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Reminder: Some Cures Act Reporting Provisions Required This Year - 11/24/2020

Although physicians have been given more time to comply with certain federal data-sharing provisions under the 21st Century Cures Act, other compliance regulations have not been delayed.


Feds Delay Enforcement of Data-Sharing Rules - 11/18/2020

Physicians will have more time to comply with federal rules aimed at improving data-sharing after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday it will delayenforcement of certain provisions from Nov. 2 to April 5, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


See Blue Cross Referral Chart, Colonoscopy Coding Tips - 10/14/2020

As a result of “feedback from the provider community,” Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has removed 111 procedure codes from its preauthorization requirements related to additional care categories of codes.


Upgraded Free Tool Helps With HIPAA Compliance - 10/12/2020

If you participate in the Medicare Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), you must complete your security risk assessment by Dec. 31. An upgraded tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services might make the assessment easier.


TMA Member Benefits: Future Proof - 09/26/2020

TMA Member Benefits: Future Proof In the past year, cyberattacks on healthcare facilities have increased by 35%. The cost of a breach can average of $402 per compromised record, plus fines. TMA makes robust security for your practice easy through education and services designed to manage the worst technology risks.


Text Orders Securely and Within Guidelines - 05/13/2020

The Joint Commission now says it’s OK to text orders, with certain requirements. If you do send orders via text messaging, be sure to establish guidelines in writing in your practice’s policies and procedures manual.


The Legacy of ARIES: Outdated Technology Interferes with HIV/AIDS Treatment - 02/28/2020

Texas developed the AIDS Regional Information and Evaluation System in the early 1990s to administer federal grants from the then-new Ryan White program, which provides HIV- and AIDS-related health services for patients who can’t get health care coverage or financial resources any other way. Physicians say the reservoir of medical data can be valuable, and without it, they can’t get the funds they need to treat these patients. But the outdated reporting system – which still operates on 1990s technology – causes serious headaches and detracts from patient care.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.


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 Security: What Risks Are Realistic for Your Practice? - 05/30/2019

Here are some of the factors practices should consider when assessing the security of their patients’ electronic protected health information.


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.


HIPAA Security Rule: Move It to Top of Mind - 05/30/2019

Pilot audit reports suggest a good place to start your HIPAA security compliance is with a careful reading of the HIPAA Security Rule, and training.


Secure Patients’ Protected Health Information - Senate Bill 944 - 03/26/2019

Like the authors of this legislation, TMA is an ardent supporter of protecting patient privacy. TMA believes that with the following recommendations, Senate Bill 944 will provide parity and consistency in current statute regarding a physician’s absolute requirements to protect a Texan’s confidential, protected health information (PHI) under state and federal privacy laws, particularly given the potential that under House Bill 2189 more covered entities (although not fully governmental entities) could fall under the purview of Chapter 552.


Secure Patients’ Protected Health Information - 03/20/2019

TMA believes that with the following recommendations, House Bill 2191 will provide parity and consistency in current statute regarding a physician’s absolute requirements to protect a Texan’s confidential, protected health information (PHI) under state and federal privacy laws, particularly given the potential that under House Bill 2189 more covered entities (although not fully governmental entities) could fall under the purview of Chapter 552.


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.


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.   


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.


TMA Supports Privacy Law Clarification on Training Requirements - 04/26/2018

The 2011 Texas Legislature passed House Bill 300, with TMA’s support. We recognize the leadership of Chair Nelson, who has been involved with every privacy bill this state has passed, including House Bill 300 sponsored by the chair of House Public Health Committee, Rep. Lois Kolkhorst. HB 300 further strengthened the state law protecting the privacy of Texans’ medical records. That law, however, unintentionally created some questions for physician practices in their attempt to comply fully with the new training requirements.