management systems for two years at no cost to physicians.

“When Everything Inside of You Just Wants to Quit, PBF Is There.” - 09/08/2023

Without help from the Texas Medical Association’s Physician Benevolent Fund, Marie Haeffner-Reeves believes she and her husband wouldn’t have had the resources to rise above the financial difficulties that became unmanageable after he experienced heart problems.

Humana Claims Issues Require Resubmission Due to Technical Error - 09/01/2023

Practices that used Mimecast's secure message portal to submit claims issues, questions, or appeals to Humana between July 17 and Aug. 28 will need to resubmit those reports due to a technical error.

Physicians Walk Patients on the Healthier Side - 08/29/2023

Physicians across Texas are lacing up their sneakers to promote healthy lifestyle habits and answer questions from their community with their local chapters of Walk With a Doc. Funding from the TMA Foundation for 64 chapters makes it even easier for physicians to become walk leaders.

OIG Announces Information-Blocking Penalties for Certain Individuals and Entities - 08/08/2023

As of Sept. 1, the new rule authorizes steep penalties of up to $1 million against health IT developers of certified health IT, health information exchanges, or health information networks. Physicians are not affected unless they meet the definition of those parties, but related proposed rulemaking is expected soon. Read more.

UTMB Medical Students “Lock” Firearm Safety into Community Minds - 07/25/2023

With help from the Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF), members of TMA’s Medical Student Section at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) are promoting firearm education in their community through a student-led Firearm Safety Intervention Program.