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TMA PracticeEdge ACOs Tops for State, National Medicare Savings - 11/11/2019

Three accountable care organizations formed through TMA PracticeEdge were among state and national leaders in generating Medicare savings during the 2018 Medicare Shared Savings Program performance year.


Get Details About Your 5% Medicare Bonus - 11/05/2019

If you participated in the advanced alternative payment model (APM) track during the 2017 Quality Payment Program (QPP) performance year, full details of your 5% APM incentive payment are finally available.


CMS Finalizes Changes to QPP, Medicare Fee Schedule - 11/04/2019

Changes to Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) finalized Friday include both wins and losses for medicine, according to Texas Medical Association staff's initial analysis of the QPP final rule for 2020.


Timing for Annual Medicare Mammograms - 10/29/2019

Medicare counts 11 full months after the month in which the patient received her screening


Using Unlisted Codes for Workers' Comp Services - 10/29/2019

Using Unlisted Codes for Workers' Comp Services


TMA to Trump: Do Not Expand NPPs’ Scope of Practice - 10/29/2019

When President Donald Trump released an executive order earlier this month that would, in part, expand the scope of practice of nonphysician practitioners, the Texas Medical Association vowed to keep physicians at the head of the health care team. On Monday, TMA President David Fleeger, MD, took a major step to do that, urging President Trump and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to remove that language entirely.


You May Need to Refile Some Medicare Claims - 10/25/2019

Be on the lookout for Medicare claims you’ve filed since Oct. 1 in which procedure codes failed to process, causing a rejected claim. You will need to refile these claims.


Practice e-Tips on Coding - 10/24/2019

Get practice tips on all things coding. Learn about coding methods, correct coding, resources, coding related to Workers' Comp and more.


Medicare Lab Fee Includes Routine Venipuncture - 10/16/2019

If you perform the lab test in your office, you may not bill separately for the “collection of venous blood by venipuncture,” or CPT code 36415, according to the Medicare Claims Processing Manual. However, a significant number of physicians who collect blood and perform lab tests in their office are billing for CPT code 36415 along with the test code, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services says.


TMA Says “No” to Federal Scope Expansion Under President’s Medicare Executive Order - 10/09/2019

At least one piece of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on Medicare will meet strong opposition from the Texas Medical Association. “Know this: TMA will stand up for our profession and our patients to prevent this totally unwarranted scope-of-practice expansion from becoming reality,” said TMA President David C. Fleeger, MD.


Beyond the Slogan “Medicare for All” - 10/03/2019

Medicare For All is becoming popular among Democratic lawmakers and the public. But, as popular as the concept is, the details are lost in the simple slogan of “Medicare for All.”


Fix Medicare Now, TMA Tells Feds - 10/01/2019

Unless the federal government increases physicians’ Medicare payments and overhauls Medicare’s hassle-laden Quality Payment Program (QPP), access to health care for millions of American seniors and people with disabilities “is at risk,” the Texas Medical Association told Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.


More Pain for Small Shops? 2020 Quality Program Rule Could Mean More Penalties - 10/01/2019

Small and solo practices already take the worst of the administrative and financial pounding the Quality Payment Program (QPP) dishes out each year. In the Texas Medical Association’s analysis, the government’s plans for the QPP in 2020 would make the situation even harder on those smaller shops. Since QPP’s birth in 2017, small practices have struggled with the demands and synapse-straining complexities of the program’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). And TMA analysis shows the payment penalties those “have-not” practices incur fund the bonus payments earned by MIPS “haves” – often, larger practices with the resources to make the program work. Under the 2020 changes that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed, the maximum penalties for practices who don’t hit their MIPS targets will be larger than ever. But TMA’s review shows that MIPS – despite CMS’ claims to the contrary – isn’t getting any simpler.


Upgrade Your EHR Before It’s Too Late - 08/28/2019

If you participate in Medicaid and/or Medicare incentive payment programs, time is running out to upgrade to the 2015 certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT).


Put Patients Over Paperwork, TMA Tells CMS - 08/19/2019

Allow physicians to use electronic health records how they see fit, eliminate prior authorization requirements, lift the ban on physician-owned hospitals, and allow a real out-of-network option. Those are among the 15 recommendations the Texas Medical Association presented to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which is seeking to reduce administrative burdens and red tape in the Medicare program.


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.


Medicare Muzzle? New Rules May Make Physicians Reluctant to Speak Up - 08/02/2019

New Medicare rules on local coverage determinations may make physicians reluctant to speak their minds.


False Impression: Medicine Says Medicare Report Inflates Success of Quality Program - 08/02/2019

High participation, “significant strides,” overwhelming success. That was the picture the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services painted in a March report on the first year of the Quality Payment Program. But a closer look by the Texas Medical Association raises serious doubts about CMS’ numbers, transparency, and cheerleading – so much so that TMA and seven other state medical associations are asking the agency to rescind the report.


Get Paid for End-of-Life Care Discussions With Patients - 07/18/2019

Since 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has used two Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) payment codes for conversations about end-of-life treatment.


Will You Get a Medicare Bonus or Pay Cut Next Year? - 07/11/2019

 If you participated in the 2018 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under the Quality Payment Program (QPP), it’s now possible to check whether you’ll receive a Medicare payment bonus or cut next year.  Physicians should check their 2018 MIPS performance feedback and 2020 payment adjustment as soon as possible in case the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made mistakes when calculating your data, which happened last year. 


Problem With Medicare’s PECOS Being Resolved, Officials Say - 07/11/2019

A software update to Medicare’s Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) implemented last month has created problems associated with existing and new group reassignments. Because of this, data from PECOS to the Multi-Carrier System for these changes have been delayed for all Medicare Administrative Contractors.


Get Dates of Service Right on Medicare Claims - 05/30/2019

When you a perform a Medicare service that is global, has both a professional and a technical component, or spans days or months, you need to know what date Medicare considers to be the official date of service when you file your claim. Here is some guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about coding and billing dates of service on professional claims.


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.


Use Modifiers to Override Correct Coding Initiative Edits - 05/28/2019

Correct Coding Initiative Edits Now Free on Internet


Medicare X{EPSU} Modifiers Further Define Modifier 59 - 05/24/2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has established four new modifiers to define subsets of the commonly — but often mistakenly — used modifier 59.