Stories from Texas Medicine, August 2013

Health Matters in Texas - 04/25/2018

Physicians who testified before legislative committees presented an aggressive public health agenda to shield Texans from cigarette smoke, protect them from vaccine-preventable diseases, curb the obesity rate, and support cancer prevention and research. Thanks to their voices and the work of the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Public Health Coalition, the 2013 Texas Legislature got the message and passed many key bills that will help physicians accomplish some of those goals.


We Got Results - 05/13/2016

The Texas Medical Association's hard work for physicians and patients paid off in the 2013 legislative session with long-sought, even precedent-setting victories. Among the many successes are reduced red tape, transparent insurance markets, preservation of physicians' scope of practice, and increased graduate medical education funding.


Ready, Set …? - 05/13/2016

The federal government says it will be ready to launch a health insurance exchange in Texas come Oct 1. That's the date individuals can begin buying and enrolling in plans offered through an online marketplace exclusively for health coverage. Because Gov. Rick Perry chose not to authorize a state-based marketplace, Texas defaulted to a federally run program. Although state insurance regulators will play a part, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services already took the reins in getting it off the ground. A number of unknowns still linger, however, particularly for physicians who may hear from health plans eager to build networks for insurance products they wish to sell in the exchange.


Fighting for Fairness - 05/13/2016

When the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Office of Inspector General (OIG) adopted "program integrity" rules physicians couldn't live with, the Texas Medical Association took action to protect physicians. The association fought during this year's legislative session to improve due process in OIG fraud investigations and secured legislation that lends greater transparency to the agency's investigative and payment hold processes.


Claims Detectives - 05/13/2016

Many physicians suspect insurance companies pay them too little too late. Many feel they lack the time and resources to do much about it. That's why many physicians turn to independent auditing firms to delve into how they're being paid. Those firms conduct in-depth audits of payer contracts and claims data.