Stories with related Professional Interests

Court Rejects Hospital Challenge to Defamation Lawsuit - Again - 08/21/2019

Once again, Houston cardiothoracic surgeon Miguel Gomez, MD, has won in court in his battle to collect more than $6 million from Memorial Hermann Health System in a defamation lawsuit.


TMA Helping You Use Telemedicine More Effectively - 08/21/2019

Whether you use telemedicine every day in your practice or you’re just starting to consider how it might benefit your patients, you probably have plenty of questions and concerns about using it effectively and within compliance. That’s why the Texas Medical Association formed a task force that will help TMA serve physicians who want to integrate telemedicine into their practice.


TMB to Transition to Electronic Licenses in September - 08/20/2019

Beginning Sept. 1, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) will no longer issue paper licenses for physicians or physician assistants. Instead, new and renewed licenses will be available via the My TMB online portal.


How User-Friendly Is Your EHR? - 08/16/2019

To help you prevent these types of errors in your practice, TMA has created a Technology and Patient Safety webpage that includes articles, interactive tools, manuals, and guidelines on how to make your electronic health record (EHR) technology safer. Use it to find information on contracting with EHR vendors, implementing or switching systems, and keeping your system secure.


Payers Axe Consultation Codes - 08/07/2019

Both Cigna and UnitedHealthcare (UHC) have announced that starting in October, they will no longer pay for CPT consultation codes 99241-99245 – office consultations – and 99251-99255 – inpatient consultations. UHC’s policy change becomes effective Oct. 1, as outlined in its March bulletin. Cigna’s July newsletter says Cigna’s policy takes effect Oct. 19.


All Together Now: Health Care Mergers Reshape the Way Texas Physicians Practice - 08/02/2019

Consolidation has touched just about every part of today’s health care industry. Hospitals, medical practices, pharmacies, insurance companies are all merging in various ways — a trend epitomized by the 2018 announcement that hospital systems Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas and Memorial Hermann in Houston plan to become one big nonprofit.


Searching for a Better Online Reputation - 08/02/2019

What people see on the internet can bring in — or drive away — patients. But most physicians are not trained in either communications or digital technology, and so have little understanding of the financial impact of search engines, social media, and review sites.


Most Valuable Team: Managing Nonphysician Staff Efficiently Can Boost Patient Care and Bottom Line - 08/02/2019

Because state laws and insurer billing requirements governing physician delegation and supervision can be tricky to navigate, practices must stay up to date to avoid potential penalties.


Working Toward Wellness: TMA’s Physician Health and Wellness Exchange Tackles Burnout - 08/02/2019

TMA’s Physician Health and Wellness Exchange helps physicians find ways to fight burnout.


When Patients Consult Google Take Your Cues From Dr. Grugle - 08/02/2019

Having taken a careful history and performed an appropriate physical examination, you turn to the patient and ask, "Do you have any questions for me today?" The patient pauses, looks a little sheepish, and says, “Well, actually, I Googled my symptoms and it said this might all be gluten sensitivity. Do you think I might have gluten intolerance? Too much mercury in my fillings? My childhood vaccinations making me sick? Maybe just a highly chemically sensitive person?” How best to handle this interaction depends on the kind of patient who is before you, and choosing the correct response is crucial in maintaining the alliance.


Get $99 Website Design During July - 07/12/2019

How does your practice’s website look? Does it look great on any device, including mobile and tablets? If your website could use some help, Texas Medical Association-endorsed vendor Officite helps practices create a professional website that works on all devices.


Take Care of Your Financial Well-Being - 07/12/2019

Paying back student loans, budgeting for personal/family needs, investing, and planning for retirement can be overwhelming at times. But maintaining your financial well-being doesn’t have to be a burden, particularly with help from the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Physician Health and Wellness.


Scammers Targeting Texas Pulmonologists Seeking $500 - 06/19/2019

The Texas Medical Association is warning pulmonary physicians to be aware of a scam involving a letter from a phony medical board that seeks $500 “for Pulmonary Disease Certification Status Verification.” Two Texas pulmonologists contacted TMA to report a letter from the “American Board of Pulmonary Disease” notifying them of a “very important requirement to continue certification in pulmonary disease at this time. You are on record having failed to previously register, and must comply.”


Doctor’s Order A Must For Lab Tests - 05/29/2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is paying attention to claims for these lab services because it has found they were paid in error in 2018 by some $28 million. For routine venipuncture, medical necessity errors accounted for virtually all the improper payments. For urinalysis, it was insufficient documentation.


Help Your Small Business Thrive With These Webinars - 05/03/2019

In recognition of National Small Business Week (May 5-11), Texas Medical Association-endorsed vendor Officite is kicking off a three-week webinar series beginning May 8.


Dos and Don’ts of Using Modifier 22 - 04/25/2019

Sometimes the work to provide a service is “substantially greater” than typically required on the date of services. When this happens, document the extra work by adding modifier 22 to the procedure code.


Let TMA Help Keep Your Practice Compliant - 04/24/2019

In a medical practice, physicians, administrators, managers, and other staff may all be responsible for maintaining compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. The Texas Medical Association offers several resources, tools, and even discounts on compliance services to help keep your practice compliant.


Charging Concierge Fees to BCBSTX Patients - 04/23/2019

Although Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) places limits on the additional fees participating network physicians can charge BCBSTX patients, some are allowed when you provide concierge services.


Go Paperless With UHC Document Vault - 04/22/2019

Looking for ways to reduce the amount of paper your practice uses? One way is to digitally receive claim and prior authorization letters for UnitedHealthcare commercial and Medicare patients through UHC’s Document Vault, rather than by mail.


Make Sure These Medicare Missteps Didn’t Affect Your Claims - 04/16/2019

Because of all of the policies, edits, determinations, rules, and revisions, Medicare’s claims processing sometimes goes awry for certain codes, fees, or other specific claim elements. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reports these errors and their fixes on a regular basis.


Alert: Scammers Demanding Bogus Fines For Drug Purchases - 04/01/2019

The Texas Medical Association and the Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT) are warning physicians about scammers posing as a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent trying to defraud doctors into paying a nonexistent federal fine for allegedly intercepting illegal prescription drugs the doctor had sent through the mail.


How to Avoid MIPS Penalty with Minimal Reporting by April 2 - 03/25/2019

For 2018 reporting, your 2020 Medicare payments will be cut even more – by 5 percent – if you are required to participate in MIPS but choose not to submit data. So if you’d rather get paid in full next year (or – even better – receive a payment bonus), there’s still time to submit 2018 data. But you should act fast. The deadline is April 2.


Four Tips For Creating An Effective Online Presence - 03/13/2019

Patients (and Google) expect your website to be more than an online business card. To reach as many potential patients as possible, your site should be mobile-friendly, contain high-quality educational content, and show up at the top of search results. Check out these suggestions to make sure your practice doesn’t get lost online.


Humana Changes for 2019: Preauthorization, Notification, and Formularies - 02/27/2019

Humana has made changes for 2019 to its preauthorization and notification lists.


Coding Changes Affect UnitedHealthcare Prior Authorization Lists - 02/22/2019

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has replaced and added procedure codes on its notification and prior authorization (PA) lists.