Related Stories

Texas Vaccine Registry to be Accessible Through EHRs - 06/26/2020

Texas physicians soon will have an easier time accessing and submitting vaccination records when using the Texas Immunization Registry (ImmTrac2), according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, which runs the registry.


How Can You Exchange Patient Data? - 06/09/2020

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 Data Entry – There’s a Better Way - 06/04/2020

Electronic Health Record (EHR) data entry is a part of the job, but for most physicians it’s a chore. Not only does it take time away from your patients, it adds to the hours you spend in the office (or to the work hours you spend at home). Fortunately, many physicians have found ways to save time doing data entry.


Payers Extend Prior Authorization Windows During COVID-19 - 05/19/2020

Commercial payers have temporarily modified prior authorization timelines to help physicians care for patients during the COVID-19 emergency. Here is an overview of some payers’ COVID-19 prior authorization policies.


Never, Ever Text Patient Hospital Orders - 05/12/2020

No matter how comfortable you are with texting, remember, texting patients’ hospital orders is not an acceptable practice.


TDI Fines Blue Cross $10 Million for Delays, Errors - 03/11/2020

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will pay a $10 million fine for providing consumers incorrect information, delays in out-of-network claims processing, and errors in marketing materials, the Texas Department of Insurance has announced.


Medicaid Seeks Physicians for EHR Audit Appeals Panel - 03/04/2020

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


Feds Offer Strategies For Tackling EHR Burden - 02/27/2020

The federal government is hoping to give physicians a hand in managing the burdens of one of their foremost time-eaters: Electronic health records (EHRs). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week released a report titled Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs.


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.


California Model Benefits Insurers, at Physicians’ and Patients’ Expense, Physicians Tell Congress - 02/11/2020

Texas Medical Association physician leaders, along with their colleagues from California and the rest of the country, are on Capitol Hill this week, lobbying Congress to toss out a California-inspired provision from a rapidly moving health insurance bill.


UnitedHealthcare Out-of-Network Referrals: Prior Approval, Patient Consent - 02/05/2020

If you are a UnitedHealthcare (UHC) participating physician referring a patient out of network in a nonemergency, you’re now required to first obtain either (1) prior approval from UHC; or (2) the patient’s written consent.


A Plan for the Uninsured in Texas - 02/05/2020

I call for our TMA to bring all of these groups together to directly address the issue of the uninsured in Texas, to plan a strategy, and to put it in motion.


Send TMA Your Prior Auth Nightmare Stories - 01/31/2020

Arbitrary. Confusing. Frustrating. Never-ending. Maddening. Those are some of the terms we can actually print that describe physicians’ perceptions of insurance companies’ prior authorization requirements and approval processes. Your personal stories of patient harm due to prior authorization request delays or denials can give the Texas Medical Association the ammunition it needs to fight this problem. Please submit your stories via email to the TMA Payment Advocacy Department.


Insurance Companies Have Denied My Doctor’s Orders, 25% of Texas Voters Say - 01/29/2020

One in four Texas voters say their health insurance company has refused to cover what their physician ordered for them or their families, a new statewide survey has found.


Texas' New Surprise Billing Law: Are You Ready? - 01/29/2020

Texas’ baseball-style arbitration law takes effect for certain out-of-network medical care beginning Jan. 1, 2020. It’s a big change from how disputes on out-of-network medical bills have been handled in the past – and you need to know how to navigate it. There are nuances to consider, and disciplinary action from the Texas Medical Board (TMB) may await you if you balance-bill in violation of the law. That’s why the Texas Medical Association has produced a digestible, seven-page summary of the surprise-billing law.


TDI Explains Arbitration Law Process - 01/28/2020

Before you’re involved in an out-of-network medical bill dispute that would be covered by the state’s new baseball-style arbitration law, it’s best to know what could be in store.  The Texas Department of Insurance has provided further details on how the law will be implemented, including how the arbitration process will work.


Insurance Commissioner to Health Plans: Be Proactive on New Surprise Billing Law - 01/28/2020

In a letter Tuesday addressed to “the health plans of Texas,” the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) commissioner said TDI will monitor how health plans implement Senate Bill 1264, passed during last year’s session of the Texas Legislature and now in effect.


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.


Medicare Sequestration Cuts, GPCI Floor Continue - 01/07/2020

As we begin 2020, it’s a good time to remember that several Medicare policies that affect physician payment remain in effect. Medicare sequestration, the federal government’s 2% across-the-board payment cut, will continue until further notice. In addition, Medicare’s 1.0 floor for the Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI) has been extended temporarily, once again, to May 23.


Request UnitedHealthcare Peer-to-Peer Review Online - 01/02/2020

Seeking a peer-to-peer conversation after a preauthorization request was declined? Now you can request one through an online form available on UnitedHealthcare’s Prior Authorization and Notification webpage.


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.


State Adopts Emergency Rule on Surprise Billing Law - 12/20/2019

The Texas Department of Insurance has adopted an emergency rule outlining the narrow circumstances when it will be legal for physicians to balance bill patients under the state’s new law that protects patients from surprise medical bills. And the Texas Medical Board is telling physicians to accept how TDI interprets the law in its emergency rule.


Review Cigna Patient Feedback Before It Goes Public - 12/13/2019

Now is the time to preview your patients’ reviews that will appear in myCigna.com provider directories starting in early 2020 – or you can opt out of having your patient reviews published in Cigna’s directories.