Health Information Technology

CMS Adds Cyberattack Option to MIPS Hardship Exemption - 05/30/2024

The option has been added to the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances application. That portal is now open, and physicians have until Dec. 31 to file a hardship application and avoid a 2026 negative payment adjustment in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. Read more.

ChatGPT Adviser Harvey Castro, MD, Shares AI Insights at TexMed - 05/09/2024

As a Dallas emergency physician, Harvey Castro, MD, began experimenting with ChatGPT – an artificial intelligence chatbot trained on data from the internet to generate human-like responses to text prompts – in November 2022 after asking himself what he’d “want from AI in a hospital setting.”

UPDATE: Cyberattack Disrupts Payment and Revenue Cycle Management - 03/12/2024

Physicians using Change Healthcare – a health care technology company that is part of Optum and owned by UnitedHealth Group – may experience claims disruptions after the company experienced a cyberattack on Feb. 21.

CMS Announces Flexibilities Following Cyberattack - 03/12/2024

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced several flexibilities that aim to help physicians in the wake of the cyberattack against Change Healthcare, which upset payment and revenue cycle management operations in pharmacies and health systems across the country.

TMA Develops New AI Education - 03/10/2024

Responding to significant interest from members after a 2023 standing-room-only TexMed event, the Texas Medical Association has developed a free webinar for members to learn how to integrate augmented or artificial intelligence technology, including ChatGPT, into patient care.

CMS Lifts Ban on Texting Patient Care Orders - 02/28/2024

Clinicians in hospitals and critical access hospitals may now securely text patient information and orders to other members of the health care team if using a compliant platform, thanks to advocacy by the Texas Medical Association.

Virtual Scribes Enhanced Relationships Between Patients and Physicians - 02/13/2024

At a time when physicians face burnout often due to administrative stress, two new studies from Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital found virtual scribes cut physician burden by 16% and enhanced relationships between patients and 60% of physicians.

Feds Require AI Transparency, Define Info-Blocking Exceptions - 02/05/2024

First-of-their-kind transparency regulations established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services aim to help physicians determine the safety of artificial intelligence technology. The new rule also established a new information blocking exception and implemented a 21st Century Cures Act requirement for health IT developers. Read more.

Information-Blocking Disincentives Unfairly Penalize Practices, TMA Tells Feds - 01/16/2024

The Texas Medical Association and others in organized medicine are pushing back on proposed federal information-blocking rules to establish “disincentives,” financial and otherwise, that could discourage Medicare participation and compromise sensitive patient-physician discussions, among other concerns.

Added Security: Free Tool Helps Practices Comply with the HIPAA Security Rule - 01/05/2024

Federal officials updated a free tool to help small and medium-sized practices comply with the HIPAA Security Rule.

EHR Systems Must Give Practices Export Functionality - 12/13/2023

Practices and patients will be able to export electronic health information more easily thanks to a 21st Century Cures Act requirement that all certified electronic health records systems provide such functionality by Dec. 31.

Misdirected: Health Plan Directories See Damaging Gaps Awaiting Final Rules - 12/04/2023

Health plan directories see damaging gaps while awaiting No Surprises Act final directory rules – and accountability.

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.

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.

Putting the AI in Paid: Payer Use of Artificial Intelligence Sparks Physician Concerns - 10/02/2023

Physicians - worried about payers' increasing use of artificial intelligence to process prior authorization requests, enable value-based care models, and systematically deny coverage - are seeking transparency on behalf of their patients and practices.

New Texas Law Shortens Data Breach Notification Period - 08/21/2023

Texas physician practices and other health care facilities soon will be required to give more timely and public notice of any breaches of computerized data, including electronic health records and billing information.

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.

Medical Devices: The Next Weak Link in Cyber Security - 08/07/2023

In the wake of the recent worldwide “WannaCry” ransomware attack, you may be thinking about how you can protect your practice’s data from invasion. Have you thought about medical devices?

TMA Member Benefits: Future Proof - 07/19/2023

TMA Member Benefits: Future Proof In the past year, cyberattacks on healthcare facilities have increased by 35%. The cost of a breach can average of $402 per compromised record, plus fines. TMA makes robust security for your practice easy through education and services designed to manage the worst technology risks.

Free HHS Cybersecurity Training Helps Physicians Guard Against Top Threats - 05/14/2023

A free cybersecurity education platform offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services helps train physicians, health care professionals, and staff to defend against the electronic attacks they are most likely to face on the job.

How to Renew Your Electronic Prescribing Hardship Waiver - 03/24/2023

Physicians and other prescribers in Texas must now electronically prescribe controlled substances (EPCS). However, prescribers who demonstrate financial or technical hardships, or other exceptional circumstances, are eligible for a waiver from the Texas Medical Board (TMB) that, if approved, grants a one-year delay. If the hardship persists, prescribers must renew that waiver annually.

QHINs Mark a Step Toward Interoperability - 03/07/2023

Physicians likely don’t need another acronym in their vocabulary, but “QHINs” bring some good news that translates to greater access to patient information.

How Is Technology Impacting Your Practice? TMA Wants to Know - 02/22/2023

The Texas Medical Association has conducted numerous health information technology surveys over the years to help guide TMA advocacy and develop physician resources. Here’s your chance again to tell TMA how technology is impacting your practice.

Making a SAFER EHR: This MIPS measure can help - 10/21/2022

Physicians have not always been big fans of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), but one aspect of MIPS can help physicians protect electronic health records (EHRs) from errors, hacking, and similar problems.