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Far-Reaching Implications: The Ripple Effects of Texas' Uninsured Rate - 12/04/2019

Data compiled by the Texas Medical Association and other organizations, as well as physicians’ own anecdotal experiences, show how 5 million uninsured patients in Texas become 5 million dominoes. As they fall, so do countless others representing the health of Texas: The economy and well-being of entire communities. The classmates and friends of uninsured children. And yes, the physicians who deal with the burdens of treating uninsured patients in emergency rooms and providing uncompensated care.


“Patient Privacy Must Be Protected,” TMA Says in Response to Ascension-Google Partnership - 11/14/2019

Protecting sensitive patient health information should remain a top priority as technology and health care continue to intersect, Texas Medical Association President David C. Fleeger, MD, said Thursday in response to a partnership between Google and Ascension health system.


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.


Big Noises Big Issues: Health Care Takes Center Stage One Year Out From 2020 Election - 11/11/2019

One year from now, Texas voters will hit the polls. They’ll be voting for president, for Congress, and for seats in the Texas Legislature. At the state and national levels, health coverage, Medicaid access, and prescription drug costs have gotten plenty of attention already, and they’ll get plenty more between now and the closing of the polls on Nov. 3, 2020. Here’s a look at some of the major health care debates taking center stage during the 2020 election cycle, what voters are and will be hearing about, and what Texas Medical Association policy says on those particular issues.


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.  


The Promise of Artificial Intelligence - 09/27/2019

“Prepare Yourselves, Robots Will Soon Replace Doctors in Healthcare,” screamed the headline in a 2017 Forbes magazine article. Media coverage like that makes it easy to see why artificial intelligence (AI) sounds like scary science fiction to some physicians.


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.


Q&A: SeattleMamaDoc Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, Headlines TexMed 2019 - 08/02/2019

Digital innovator, Seattle pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, will share her expertise at the May 17 opening general session at TexMed 2019 in Dallas. The title of Dr. Swanson’s talk: “How Technology is Transforming Health Care and the Physician-Patient Relationship.” Her answer to that question: “Rapidly and at a pace that’s hard for us to keep up.”


Why Strong Passwords Are Important - 05/30/2019

Passwords are an early line of defense in protecting your patient data and an easy fix to strengthening your protections.


Security Alert: Are Your Browsers Vulnerable to POODLE? - 05/30/2019

Many of us take for granted that if we’re diligent about keeping our systems current with the latest security updates, we’re protected from threats. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.


HIPAA: Are You Prepared for a Patient Complaint? - 05/30/2019

The most common type of patient HIPAA complaint stems from interpersonal relationships and conflicts. Do you know what do if you receive a patient HIPAA complaint?


HIPAA Compliance Requires Continuous Monitoring - 05/30/2019

HIPAA security compliance means not only preventing compromised protected health information but also recognizing when it happens and being able to discover what went wrong.


Closing a Loophole: Medicine Works to Clarify MOC Law - 04/17/2019

It was an important law that gave physicians new life, greatly restricting the discrimination they can face based on their maintenance of certification (MOC) status. And yet, opponents may have found a way to circumvent the 2017 legislature’s Senate Bill 1148.


Medicine’s Monthly Bullhorn: First Tuesdays at the Capitol - 03/28/2019

First Tuesdays are important not only for getting medicine’s message across in the moment, but also for building and maintaining relationships that pay dividends in the future. The Vijjeswarapus experience it all as Texas Medicine follows them on the morning of this year’s first First Tuesdays.


Section 6: Focus on Teamwork and Patient Safety - 02/13/2019

Texas needs more physicians and other health care professionals working in all parts of the state, especially in rural and border Texas.


Healthy Vision 2025’s Plan to Hold Insurance Companies Accountable for What They Sell - 02/07/2019

The Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision 2025 — released this week — seeks to draw a roadmap for how legislators can hold insurance companies accountable for the products they sell to patients.


Physician’s Emotional Tale Illustrates the Tragedy of Maternal Death - 02/07/2019

I’d never met Eugene Hunt, MD, but reached out to him last year as we were writing  Healthy Vision 2025 , the latest edition of TMA’s advocacy blueprint. A major section of the document details our legislative plans to address Texas’ alarming increase in maternal morbidity and mortality. I wanted to include the story of a physician who had been through the trauma of losing a new mother post-partum. I got a tip to call Dr. Hunt.


Healthy Vision 2025’s Plan to Ensure White Coats, Not Gray Suits, Practice Medicine - 02/04/2019

The Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision 2025 – released last week – draws a roadmap for how legislators can ensure that physicians are the ones treating their patients, not analysts or the finance department.


Section 1: Let Doctors Be Doctors - 02/01/2019

Stretched to the Limit: There came a moment when all the clicking on boxes, filling out forms, and waiting on hold was just too much for Houston internist Lisa Ehrlich, MD. The time and energy spent on all of these seemingly endless tasks meant she could not give nearly enough to her patients.


Section 5: Make Motherhood Safe - 01/30/2019

It Didn’t Have to Be Eugene Hunt, MD, estimates he’s attended the delivery of thousands  ¾ “three, four, five thousand?”  ¾ of infants in his 35 years of practice as a Dallas obstetrician. Two “sad, sad, sad” cases stick in his mind.


Section 3: Hold Health Insurers Accountable - 01/30/2019

Beaumont anesthesiologist Ray Callas, MD, is tired of beating his head against the wall trying to get “in-network” with health insurance companies. And he’s tired of the surprise bills his patients receive when he can’t get in.  


Section 2: Protect Our Liability Reforms - 01/30/2019

Texas’ 2003 medical liability reforms swiftly ended an epidemic of lawsuit abuse, brought thousands of sorely needed new physicians to Texas, and encouraged the state’s shell-shocked physicians to return to caring for patients with high-risk diseases and injuries.


President's Message - 01/16/2019

As we enter 2019, patient care in Texas is at a critical crossroads. Let us choose the right path forward. For starters, Texas still ranks 41st nationally in physicians per 100,000 population. Not enough of our health care dollars are going to health care. Corporations are pressing harder to dictate patient care decisions. Insurance company abuses create unnecessary barriers to patient care. Unqualified providers are trying to make dangerous medical decisions. Behavioral health and public health need much more of our attention. Too much of our state’s population is uninsured. Infant and maternal mortality rates are alarming. We are losing our state's medical-school-trained doctors to residency programs in other states. And Medicare and Medicaid payments often don’t even cover the cost of patient care.


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.