Related Stories

Reporting System Makes Documenting PMP Checks Easy - 02/19/2020

As you probably already know, beginning March 1, you’ll be required to check the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program, known as PMP Aware, any time you prescribe certain medications. To help you document those checks, PMP Aware allows you to download PDFs that you can add to a patient’s medical record.


Medicaid Grant Could Pay for Your HIE Connection - 02/12/2020

Have you or your practice been considering connecting your electronic health record (EHR) to a health information exchange (HIE), but keep getting hung up by the cost? Well, here’s some good news. Three public HIEs recently were awarded contracts for a Medicaid grant that could pay for you to connect to their exchanges.


Taking Privacy to a New Level: Texas Lowers Reporting Threshold for Security Breaches - 01/27/2020

Federal requirements have not changed, but starting Jan. 1, breach notification requirements will become even more stringent for Texas physicians or medical entities. The Texas Legislature dropped the threshold for breach reporting from 500 patients to 250. House Bill 4390 also requires medical entities to report breaches to the Texas attorney general’s office within 60 days of the breach.


What’s Your Experience with EHR? - 01/13/2020

Does your practice use an electronic health record (EHR)? If so, can you or someone on your staff spare an hour or two to help other practices that are considering switching to one? The Urban Institute is looking for physicians, other health care professionals, administrators, and information technology (IT) staff – particularly those in small or rural practices – to participate in online interviews Jan. 13 through 17.


Get the Know-How You Need When Upgrading Your EHR - 01/08/2020

The Texas Medical Association’s newest free webinar, EHR to EHR Conversions - When, Why, and How, on Oct. 25, will help you better assess available EHR systems to determine whether you should upgrade your system or switch vendors.


Electronic Health Records: The Dream vs. the Reality - 12/27/2019

The only way forward with electronic health records is to continue to improve the system we have, but to do so with a vigor we have not expended to date. We need a significant increase in federal funding and to draw the best minds in technology to build a fully integrated system. We need significant input from physicians and nurses to create EHRs that are intuitive, efficient, and reliable.


Laptop Encryption Helps You Stay HIPAA Compliant - 12/19/2019

If you or your practice store financial or patient information on laptop computers, you could face hefty fines if those devices are lost or stolen. Thankfully, one important step toward protecting patient data, and yourself, is simple thanks to widely available encryption tools.


Don’t Let it Happen to You: Practice Fined Over Social Media - 12/09/2019

As more people go online to research products and services, online reputation management has become increasingly relevant for physicians.Because of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, physicians cannot respond to online reviews in any way that reveals PHI. Even if a patient discloses their own personal information in a review, physicians cannot respond with the same level of disclosure.


Five Best Practices for More Effective Use of Ambulatory Electronic Health Records to Manage Chronic Disease - 11/22/2019

The prevalence of diabetes mellitus, which affects 30.3 million adults in the United States, is increasing with 1.5 million newly diagnosed cases of diabetes each year.  An additional 84 million adults are affected by prediabetes.  Consequently, this chronic disease has become the seventh leading cause of death in our nation.1 Statistics like these have caused the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and state health departments to encourage primary care physicians to not only adopt electronic health records (EHRs) but to use them more effectively to improve management of diabetes and other chronic diseases.  This paper discusses how small physician practices in North Texas improved their tracking of quality metrics for hypertension, obesity, and diabetes by leveraging available but underused EHR functionalities.  We also describe five “best practices” for more effective use of ambulatory EHRs to manage chronic disease based on findings in this study.


Do Your Security Risk Assessment Before Dec. 31 - 11/13/2019

If you participate in the Medicare Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), conducting or updating a risk assessment is a requirement in the Promoting Interoperability category. In order to meet the 2019 performance year requirements, you must complete your security risk assessment by Dec. 31. This is not an optional measure. Thankfully, an upgraded tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) might make the assessment easier.


20 Everyday HIPAA Tips to Help You Stay Compliant - 11/11/2019

The goal of HIPAA is to make sure the protected health information you are responsible for or come into contact with remains confidential, secure, and available when you need it. Here are basic steps every practice can take to help make this happen.


20 Everyday HIPAA Tips - 11/11/2019

 The goal of HIPAA is to make sure the protected health information you are responsible for or come into contact with remains confidential, secure, and available when you need it. Here are basic steps every practice can take to help make this happen.  


Looking to Implement Remote Patient Monitoring Technology In Your Practice? - 11/08/2019

How do you successfully implement remote patient monitoring technology in your practice? Answers to that question and many more can be found in the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) Digital Health Implementation Playbook.


Switching EHRs? Transferring Data Can Be a Hurdle - 10/30/2019

Ready to part ways with your electronic health record (EHR) and move to a different one? Transitioning data from the old EHR to the new one might present some challenges. TMA's new publication, Switching EHR Systems, is available in the TMA Education Center.


What Are HIPAA Transaction and Code Sets Standards? - 10/29/2019

Learn about the HIPAA Transactions and Code Sets Rule that standardizes electronic data interchange (EDI) transactions for submitting, processing, and paying claims. Has your practice met the required standards?


Check Your EHR Settings by Oct. 1 - 10/01/2019

Tuesday is Oct. 1, so if you participate in Medicaid and/or Medicare incentive payment programs, hopefully you’ve already upgraded to the 2015 certified electronic health record technology.


Improve Patient Safety by Focusing on Safe Practices for Drug Allergies - 09/10/2019

Your electronic health record likely contains multiple types of clinical decision support (CDS) tools to help you track a patient’s drug allergies. But despite the many CDS tools, adverse drug allergy interactions continue to occur. To help practices curb those adverse reactions, the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety created an online toolkit that focuses on using CDS and health information technology to safely prescribe medications.


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).


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.


How Can You Exchange Patient Data? - 08/08/2019

Health Information Exchange can be accomplished in different ways, and the needs and requirements vary by practice. While there are numerous ways to accomplish HIE, there are four types of HIE that are currently in use.


Don’t Try This at Work: Security Risk Analysis Is Not a Do-It-Yourself Project - 08/02/2019

Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) requires practices to conduct a security risk analysis at least once a year. HIPAA requires at least one analysis, and annual check-ups are considered a best practice. Many physicians find out through these reports that their practices have a lot of work to do to keep patient records safe.


EHR Rules Would Add to Physicians’ Costs, Burdens, TMA Says - 06/25/2019

Proposed rules to promote electronic health record interoperability across the health care system would place excessive burdens and costs on physicians, while making it more difficult for patients to access their electronic health information.  That’s the thrust of a pair of letters the Texas Medical Association wrote to two federal health agencies last week.


TMA Pushing To Delay PMP Mandate, Buy Time for Integration With EHRs - 06/19/2019

Starting Sept. 1, physicians will be required to check the PMP before issuing any prescription for opioids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or carisoprodol, a mandate the Texas Legislature passed during the 2017 session. As this year’s session of the legislature enters its back stretch, TMA is hoping to persuade lawmakers to delay that mandate until March 2020 to allow for a widespread rollout of PMP-EHR integration.


Your Photocopier May Be a Security Risk - 05/30/2019

Don’t let this happen to you! A health plan recently paid a huge fine after it returned leased copiers that held protected health information.


Windows XP Support Ending Soon - 05/30/2019

Are you a Microsoft Windows XP user? If so, it’s probably time to upgrade. Your PC won’t be secure after April 8, 2014