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Five Best Practices for More Effective Use of Ambulatory Electronic Health Records to Manage Chronic Disease - 09/11/2019

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.


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).


Beware of Scam Email Sent to TMA Members - 08/21/2019

An unauthorized email that claimed to be from the Texas Medical Association recently was sent to some TMA members stating that the individual member’s dues statement and insurance policy update was included. If you received this email, please know that it did not originate from nor was it authorized by TMA or the TMA Insurance Trust, and you should discard it.


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.


Beware of Phony TMB or DEA Agents - 07/03/2019

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) is warning physicians and pharmacies of a scam involving criminals who sometimes pose as TMB officials. TMB passed along a report from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that says physicians registered with the DEA are receiving calls and emails from criminals who identify themselves as DEA personnel or other law enforcement agents.


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.


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.”


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.


Medicaid Seeks Physicians for EHR Program Review Panel - 04/25/2019

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is accepting applications for its Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Audit Ad Hoc Review Panel.


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.


TMA Member Benefits: Help Avoiding Risk - 03/08/2019

TMA helps physicians "Avoid Risk" by providing expertise on regulations, and tools that mitigate exposure to practice risks.


Making the CEHRT Switch: EHR Upgrade Required for Incentive Payment Programs - 02/27/2019

In medicine, a lot of things can be stressful. Done right, the switch to the latest certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) doesn’t have to be one of them. The change is inevitable in the coming year for physicians already using EHRs to participate in Medicare or Medicaid incentive payment programs. Most practices are using the 2014 version. Beginning in 2019, physicians must use 2015 CEHRT for the 2019 performance period, which ultimately determines their payment.


Be in the Know When You Purchase an EHR - 02/15/2019

The recently updated TMA EHR Vendor Comparison Tool provides TMA member physicians access to an assessment of EHR products that have a solid Texas market base. It gives physicians a view of company information, product functionality, pricing, and interoperability capabilities when comparing EHR systems.


Greenway Clients Entitled to Free EHR Upgrade After Fraud Settlement - 02/12/2019

Electronic Health Record vendor Greenway Health has been ordered to offer its clients free upgrades to its latest version of Prime Suite as part of a settlement in a multimillion-dollar fraud case.  


Sign Letter Urging Congress to Address EHR Usability - 02/08/2019

This week, MedStar Health National Centers for Human Factors in Healthcare teamed up with the American Medical Association to launch a campaign asking Congress to address safety-related usability challenges in electronic health records.


Switching EHRs? Turn to TMA for Help - 12/06/2018

There are many things to consider when looking at a new EHR, including price, which functions suit your practice’s needs, and which vendors offer the right ones. If you’re considering switching to a new EHR, the Texas Medical Association has information and resources to help you make an informed decision.   


New UnitedHealthcare Automated Services Can Save You Time - 11/13/2018

UnitedHealthcare says it has made it easier for you to submit records, have claims paid sooner, and access pharmacy benefit information.


EHR 2.0 – Is It Time to Update or Replace? - 11/05/2018

Whatever the problem, you don’t have to let an outdated EHR get worse. The Texas Medical Association’s publication, Switching EHR Systems, can help you assess your options and make an informed decision.


Don’t Fall for Credentialing Scam, Blue Cross Says - 10/23/2018

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas warns physicians to be aware of a scammer that is offering to help doctors become credentialed with the insurance company for $250.


Get the Know-How You Need When Upgrading Your EHR - 10/22/2018

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.


Is Your EHR Keeping Your Patients Safe? - 09/20/2018

Electronic health records can help keep patients safe. Or not. And the difference can depend on you and your practice. The good news is that the Texas Medical Association has a great two-part webinar series to help you think through the potential hazards.


What To Do When Employees Steal: Medical Practices Are a Ripe Target for Embezzlement - 09/14/2018

Medical practices are a ripe target for embezzlement.


Before You Sign: 10 Tips for Tech Contracts - 08/31/2018

A few modifications to your vendor contract can help you avoid much of the risk associated with buying technology. Here are 10 things to consider.