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TDI Debuts Network Adequacy Waiver Hearings - 05/24/2024

Physicians soon may hear from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) regarding public hearings for health plans seeking a network adequacy waiver. The hearings are required under a new state law championed by TMA to address inadequate networks and an overused waiver process. Read more.

New Medicare Advantage Rules Aim to Improve Access, Equity - 05/15/2024

 Medicare Advantage enrollees soon may benefit from expanded access to outpatient behavioral health care and more equitable prior authorization policies.  

TMB Proposed Rules on Abortion Ban Exceptions Invite TMA Opposition - 05/14/2024

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) recently released proposed rules intended to clarify exceptions to the state’s overlapping abortion laws. But TMA argues the proposal could exacerbate physician confusion, administrative burden on practices, and patient care delays. Read more.

New Federal Rules Limit Short-Term Insurance Plans, Enhance Protections - 04/17/2024

Following advocacy by the Texas Medical Association, the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury recently issued final rules that strengthen consumer protections related to short term, limited duration insurance.

TMA Spotlights Access Threats Posed by No Surprises Act to House Committee - 04/17/2024

Following a recent congressional field hearing on emergency care in rural and underserved communities, the Texas Medical Association emphasized in written comments how federal regulators’ flawed implementation of the No Surprises Act has exacerbated access challenges.

TMA Pushes for Prior Authorization Limits, Clarity - 04/16/2024

After hearing story after story of delays and denials, the Texas Medical Association is pushing the Texas Legislature to sign off on measures that would significantly curb insurers’ ability to require prior authorization on needed care, as well as clarify for both physicians and patients what it means when prior authorization is required.

Cigna Launches Digital Newsroom for Payer Updates - 04/12/2024

Physicians and practice staff looking for updates from one of Texas’ major payers, Cigna Healthcare, can now refer to the company’s new digital newsroom.

Seeking Balance: TMA Opposes Feds' Implementation of the No Surprises Act - 04/09/2024

The Texas Medical Association supported the patient protections in the federal No Surprises Act but also knew from the beginning that the law's payment arbitration provisions were flawed and could give insurers an advantage.

RICO Settlements: TMA's Leadership Against Payer Abuses Resulted in Relief, Reform - 04/09/2024

Back in 2001, the Texas Medical Association and the other plaintiffs alleged the nation’s major health plans had conspired to delay and reduce payments to clinicians and hospitals; the resulting lawsuits, brought under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), represented a watershed moment in TMA history.

TMA Moment in Time: Texas' First PPO Rules - 04/09/2024

TMA fought to ensure fair regulation of PPOs, which now dominate the health plan market.

TMA to IRS: Direct Primary Care, Health Care-Sharing Ministries Aren’t Insurance - 04/05/2024

The Texas Medical Association is urging the IRS to reconsider a proposed rule that would classify direct primary care (DPC) arrangements and health care-sharing ministries (HSMs) as insurance.

TMA Sues Feds Over Unfair Rule for Surprise Billing Law - 03/22/2024

The Texas Medical Association filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Tyler, Texas, after the Biden administration failed to follow clear direction from Congress about how to implement the dispute resolution process set forth in the No Surprises Act, legislation that was passed in 2020 to protect patients from surprise medical bills.

TDI Proposed Rules for State Network Adequacy Law Raise Strong Concerns - 03/20/2024

After securing network adequacy reform during the 2023 regular state legislative session, the Texas Medical Association has shifted its focus to ensuring the Texas Department of Insurance’s network adequacy rules conform to the plain language and intent of the law.

Power Data: Texas' Claims Database Will Help Clarify Care Costs - 03/15/2024

Texas is building an all-payer claims database, which will provide a clearer view of opaque health care costs.

Feds Capitulate to Some of TMA’s NSA Regulatory Challenges Amid Appeal - 03/06/2024

Although federal regulators are appealing a recent court ruling in one of the Texas Medical Association’s four lawsuits regarding their implementation of the No Surprises Act, TMA already can declare a partial victory – via footnote.

Exceptional Circumstances: TMA Advocates “Legislative Clarity” Amid State Abortion Bans - 03/05/2024

TMA advocates “legislative clarity” amid state abortion bans.

New Federal IDR Data Highlight Importance of Ongoing TMA Advocacy - 03/05/2024

Health professionals and facilities are prevailing in most out-of-network payment disputes resolved under the federal No Surprises Act, but the implementation of the law remains flawed, as indicated by a significant backlog of unresolved disputes and other issues.

Extensions to End for Dispute Resolution Process Under No Surprises Act - 03/01/2024

After courtroom advocacy by the Texas Medical Association, physicians seeking to resolve out-of-network billing disputes under the No Surprises Act (NSA) received extensions of certain deadlines within the federal independent dispute resolution process. However, all currently applicable extensions will end March 14.

Feds Propose Dispute Resolution Changes Under No Surprises Act - 01/22/2024

Heeding physician concerns about logistics and fairness, federal regulators recently proposed a series of changes to the independent dispute resolution process through which clinicians can dispute health plans’ initial payment for certain out-of-network care under the No Surprises Act.

Feds Extend Dispute Resolution Timelines Under No Surprises Act - 12/08/2023

As a byproduct of ongoing advocacy by the Texas Medical Association, physicians seeking to resolve out-of-network billing disputes under the flawed No Surprises Act may receive certain extensions through mid-January.

Misdirected: Health Plan Directories See Damaging Gaps Awaiting Final Rules - 12/04/2023

Health plan directories see damaging gaps while awaiting No Surprises Act final directory rules – and accountability.

Comprehensive Prior Authorization Reforms Needed, Medicine Tells Feds - 11/30/2023

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seeks ways to relieve the burdens of prior authorization on health care, it should not rely solely on automation of electronic health records. Instead, CMS should seek comprehensive reforms that include transparent PA requirements and protections of continuity of care as well as automation, the Texas Medical Association, American Medical Association, and a host of other medical societies wrote in a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma last week.

No Surprises Act Arbitrations Resume for Some Claims - 10/11/2023

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has reopened the independent dispute resolution portal for new single and bundled – but not batched – claims, following decisions in TMA’s third and fourth lawsuits. The agency also announced certain deadline and enforcement extensions.

U.S. House Committee Spotlights TMA Leadership on Surprise-Billing Rules - 10/11/2023

As members of the U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means delved into the flawed implementation of the federal No Surprises Act in a recent hearing, discussion – and commendation – turned several times to the Texas Medical Association’s leadership on the topic.

TMA Wins Two More Surprise Billing Lawsuits; CMS Suspends Arbitrations - 10/03/2023

Marking a fourth victory for the Texas Medical Association in as many lawsuits, a court on Aug. 24 struck down a large portion of the regulations setting forth a methodology insurers use to calculate the qualifying payment amount, or QPA, used in surprise-billing disputes – part of a series of federal rules TMA has long argued skew the arbitration process in insurers’ favor.