Stories written by David Doolittle

Feds Release Reporting Requirements For Emergency COVID-19 Funds - 09/30/2020

If you or your practice received more than $10,000 in financial assistance related to COVID-19 from the federal Provider Relief Fund, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department this week provided information on how to report those funds.

Cost of Newborn Screening Kits has Increased - 09/25/2020

Beginning Jan. 1, the cost of each Texas Newborn Screening Program kit will increase from $55.24 to $60.58 to accommodate the inclusion of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) screening, which was added this summer.

Audio-Only Telehealth: Who Submits Corrected Claims? - 09/23/2020

Will Medicare Administrative Contractors automatically reprocess  claims for audio-only telehealth visits retroactive to March 1, or will physicians need to resubmit them? To date, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not published a clear answer to that question.

Turn to TMA to Resolve Prompt-Pay Issues - 09/23/2020

If you or your practice is dealing with prompt-pay or other health plan problems, the Texas Medical Association can help resolve those issues through TMA’s Reimbursement Review and Resolution Service. The Texas Department of Insurance last week released a bulletin reminding plans that a portion of prompt-pay penalties must be paid to the state.

Are You Eligible for “Expedited Credentialing?” - 09/23/2020

If you’re completing health plan credentialing, “expedited credentialing” might apply to you. And if it applies, that could be good for you and your practice. But how do you know if it does?

Didn’t Get Your 5% APM Incentive Payment? Take Action by Nov. 13 - 09/23/2020

If you participated in an advanced alternative payment model (APM) under the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP), the Texas Medical Association encourages you to take action now to verify that you have received your 5% APM incentive payment for 2020.

Governor Rescinds Non-Emergent Surgery Restrictions in Most of Texas - 09/21/2020

Gov. Greg Abbott today reauthorized non-emergent elective surgeries at hospitals and allowed nursing homes to reopen for visitations under certain conditions across the majority of Texas.

STIs, Firearm Safety, Mental Health Among Revised Public School Curriculum Standards - 09/21/2020

Texas public school students are on track to receive more comprehensive and medically accurate instruction on multiple health-related topics.

Nail Your Virtual Job Interview, With TMA’s Help - 09/18/2020

Job interviews can be stressful and uncomfortable, but the recent shift to virtual interviews because of COVID-19 adds an entirely new layer of awkwardness. If you’re looking for tips on how to stand out virtually, check out a new Texas Medical Association webinar, How to Ace a Virtual Interview.

COVID-19 Negatively Affecting Physician Wellness, Survey Shows - 09/17/2020

Fifty percent of physicians have experienced inappropriate anger, tearfulness, or anxiety because of COVID-19’s effects on their practice or employment, according to a new survey on the pandemic’s effects on physicians.

Education Board Approves Curriculum Standards on HPV Vaccines - 09/15/2020

The State Board of Education has approved health education standards that would require public schools to teach the importance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines beginning in seventh grade.

Medicaid Kills Proposed Rule That Would Have Restricted Supplemental Funding, Services - 09/15/2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday withdrew a proposed rule that would’ve restricted how states fund their share of Medicaid, causing serious cuts in services.

Health Officials Seek Input to Increase COVID-19 Testing Capabilities - 09/11/2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, federal health officials are considering expanding testing capacity for certain commercial, academic, medical center, and public health laboratories to help maximize diagnostic testing in the U.S.

Help Parents Understand COVID-19 as Classes Resume - 09/11/2020

To help your patients or their parents answer questions about COVID-19 as school classes resume, the Texas Medical Association has created several documents for you to share.

Help Keep Students Safe (And Masked) as Classes Resume - 09/10/2020

To ensure you have the tools to advise families on how to stay safe at school, the Texas Medical Association and Texas Pediatric Society have developed a letter that you can give to your patients with guidance about wearing masks.

New Code Accounts for Certain Additional Expenses During Public Health Emergencies - 09/10/2020

The American Medical Association has released a Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code for reporting additional practice expenses incurred during a public health emergency, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

TMA Wants to Hear Your Thoughts on Prescribing Opioids in Texas - 09/10/2020

Since 1990, the Texas Medical Association has asked Texas physicians for their thoughts on health care practice, the economic realities of practicing medicine in the state, and what issues they believe lawmakers should take on. Check your email and please answer this month’s survey.

E&M Coding Changes Among Major CPT Revisions for 2021 - 09/08/2020

The American Medical Association last week released its 2021 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set, which includes major revisions to office and other outpatient evaluation and management (E&M) services designed to decrease physician documentation requirements.

Continue to Urge Convalescent Plasma Donations - 09/03/2020

Texas physicians should continue to encourage recovered COVID-19 patients to donate convalescent plasma despite concern that its effectiveness has not been demonstrated conclusively in randomized trials.

Tips on Maintaining Professionalism During Virtual Meetings? There’s a Webinar for That - 09/02/2020

If you’re looking for tips and information on maintaining or improving your professional presence during virtual meetings via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or any other virtual platform, tune in to the Texas Medical Association’s latest webinar, How to Have a Virtual Professional Presence.

Live Webinar to Help You Prepare for 2021 E&M Coding Changes - 09/01/2020

If you want to learn more about evaluation and management (E&M) coding changes that go into effect Jan. 1, tune in to a live Texas Medical Association webinar: 2021 E/M: Ready Set Go!

Medicine Calls for Health Care Access For All Texans - 09/01/2020

State leaders need to work with organizations like the Texas Medical Association to ensure that all Texans have access to health care coverage during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. That is the message TMA and 32 state health organizations wrote in a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott this week seeking his support to enact comprehensive health care coverage initiatives.

Health Plans Extend Telemedicine, Cost-Share Waivers - 08/28/2020

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, health plans in Texas have adopted various temporary deadlines and extensions as part of their coronavirus policies.

Medicaid Changing Prior Authorization Criteria for Certain Opioid Prescriptions - 08/28/2020

Beginning Sept. 1, Texas Medicaid will implement updated clinical prior authorization criteria for opioid prescriptions for certain Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care patients.

Provider Relief Fund Application Among COVID-19 Extended Deadlines - 08/26/2020

Physicians who treat Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) patients now have until Sept. 13 to apply for federal Provider Relief Funds, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department said today. The original deadline was Aug. 28.