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March 9: Learn How to Improve Maternal Health in Texas - 02/25/2021

If you're interested in hearing the latest maternal mortality and morbidity data in Texas and learning why Black women continue to have the worst health outcomes, tune in to a free virtual webinar scheduled for 6 to 7 pm (CT) Tuesday, March 9.


Legislative Hotline Feb. 24, 2021: TMA (Virtually) Takes its Priorities to Washington - 02/25/2021

Coming off perhaps the biggest winter disaster in state history, the Texas Medical Association is working to make sure Washington, D.C., won’t freeze out Texas physicians and patients on their top legislative needs.


TMA Grants Can Help Your Practice Improve Local Vaccination Rates - 02/23/2021

Apply for a grant. Vaccines Defend What Matters (formerly Be Wise – Immunize) is TMA’s integrated, multimedia public health education and advocacy effort to overcome vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccination rates in Texas. 


COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments Will Resume in Texas This Week - 02/23/2021

The latest COVID-19 vaccines information as of Feb. 23, 2021


Apply Now For A Grant to Promote Vaccines in Your Community - 02/23/2021

The TMA Foundation is offering local impact grants of up to $3,500 to fund vaccination activities, educational resources, and community outreach events. County medical societies, TMA Alliance chapters, medical student chapters, and TMA member-physician practices/clinics can apply for a grant before March 8.


Ask TMA Experts About Grassroots Virtual Advocacy - 02/22/2021

Ready to take the plunge into grassroots advocacy at the legislature but still not confident about what to do and how to do it? The Texas Medical Association’s Feb. 25 Ask the Expert session is your opportunity to ask questions about tactics, tools, messaging, and more, and how it all works in a virtual environment.


Submit 2020 Data Now to Avoid Medicare Pay Cut - 02/12/2021

If you participated in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), the deadline to submit all data through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) portal has been extended one day to April 1. The deadline had been March 31.


Legislative Hotline Feb. 11, 2021: TMA, Lawmakers Seek to Strengthen State Immunization Registry - 02/11/2021

The Texas Medical Association, the Texas Hospital Association, and several state lawmakers stand behind legislation that would fix technological issues with the state’s registry, ImmTrac2, and make entry of a patient’s vaccination data the default.


Defend Patient Decisions at the End of Life - 02/11/2021

Perhaps no decision we make is more personal, difficult, or profound as choosing how we wish to spend our final days, and it’s one physicians encourage patients to make long before the need arises.


COVID-19 Vaccines: Encourage Undocumented Immigrants to Receive Vaccines - 02/10/2021

The latest information on COVID-19 vaccines as of Feb. 10, 2021


Reminder: Physicians Must Order Second Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine - 02/10/2021

Physicians and facilities that administer COVID-19 vaccines should remember that the state will no longer automatically send second doses. Instead, physicians and facilities must request an allotment of second doses seven to 14 days after receiving first doses.


Legislative Hotline Feb. 8, 2021: Why Get Involved in TMA Advocacy? “No Better Thing to Do” - 02/08/2021

"It’s vital, it’s important, it’s meaningful." TMA encourages physicians to become involved in advocating for medicine's key issues this legislative session.


Preserving Medical Liability Protections - 02/05/2021

Preserving Texas physicians’ liability protections is critical to providing access to health care.


Streamlining Prior Authorization Burdens - 02/05/2021

Prior authorization of health care services has become a burden and a barrier to physicians providing the care their patients need. Health plans maintain they require prior authorizations to ensure requested services are medically necessary and appropriate. But the escalation of prior authorization use may also be motivated by a desire to control costs.


Pertussis (Whooping Cough) - 02/05/2021

Since the 1980s, pertussis cases in the United States have increased, especially among adolescents and adults. The best way to prevent pertussis infections among adolescents and adults is a Tdap booster.


List Cost on Medicare Radiopharma Claims - 02/05/2021

When billing Medicare for radiopharmaceutical procedure codes, you must list the total acquisition cost on the claim.


Legislative Hotline: House Committee Assignments Revealed - 02/05/2021

The legislative calendar is quickly ticking by, and with the bill filing deadline only five weeks away, the House and Senate will have to hit the ground running when lawmakers return next week.


Texas is No. 1 in “Hotspots” For Vaccine Exemptions - 02/05/2021

Houston, Fort Worth, Plano, and Austin are among the cities in the nation with the highest number of kindergartners who have not received vaccinations because of nonmedical reasons, according to the study published this week in the journal PLOS Medicine.


Physicians Are Right to Avoid Wasting Vaccine - 02/04/2021

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, and Harris County Medical Society President Gary J. Sheppard, MD, about situations physicians and health care workers might face when trying to administer all COVID-19 vaccine without wasting it. This issue emerged after Houston authorities leveled accusations against a local physician.


CMS Open Payments Registration Under Way - 02/04/2021

Registration is now open for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Open Payments Program, which requires CMS to publicly report data on items of value given annually to physicians and teaching hospitals.


Strengthen Texas’ Physician Workforce - 02/04/2021

The pandemic will change the physician workforce in Texas. Economic pressures may convince some physicians to take early retirement or to leave patient care; and hospitals may be forced to close residency programs. With three new medical schools, Texas will need MORE residency positions to maintain the target ratio of 1.1 to 1, in hopes of keeping our medical student graduates in state.


Support Telemedicine Payment Parity - 02/03/2021

Payments to physicians for the care they provide their patients should be based on the “service delivered” – not the “delivery type” – when the care meets the standard required by law. Physicians must have the flexibility to decide whether to see their patients via telehealth or in person without unnecessary and disconnected pricing incentives.


Protect Patient Safety With Physician-Led Health Care Teams - 02/03/2021

Texas needs more physicians and other health care professionals working in all parts of the state, especially in rural and border Texas. But the real gains in improving access to and coordination of patient care will come largely from solidifying and expanding the use of physician-led teams. Physician-led team-based care capitalizes on the efficiencies of having the right professional providing the right services to the right patient at the right time, with physicians managing the overall direction and coordination.


First Tuesdays at the Capitol Was a Virtual Success - 02/03/2021

Almost 200 physicians, medical students, and alliance advocates logged on to Zoom for the first-ever virtual First Tuesdays at the Capitol on Tuesday, which featured an in-depth briefing on TMA’s legislative agenda for this session.


Medicare Payments For January Withheld - 02/02/2021

Novitas Solutions, the Medicare administrative contractor for Texas, has held physician Medicare payments for services rendered in January 2021 to comply with changes to federal laws, the Texas Medical Association has confirmed.