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Telemedicine’s Tipping Point: Pandemic Exposed Longstanding Coverage Issues - 01/20/2022

Dr. Atkisson found that telemedicine addressed one of the most pressing issues facing her profession: a dire shortage of psychiatrists that predates the pandemic.


Revalidate Your Medicaid Enrollment Soon - 11/16/2021

If you’re a physician participating in the Texas Medicaid program and saw your required revalidation period for the program extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, take note: The end of that extension is coming on Feb. 28, 2022.


New Med School Creates Residency Positions With Local Hospital - 11/09/2021

More than 110 new residency positions are on their way in the Fort Worth area by 2024, thanks to an expanded partnership between the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine and the hospital chain Texas Health Resources.


So Much Uncertainty: Struggle to Renew Medicaid 1115 Waiver Endangers Behavioral Health Care for Low-Income - 10/31/2021

Uncertainty over the waiver’s future has thrown confusion into many of the state’s biggest behavioral health efforts.


Federal Bill Includes Longer Medicaid Coverage for New Mothers and Children - 10/27/2021

A federal budget bill under negotiation in Congress would expand Medicaid coverage for both new mothers and children, and the Texas Medical Association has signed onto a letter urging preservation of those provisions.


AMA Report: Telehealth Use Spiked Between 2018 and 2020 - 10/27/2021

The percentage of physicians using telehealth skyrocketed during a two-year period that covered the first several months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new American Medical Association report.


Congress May Extend Postpartum Medicaid Coverage to 12 Months - 10/19/2021

Federal legislation could move Texas toward one of the Texas Medical Association’s long-time goals for improving maternal health – extending Medicaid postpartum coverage from two months to a full year.


How to Avoid Coding Mistakes in Texas Medicaid - 10/15/2021

Ensuring Texas Medicaid dollars are spent for their intended purpose requires the Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) to work with health care professionals to prevent waste. Accurate medical coding is part of that work. Incorrect codes result in overpayments – which impact taxpayers – and underpayments, which can impact your practice.


How to Reverify Patients’ Medicaid Eligibility When the Public Health Emergency Ends - 10/06/2021

With the federal public health emergency (PHE) slated to expire at the end of 2021, millions of Medicaid patients across the U.S. are at risk of losing their coverage. Texas physicians should prepare by scheduling services as soon as possible for such patients and evaluating the financial impact of potential increases in uncompensated care. They also should expect to reverify patients’ Medicaid eligibility when the PHE expires.


Playing the Long Game: Adrian Billings, MD, Deepens the Rural Physician Bench - 10/02/2021

Although medicine wasn’t his initial choice, Dr. Billings’ passion for his work is palpable and extends far beyond the exam room, especially when he’s training future rural physicians.


Funding the Future: Texas Legislature Fully Commits to GME - 10/02/2021

The Texas Legislature’s investment in medical education includes a full commitment to GME.


Unfreezing GME: A Boost to Federal Funding for Residencies - 10/02/2021

U.S. lawmakers may be ready to boost federal funding for residencies.


Training Up: COVID-19 Changed the Way Students, Residents Learn Medicine - 10/01/2021

COVID-19 dramatically changed the way Texas’ students and residents learn medicine.


Feds Focus New COVID Relief on Rural Areas, Give Grace Period on Previous Reporting Deadline - 09/29/2021

The Biden administration has announced plans to distribute $25.5 billion in funding to physicians, hospitals, and other health care facilities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF), and will open the portal for funding applications on Sept. 29.


Texas Safety-Net Programs Tied to 1115 Waiver Get New Life – for One Year - 09/10/2021

A key component of Texas’ safety net for low-income people remains intact – for at least another year – thanks to an agreement between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend three federally funded programs that were set to expire.


Medicaid Relaxes Prior Authorization for Hep C Antiviral Drugs - 09/06/2021

For years, Texas Medicaid patients with hepatitis C haven’t had access to overwhelmingly effective, often-curative antiviral therapy unless they had advanced liver disease. In many cases, getting the antiviral drugs at that point was too little, too late.


Billing for Telemedicine During COVID-19 - 09/06/2021

COVID-19 prompted an increased need for telemedicine services to connect physicians with their patients. To quickly meet that need, Texas Medicaid adopted waivers and changed policies to ease technology restrictions and expand the number of Medicaid services available virtually. Reimbursement for telemedicine and telehealth averaged less than $800,000 per month in 2019. By April 2020, Medicaid payment for virtual services jumped to $43 million, and averaged more than $37 million monthly throughout 2020.


Data Driven: Medicaid’s Inspector General Focuses on Fraud Prevention, Not Just Prosecution - 09/06/2021

Since her appointment in 2018, Texas Health and Human Services Inspector General Sylvia Hernandez Kauffman has homed in on using data analytics not only to prosecute fraud, waste, and abuse within the Medicaid program, but also to prevent it from happening in the first place. Texas Medicine spoke to Ms. Kauffman about what appears to be a shift in tone from this department as it also focuses on using the data it collects to educate physicians and other health care professionals on common billing mistakes.


Help Louisiana Medicaid Patients Affected by Hurricane Ida - 09/02/2021

If you’d like to lend medical services to people from Louisiana affected by Hurricane Ida, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has released information on how Texas physicians can help Louisiana Medicaid recipients.


GME Momentum: Preserving Texas' Steady Progress in Building Residency Positions - 08/27/2021

TMA fights state budget cuts to preserve Texas’ steady progress in building residency positions.


TTUHSC, Texas A&M Receive Awards to Strengthen Rural Telehealth - 08/23/2021

Two Texas universities were among 36 award recipients nationwide that collectively received more than $19 million from the Biden-Harris administration to strengthen telehealth services in rural and underserved areas.


Update: TMB Extends Emergency Telemedicine Pain Script Waiver - 08/02/2021

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) extended until June 30 its emergency waiver permitting refills of certain controlled substance prescriptions to treat patients with chronic pain who recently saw their doctor in person or via telemedicine.


Keeping the Safety Net Open: Restoring the 1115 Medicaid Waiver - 08/02/2021

After CMS revokes extension of 1115 waiver, TMA lobbies for a broader, better version.


Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Deadline Coming Up - 07/28/2021

Participants in the Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive/Promoting Interoperability (PI) program have one month from today to attest to meeting the program requirements – but don’t wait until the last minute.


Feds Distribute Grant to Boost Vaccine Confidence in Rural Texas - 07/28/2021

Texas rural health clinics are receiving more than $7 million out of nearly $100 million the Biden-Harris administration is distributing to rural clinics nationwide to support COVID-19 vaccination outreach.