Stories written by Emma Freer

Medicine Blasts Scope Attacks at the Texas Legislature - 03/31/2023

Nonphysician practitioners (NPPs) are redoubling their efforts on behalf of scope-of-practice expansion this session, including a pair of bills that seek full independent practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). But the Texas Medical Association is pushing back with equal force, armed with a growing body of research that shows removing physician oversight of the health care team undermines patient safety and health care cost containment.

Scoping Out the Best Care: TMA Defends Team-Based Care Model - 03/30/2023

As expected, scores of scope expansion attempts have again crept their way into the hundreds of bills TMA is tracking; it's an issue that affects all physicians and patients, regardless of specialty or geography.

Walk-In Care: Walk With a Doc Texas Extends Physicians' Reach - 03/30/2023

Walk With a Doc is a nonprofit – founded in 2005 by Ohio cardiologist David Sabgir, MD – that encourages physical activity in people of all ages and that aims to reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. And it has proven to come with so many benefits to physicians themselves and to the patient-physician relationship.

TMA to Congress: Tie Medicare Physician Payment to Inflation - 03/29/2023

As part of a broader push for Medicare payment reform, the Texas Medical Association, along with the American Medical Association and 133 national specialty and state medical associations, recently called on Congress to index Medicare physician payments to inflation.

Survey: Physicians Overwhelmingly Say Prior Authorizations Lead to Waste, Patient Harm - 03/29/2023

Amid the Texas Medical Association's ongoing advocacy for prior authorization reforms at state and federal levels, yet another survey underscores the patient and financial harms that result from these onerous requirements.

Submit 2022 MIPS Data by March 31 to Avoid 9% Medicare Payment Cut - 03/28/2023

The data submission period for Medicare’s 2022 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance year is underway and closes on March 31 at 7 pm CT. At stake is a pay cut of up to 9% in the 2024 payment year.

TMA Testifies on a Flurry of Public Health, Insurance Bills - 03/24/2023

As of the March 10 bill filing deadline, state lawmakers had introduced more than 9,000 pieces of legislation, establishing a new record and teeing up the Texas Medical Association’s busiest session yet.

TMA-Backed Bills Would Increase Access to Women’s Reproductive, Early Childhood Health Care - 03/24/2023

Twelve month postpartum coverage and a boost to certain Medicaid payments top a list of measures Texas lawmakers are moving on that would bolster women’s health care services, in line with the Texas Medical Association’s priorities for

Lege Poised to Boost GME Funding; TMA Urges Rural Workforce Investment - 03/22/2023

With a record-high budget at its disposal, the Texas Legislature seems poised to increase funding for graduate medical education in the 2024-25 biennium, fulfilling one of the Texas Medical Association’s legislative priorities. But physicians say more must be done to address the state’s physician workforce shortage, especially in primary care and in rural and underserved areas.

TDI Eases Prior Authorization Request Process for Prescription Renewals - 03/20/2023

After a three-year effort, the Texas Medical Association recently secured a form change that allows physicians to bypass the most onerous part of prior authorization requests when renewing an existing prescription.

TMA’s “Battle This Session” Begins: Fighting Scope Creep - 03/16/2023

As expected, several scope-of-practice expansion attempts have crept their way into the more than 800 bills the Texas Medical Association is already tracking so far this legislative session, underscoring why fighting scope creep is medicine’s top priority.

Free Live Webinar: Medicaid Unwinding 101 – How to Prepare Your Practice and Your Patients - 03/16/2023

After more than three years and 11 extensions, the COVID-19 public health emergency will expire May 11. More pressingly, Texas will begin “unwinding” Medicaid continuous eligibility for the more than 2.5 million residents who benefited from such coverage thanks to federal COVID-19 relief funding.

Legislative Priority #6: Physician Autonomy, Corporate Practice Protections - 03/14/2023

During the 2023 state legislative session, the Texas Medical Association aims to protect physicians from being criminalized for the practice of medicine and to keep nonmedical entities from interfering with patient care.

TMA Decries Scope Bills That Would Allow Nurses to Practice Independently - 03/10/2023

Just three days before the bill-filing deadline, state lawmakers filed a pair of bills that would allow advanced practice registered nurses to practice independently.

TMA Backs Network Adequacy Bill and Other Insurance Reforms - 03/10/2023

With just a week until the bill-filing deadline, the Texas Medical Association is backing state legislation that furthers patients’ access to care by requiring adequate networks and bolstering prior authorization reforms, among other protections.

Developing Medicine’s Leaders: TMA Arms Physicians to Advance Medicine - 03/07/2023

The Texas Medical Association's Leadership College and its other leadership development programs help physicians develop the nonclinical skills necessary to pursue leadership positions in their practices, in their communities, and within organized medicine.

Advanced APM Incentive Payments Extended Through 2023 Performance Year - 03/02/2023

Physicians who participate in an advanced alternative payment model this year will remain eligible for incentive payments – albeit smaller ones – that were initially slated to expire in 2022.

New Report Aims to Catalyze Texas Medicaid’s Shift to Value-Based Care - 03/02/2023

A new report aims to accelerate Texas Medicaid’s transition from a fee-for-service payment model to a value-based one, a shift that has been underway for 25 years.

Mending Medicare: Federal Spending Law Reduces Physician Pay Cut Amid Reform Push - 03/01/2023

A massive federal spending law took effect in late 2022, delivering a smaller-than-scheduled Medicare physician pay cut in 2023, but the Texas Medical Association and others in organized medicine continue to push for comprehensive reform.

Strength in Numbers: Texas Physicians Shape Health Care Policy at AMA - 03/01/2023

The Texas Medical Association wields its influence in two ways: through the Texas Delegation to the American Medical Association and through membership on the AMA’s various councils and committees.

The Unwinding: What the End of the COVID PHE Means for Continuous Medicaid Coverage - 02/24/2023

After nearly three years and 11 extensions, the federal public health emergency related to COVID-19 is poised to end this spring, and with it, continuous Medicaid coverage for more than 2.5 million Texans.

Medicine Backs Proposed Medicare Prior Authorization Reforms - 02/24/2023

Physicians caring for Medicare patients soon may find relief from onerous prior authorization requirements that frequently delay, discourage, or drive up the costs of care, thanks to proposed regulations governing Medicare Advantage (Part C) and prescription drug (Part D) plans.

Medicare Expands Coverage for Colorectal Cancer Screening - 02/24/2023

Medicare patients soon will benefit from expanded coverage of colorectal cancer screening tests, following advocacy by the Texas Medical Association and others in organized medicine.

Abbott Signals Support for Opioid Crisis Interventions - 02/21/2023

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently listed the fentanyl crisis as one of seven “emergency” items this session, clearing a path toward passage of Texas Medical Association-backed legislation that aims to curb opioid-related deaths.

Bills Threaten Medical Liability Reforms - 02/15/2023

At least two bills have the Texas Medical Association on notice for threats that aim to weaken Texas’ landmark 2003 medical liability reforms meant to protect access to care and patient safety.