Related Stories

Go Paperless With UHC Document Vault - 09/25/2020

Looking for ways to reduce the amount of paper your practice uses? One way is to digitally receive claim and prior authorization letters for UnitedHealthcare commercial and Medicare patients through UHC’s Document Vault, rather than by mail.


Cost of Newborn Screening Kits has Increased - 09/25/2020

Beginning Jan. 1, the cost of each Texas Newborn Screening Program kit will increase from $55.24 to $60.58 to accommodate the inclusion of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) screening, which was added this summer.


Charging Concierge Fees to BCBSTX Patients - 09/23/2020

Although Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) places limits on the additional fees participating network physicians can charge BCBSTX patients, some are allowed when you provide concierge services.


Ambetter: New Required Field on CMS-1500 Claim Form - 09/23/2020

Ambetter from Superior HealthPlan, a plan available on the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange, has changed the status of box 18 on the CMS-1500 claim form from a conditional/optional field to a required one, effective July 1.


Turn to TMA to Resolve Prompt-Pay Issues - 09/23/2020

If you or your practice is dealing with prompt-pay or other health plan problems, the Texas Medical Association can help resolve those issues through TMA’s Reimbursement Review and Resolution Service. The Texas Department of Insurance last week released a bulletin reminding plans that a portion of prompt-pay penalties must be paid to the state.


Are You Eligible for “Expedited Credentialing?” - 09/23/2020

If you’re completing health plan credentialing, “expedited credentialing” might apply to you. And if it applies, that could be good for you and your practice. But how do you know if it does?


Didn’t Get Your 5% APM Incentive Payment? Take Action by Nov. 13 - 09/23/2020

If you participated in an advanced alternative payment model (APM) under the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP), the Texas Medical Association encourages you to take action now to verify that you have received your 5% APM incentive payment for 2020.


STIs, Firearm Safety, Mental Health Among Revised Public School Curriculum Standards - 09/21/2020

Texas public school students are on track to receive more comprehensive and medically accurate instruction on multiple health-related topics.


Commentary: Health and Climate Connected - 09/02/2020

Human health is inextricably connected with the health of the environment. Our actions to reduce the threats of climate change and global warming are key to our well-being and survival.


Commentary: Follow the Evidence on Climate Impact - 09/02/2020

While the World Health Organization estimates that climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year worldwide from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress, these estimates are based on assumptions using models that have not been validated using real world, observational data.


Tell Your Patients: Census Participation Key to a Healthy Texas - 08/28/2020

The U.S. Census helps determine funding for those resources, and that is why it is of the upmost importance that each and every Texan, no matter address, immigration status, or age, respond to the 2020 U.S. Census The deadline has been cut short one month and now closes Sept. 30.


TMA to Air Pro-Vaccine Ads During Political Conventions - 08/20/2020

“Vaccines defend what matters – our health, jobs, families.” A new Texas Medical Association (TMA) ad campaign featuring that message will air during the Democratic and Republican conventions to remind Texans of the many ways vaccinations protect us.


On Pause for the Pandemic: Health Issues Sidelined Amid COVID-19 Response - 08/20/2020

Any physician can look out over the COVID-19 landscape and see important areas of health care tied to their specialty that are being downplayed or ignored as resources pour into fighting the pandemic and scared patients chose not to come to their doctors’ offices.


Texas Physicians Encourage Plasma Donations to Fight COVID-19 - 08/19/2020

Texas physicians are calling on COVID-19 coronavirus survivors to make a donation that can help others fight the infectious disease. Some former patients already have answered the call, and doctors and patients are seeing results of convalescent plasma treatments to fight COVID.


TMA to IRS: Direct Primary Care, Health Care-Sharing Ministries Aren’t Insurance - 08/19/2020

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.


Encourage Patients, Again, to Answer the U.S. Census - 08/18/2020

Physicians should encourage patients to fill out the 2020 U.S. Census, which directly affects physicians and patients. So far this year, Texas' response rate is 58.7%, below the national response rate of 63.6%.


TMA Physicians Release Tools to Navigate School Reopening - 08/17/2020

School officials and parents across Texas are consumed with a pressing issue: How to minimize the risk of reopening schools during a pandemic. To help, physicians from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) have released a comprehensive package of materials to aid with reopening schools as smoothly and safely as possible.


Texas Youth Artists: Enter TMA’s Mask Hero Art Contest - 08/14/2020

Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, and they wear all kinds of masks. Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, heroes among us are wearing masks to protect others from the potential spread of the disease. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) invites Texas youth to get creative and send their best drawing or painting of a mask-wearing hero by Aug. 24 for a chance to win a $150 gift card.


New Visitation Principles Proposed for Critical Patients During Pandemic - 08/13/2020

End-of-life patients and those with serious illnesses may soon be able to have visitors under specific recommendations, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Texas. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and several other statewide health organizations addressed the need for in-person visitations for patients in health care and long-term care facilities in a letter to the governor and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.


UnitedHealthcare Phasing Out Paper Checks - 08/03/2020

If you receive claims payments from UnitedHealthcare (UHC) in paper checks, now is the time to enroll in direct deposit. UHC says it will phase out sending paper checks for payments throughout the remainder of 2020


TMA, Local Hosts to Vaccinate Area Children This Summer - 07/24/2020

Uninsured and underinsured area children (and adults in some locations) can get free and low-cost vaccinations now and into September to prevent harmful and potentially deadly diseases. The hometown shot clinics planned for here and several other Texas communities will allow families to catch up on vaccinations missed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and help prepare kids for the return to school. The Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Be Wise – ImmunizeSM program supports efforts by local hosts to provide vaccinations.


TMA Chart Shows COVID-19 Risks for Various Activities - 07/22/2020

Texas Medical Association (TMA) physician experts recently created a chart  to help Texans make informed choices about which activities are safest to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Doctor Is In: Parents, Don’t Miss Kids’ Routine Care, Vaccinations - 07/16/2020

Across Texas and the nation, many parents are anxious about taking their children to the doctor for fear of exposing them to COVID-19, but physicians are here to offer reassurance and a reminder. While the fear is justifiable, Texas doctors advise parents that routine well visits are safe and important for their child’s health, and assure them “the doctor is in.”


The Doctor - and Lawyer - Will See You Now: Medical-Legal Partnerships - 07/15/2020

Elderly woman. Low-income. Chronic pain. Needs to see a rheumatologist. Needs physical therapy. Struggling to pay rent. Has no insurance. Has no disability coverage. As a family physician at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Austin, Sharad Kohli, MD, sees a lot of cases like this. In similar health care settings, the patient might face two bad choices: wage bureaucratic war to obtain better health care benefits or simply give up. At People’s Community Clinic, Dr. Kohli referred her to an in-house lawyer who successfully appealed her denial of disability insurance. “[The lawyer] got her a significant income, which allowed her to pay her rent and also helped her get insurance through Medicaid and Medicare,” Dr. Kohli said. “And then she was able to see the rheumatologist and the physical therapist.” This kind of success helps explain why medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) like the one at People’s Community Clinic came about in 1993 and began expanding nationally after 2001. Te...


Positive Pressure: Physicians Promote Hemorrhage Control Training - 07/10/2020

The need for improved training on hemorrhage control in emergencies has been building for decades. Physicians say it’s just as important to reach out to the community to promote hemorrhage control in the same way CPR and other life-saving methods are promoted.