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MIPS 2021 Data Submission Now Open - 01/12/2022

Participants in the 2021 performance year of the Quality Payment Program’s (QPP’s) Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) can now submit their data through the QPP website. You can submit and update your MIPS data until 7 pm CT on March 31.


Update: OSHA Halts Enforcement of Federal Vaccine Mandate - 11/23/2021

For now, the Biden administration’s sweeping vaccination requirement for large employers is on hold after a federal appeals court blocked the regulation from going into effect, quickly responding to a lawsuit from Texas and other states. If eventually implemented, however, the administration’s rule, issued as part of a pair of regulations on Nov. 4, will carry implications for physicians in larger practice settings.


TMA White Paper: Does COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Ban Affect Your Practice? - 10/21/2021

If you run a business, any business – including a medical practice – you may be subject to Texas’ new law barring businesses from requiring customers to produce COVID-19 vaccine documentation – now known in common parlance as a “vaccine passport.”


Offering Access to Patients With Limited English Proficiency - 10/19/2021

Under the Affordable Care Act and accompanying federal rules, certain medical practices must take “reasonable steps” to provide meaningful access to people with limited English proficiency (LEP). A new Texas Medical Association white paper provides members with information on their LEP obligations under the law and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rulemaking, including the most recent rules published in 2020.


Know Your ADA Obligations - 10/11/2021

If someone asked you about your training on federal requirements for accommodating patients with disabilities, would your answer sound something like this? “Oh golly. I have no idea. I’m sure I had to read or study something sometime. I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been a doctor for quite a while, so I suspect I had to learn it somewhere, but I don’t remember where.” That’s an actual answer from one internal medicine physician in a recent study of doctors’ knowledge of their legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). And if the results of that small study are any indication, many physicians might be lacking in their knowledge on the subject.  


Alphabet Soup: A MACRA Glossary and Acronym Guide - 08/19/2021

MACRA, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015,  introduced a slew of new acronyms and terms for physicians to understand. Here's our glossary.


Commentary: Hey Texas, Time to Stop Using the Word Provider! - 08/02/2021

The growing unwillingness to highlight the differences in training, education, and expertise between physicians and other health care professionals constitutes an increasing danger to not only our profession but also to patients, our health care system, and society as a whole. Patients deserve to know who is rendering their care. It is our hope that every physician reading this article will think and act in some way to speak up against the “provider” label and help reclaim the rightful title. Our profession is thousands of years old, so let’s not be the generation that destroys its own name. For the sake of those who follow in our footsteps, let’s take a stand together today.


TMA Argues to Overturn Physician Dispensing Ban - 07/15/2021

Two Texas physicians are taking on the state’s general ban on physicians dispensing medications out of their offices, now with support from the Texas Medical Association for their argument that the prohibition does more to protect pharmacies than patient care.


DSHS Receives CDC Grant to Help Identify, Report Birth Defects - 07/07/2021

The state of Texas received an assist in combating birth defects when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the Texas Department of State Health Services a grant for improved surveillance and diagnosis totaling $300,000 per year for five years, the state agency announced.


Dispensing With Reason? Overturning State Ban on Providing Drugs From Physician Offices - 07/03/2021

Only a handful of states effectively ban physicians from dispensing medications out of their offices. Texas is one of them. Two Texas physicians have taken their case to the courts, arguing that the ban is unconstitutional because it does more to protect pharmacies than it does to protect patients. And TMA is lending its support to that argument.


Survey: Physicians’ Office Favored Over Retail Clinics, Urgent Care Centers - 06/23/2021

Retail clinics and urgent care centers may be as ubiquitous as Whataburger or Subway these days, but physicians’ offices “remain the public’s favored site of care,” according to a recent survey by Morning Consult.


Ruling Could Promote Frivolous Lawsuits, TMA Tells Texas Supreme Court - 06/13/2021

A recent appeals court decision could weaken a key piece of Texas’ 2003 medical liability reforms meant to cut frivolous lawsuits off at the head. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed last week, TMA and Texas Alliance for Patient Access (TAPA) tell the Texas Supreme Court that the law narrowly limits the amount of discovery – the exchange of information in a court case – before the person suing must produce an expert report. And there’s good reason for that, the groups say.  


Bad Scope Bills Defeated - 06/11/2021

Among other ill-advised proposals put forth during this year’s session, the House of Medicine stopped every troublesome attempt by nonmedical professionals to creep into the practice of medicine during this session.


Livelihood on the Line: Surgeon Sues Hospital over Alleged Disparagement, Malicious Peer Review - 06/10/2021

San Antonio cardiothoracic surgeon sues hospital over alleged disparagement, malicious peer. In less than two years, San Antonio cardiothoracic surgeon J. Marvin Smith III, MD, says his distinguished surgical career spanning about five decades was effectively wiped out.


TMA Opposes Proposed Title Change for Physician Assistants - 06/01/2021

The American Academy of PAs (AAPA) passed new policy last week changing the profession’s official title to “physician associate” rather than the traditional “physician assistant” (PA).


The Graveyard: Scope Bills That Are No Longer a Threat, Thanks to TMA - 05/17/2021

There are still 13 days left until the House of Medicine can officially breathe easy on lawmakers’ most misguided ideas. But thanks to the Texas Medical Association’s diligence at the Capitol, many of the most dangerous state bills of 2021 have officially gone to the Texas Legislature’s graveyard.


As Scope Defenses Continue, TMA Opposes Treatment Expansion for Midwives - 05/04/2021

Throughout the 2021 session, troublesome bills to expand nonphysicians’ scope of practice have collectively been a sleeping monster – kept dormant by the House of Medicine’s dogged advocacy efforts, but in constant need of monitoring should the beast awaken.


Hospital Asks for Expedited Trial in Fort Worth Life-Sustaining Treatment Case - 04/30/2021

Believing that court-mandated, life-sustaining treatment is causing harm to a child in its care, Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth is attempting to resolve a highly publicized court case as quickly as possible.


Medicine Trains Its Sight on Scope Expansions - 04/01/2021

A court decision siding with chiropractors is the latest of many scope tests in the legislature and the law.


Legislative Hotline: Independent Prescribing for APRNs: A Bad Idea - 03/24/2021

The house of medicine sent a handful of its advocates into the ring to stop this year’s effort to give advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) more authority to perform medical acts without physician supervision.


A Busy Tuesday for Medicine: Dangerous Eye Surgeries, Extended Postpartum Coverage, Prior Authorization - 03/23/2021

Organized medicine sent an army of physicians – including TMA President Diana Fite, MD – to tell senators why a bill giving therapeutic optometrists the authority to perform a lengthy list of surgical procedures is a short-sighted idea.


Submit 2020 Data Now to Avoid Medicare Pay Cut - 03/23/2021

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.


Scope Expansion Bills Moving Forward. Help TMA Protect Health Care - 03/22/2021

Scope of practice will take center stage this week as the Texas Medical Association keeps its eye on and fights bad legislation that would give non-medical professionals the authority to practice medicine.


Outrageous Overreach Medicine Fights Broad Documentation Requests - 02/27/2021

When Andrew Indresano, MD, got a subpoena in January 2019, he found it “a little shocking” and “really invasive.” The Fort Worth orthopedic surgeon wasn’t even part of the personal-injury lawsuit for which he was being asked to produce a backward-looking swath of documents.


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.