Stories from Texas Medicine, January 2013

Uniqueness in Unity - 05/13/2016

For decades, allopathic and osteopathic residency programs followed two separate paths to accreditation. Now those two paths may merge as the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Osteopathic Association discuss a single, unified accreditation system for graduate medical education beginning in July 2015.

The Clock's Ticking - 05/13/2016

Thanks to objections from the Texas Medical Association and others, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year granted physicians a reprieve from switching to the ICD-10 coding system, moving the deadline from Oct. 1, 2013, to Oct. 1, 2014. But the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services was only willing to delay implementation for a year, thus, barring some unforeseen circumstances, ICD-10 will become a reality in 2014. Although TMA opposes the transition to ICD-10, it is committed to helping physicians get ready for the new coding system, should CMS persist in its current trajectory. TMA, AMA, and coding experts recommend physicians plan now, as ICD-10 promises to affect every aspect of their medical practices.

Righting the Ship - 05/13/2016

Texas Medicine interviews Kyle Janek, MD, who is the new executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Dr. Janek will start the new year by asking lawmakers for a $4.7 billion emergency appropriation to cover a Medicaid shortfall from last legislative session and to keep the program that comprises the largest share of his budget from running out of money as early as March.

Good Form - 05/13/2016

As more physicians adopt electronic health records and increasingly share patient information electronically, complying with state and federal privacy and security laws becomes more important than ever. The Texas Medical Association wants physicians to have the tools they need to comply while alleviating the administrative hassles that often accompany compliance, so it has created a patient authorization form to help physicians adhere to the law. By signing the form, a patient authorizes the physician to disclose all information in the medical record including medication lists, tests, and diagnoses. The form features fields for patient demographic information and medical history.