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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.


Beware of Phony TMB or DEA Agents - 02/05/2020

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.


Microsoft Windows, Server Systems Vulnerable to Hackers, Feds Warn - 01/17/2020

Texas physicians should look out for a security weakness in Microsoft Windows 10, Server 2016, and Server 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said this week.


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.


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.


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.


Ousting the ‘F-Word’ From Your Practice - 10/29/2019

You do everything you can to keep your patients safe and healthy. But are you sure your practice is safe from fraud and abuse? Don’t wait for a costly government audit – or a criminal charge – to come knocking. Check out the Texas Medical Association’s e-book, Fraud and Abuse Prevention Simplified, which can help you learn to protect both your practice and patients.


Medical Devices Could Be Vulnerable to Hackers, FDA Warns - 10/02/2019

Certain medical devices and hospital communications networks could contain cybersecurity vulnerabilities that could allow a remote attacker to take control of the device and change its function, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned on Tuesday.


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).


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.


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.