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Feds Approve Texas’ Request for COVID-19 Medicaid Waiver - 03/31/2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 30 approved Texas’ request to waive certain Medicaid regulatory requirements to help physicians and other health care professionals more effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Census Undercount Could Stifle Texas’ Health Services, Doctors Say - 03/11/2020

Texas physicians are urging patients to answer the upcoming U.S. Census to ensure the state won’t lose billions of dollars’ worth of health and human services funding – a loss that could harm the patients themselves.


Physicians Needed for Medicaid Managed Care Advisory Panel - 03/03/2020

March 13 is the new deadline to get your application to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission if you want to serve on its State Medicaid Managed Care Advisory Committee. The panel advises the commission on Medicaid managed care operations statewide.


Medicaid Grant Could Pay for Your HIE Connection - 02/12/2020

Have you or your practice been considering connecting your electronic health record (EHR) to a health information exchange (HIE), but keep getting hung up by the cost? Well, here’s some good news. Three public HIEs recently were awarded contracts for a Medicaid grant that could pay for you to connect to their exchanges.


Proposed Medicaid Rule Would Severely Restrict Services, Medicine Argues - 02/03/2020

A proposed federal rule that would restrict how states fund their share of Medicaid would cause serious cuts in services, particularly for children, pregnant women, the elderly, and the disabled. That is the message the Texas Medical Association and multiple state and specialty medical societies have delivered to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.


Federal Funding for Women’s Health Services in Texas Restored - 01/24/2020

Texas will again receive matching federal funds for women’s health services through a Medicaid 1115 waiver Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday. Under the agreement, Texas will receive about $350 million from Washington over the next five years to cover the vast majority of costs for its Healthy Texas Women program.


Help Medicaid Patients Keep Appointments With Free Rides - 12/11/2019

If your Medicaid patient has trouble keeping his or her appointments with your office due to lack of transportation or gas money, be sure the patient knows how to seek help from Medicaid.


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.


More Funds for Medicaid, Women’s Health Needed, TMA Tells HHSC - 12/02/2019

Bolstering Medicaid and enhancing women’s health services are once again on the Texas Medical Association’s agenda as it makes recommendations to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for the agency’s 2022-23 budget requests.


Recertification Required for Healthy Texas Women Program - 10/28/2019

If you provide health care services through the Healthy Texas Women (HTW) program, or if you want to begin providing HTW services, the annual recertification period is just around the corner.


Prevention of Opioid Abuse Through Education - 10/15/2019

HB 405 was written to require collaborative efforts and involve many stakeholders who are involved in the health and well-being of mothers and infants across our state. This is the best way to ensure that as many women as possible hear about NAS and its harmful outcomes. Creating more awareness of what causes NAS and potential impacts of the condition will only help our state become a better place for all mothers and babies. HB 405 would help bring needed attention and resources to help educate our state on NAS.


Texas Continues to Lead Nation in Uninsured Adults and Kids - 09/30/2019

As of 2018, 11.2% of Texas children younger than 19 were uninsured, up from 10.7% in 2017, according to data the Census Bureau released last week. All told, Texas has led the nation in uninsured residents over the past two years, Census data show.


Tying Immigration to Medicaid Foolish, TMA President Says - 08/20/2019

The Trump Administration's new rule seeking to limit access to green cards for immigrants who receive Medicaid and other government benefits will discourage people from seeing their physicians, worsening medical problems and harming public health, says Texas Medical Association President David C. Fleeger, MD.


Medicaid: Reforms, But No Raise - 08/02/2019

Medicine didn’t get everything it needed from lawmakers for Medicaid, including TMA’s biggest and boldest ask of the 2019 session. Still, progress TMA achieved on managed care reform and other facets of Medicaid will advance physicians’ efforts to care for the most vulnerable Texans.


Improving Birth Outcomes by Designating Facility Levels of Care - 05/07/2019

The neonatal and maternal designation standards are new. It takes time – and patience — to find the right balance. As the state and stakeholders navigate the process, we urge lawmakers to stay focused on the original purpose of establishing neonatal and maternal levels of care in the first place – to provide a statewide system that promotes safe, high-quality, medically appropriate care to improve birth outcomes for mothers and babies.


Allow Pregnant Moms to Take Their Kids to Medical Appointments - 04/30/2019

Prenatal and postpartum care are vital to the health and well-being of mothers and babies, yet transportation is a barrier for many of our most “at-risk” patients and their babies. This barrier leads to missed appointments, which is associated with increased medical costs for patients, disruption of patient care and patient-physician relationships, delayed care, and increased emergency room visits. HB 25 is an attempt to address this problem by creating a pilot program that would streamline nonemergent medical transportation services in Medicaid.


Include Physicians on Long-Term Care Facilities Council - 04/09/2019

TMA strongly supports SB 1519 as it will address Texas’ growing need for best practices in dispute resolution and Medicaid quality-based payment systems in long-term care. However, we urge the chair and this committee to consider two additions to the long-term care council that will strengthen its ability to address medical and infectious disease concerns


Strengthen Medicaid MCO Oversight and Improve Access to Care - 04/02/2019

Over the past six months, leaders from TMA, the Texas Hospital Association, Texas Association of Health Plans, and Texas Association of Community Health Plans have met monthly to identify opportunities to reform Medicaid. While we do not always sing Kumbaya, we have developed a better understanding of the root causes of many of problems facing the program. And many problems are much more complex than we first realized, such as simplifying Medicaid prior authorizations.


Physicians to Return to Pack Capitol for “First Tuesdays” - 03/28/2019

Hundreds of Texas Medical Association (TMA) lab coat-clad Texas physicians and medical students, and TMA Alliance members will fill the Capitol for First Tuesdays at the Capitol advocacy day on April 2.


Children Eligible for Medicaid Need Continuous Coverage - 03/11/2019

Texas is a state that values fairness. In 2007, lawmakers adopted 12 months’ continuous coverage as a best practice for children in CHIP. It is time to provide working parents of children enrolled in Medicaid the same treatment.


More Physicians to Flood Capitol on March “First Tuesdays” Advocacy Day - 03/09/2019

Building on the great turnout and success of the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) initial First Tuesdays at the Capitol advocacy day in February, TMA expects about twice the attendance for the March “white-coat invasion.” As many as 400 lab coat-clad Texas physicians and medical students, and TMA Alliance members will fill the Capitol to urge legislators to support good patient care on March 5. They will dedicate the TMA building to TMA Executive Vice President and CEO Louis J. Goodman, PhD, who is retiring, and some will attend a Tobacco-21 news conference.


Maintain Level of Care Standards for Neonatal and Maternal Hospitals - 03/08/2019

The neonatal and maternal designation standards are new. It takes time – and patience – to find the right balance. As the state and stakeholders navigate the process, we urge lawmakers to stay focused on the original purpose of establishing neonatal and maternal levels of care in the first place – to provide a statewide system that promotes safe, high-quality, medically appropriate care to improve birth outcomes for mothers and babies.


Urgent: Action Needed Today To Secure $500 Million For Medicaid - 03/08/2019

On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee will consider amendments, known as “riders,” to its draft state budget for 2020-21. Your state representative serves on the Appropriations Committee. Please contact your representative today and ask him or her to vote to adopt “the Sheffield rider in Article 11” to increase Medicaid rates.


Protect the Reproductive Health of Texas’ Young Women - 03/06/2019

We know a variety of socioeconomic and health risks are associated with unplanned pregnancies of our young patients. With parental consent, reducing barriers to contraception – including long-acting reversible contraceptives – helps guarantee fewer unplanned pregnancies and associated health risks and fewer abortions, and more education and greater economic opportunities for our patients.


TMA Pushes Back Against Planned Vaccine Payment Cuts - 02/12/2019

As the influenza virus continues to spread statewide, the Texas Medical Association and other specialty societies have taken a stand against a plan to cut by almost 36 percent payments to physicians who administer a flu vaccine in their offices.