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File Your MIPS Targeted Review Request by Sept. 30 - 09/18/2019

Physicians have two weeks to file a targeted review request to appeal errors in their 2018 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance feedback and 2020 Medicare payment adjustment under the Quality Payment Program (QPP).


Anybody There? Physicians Unfairly Penalized for AWOL Medicare Advantage Patients - 09/04/2019

You’ve tried and tried and tried. Phone calls, emails – nothing. A Medicare Advantage plan assigned you a patient who didn’t choose you, and the patient is driving that point home – by ignoring you. Or maybe the contact information the plan gave you is out of date, and the patient’s latest phone number or email is unknown. Either way, your as-yet-unseen patient is AWOL – and you can be penalized for it on health plans’ quality ratings, which ultimately can affect payments. New Texas Medical Association policy takes aim at the unfairness this lack of patient response can present for physicians, while opening up an opportunity for medicine to work with health plans to solve the problem.


Upgrade Your EHR Before It’s Too Late - 08/28/2019

If you participate in Medicaid and/or Medicare incentive payment programs, time is running out to upgrade to the 2015 certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT).


Put Patients Over Paperwork, TMA Tells CMS - 08/19/2019

Allow physicians to use electronic health records how they see fit, eliminate prior authorization requirements, lift the ban on physician-owned hospitals, and allow a real out-of-network option. Those are among the 15 recommendations the Texas Medical Association presented to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which is seeking to reduce administrative burdens and red tape in the Medicare program.


Unfair Playing Field? QPP Scoring May Hurt Physicians Not Hospital-Affiliated - 08/02/2019

As 2019 rolls on and physicians operate under new portions of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), many physicians may face an even bigger disadvantage — simply by virtue of not billing the vast majority of their services at a hospital.


Medicare Muzzle? New Rules May Make Physicians Reluctant to Speak Up - 08/02/2019

New Medicare rules on local coverage determinations may make physicians reluctant to speak their minds.


False Impression: Medicine Says Medicare Report Inflates Success of Quality Program - 08/02/2019

High participation, “significant strides,” overwhelming success. That was the picture the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services painted in a March report on the first year of the Quality Payment Program. But a closer look by the Texas Medical Association raises serious doubts about CMS’ numbers, transparency, and cheerleading – so much so that TMA and seven other state medical associations are asking the agency to rescind the report.


Get Paid for End-of-Life Care Discussions With Patients - 07/18/2019

Since 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has used two Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) payment codes for conversations about end-of-life treatment.


Will You Get a Medicare Bonus or Pay Cut Next Year? - 07/11/2019

 If you participated in the 2018 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under the Quality Payment Program (QPP), it’s now possible to check whether you’ll receive a Medicare payment bonus or cut next year.  Physicians should check their 2018 MIPS performance feedback and 2020 payment adjustment as soon as possible in case the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made mistakes when calculating your data, which happened last year. 


Problem With Medicare’s PECOS Being Resolved, Officials Say - 07/11/2019

A software update to Medicare’s Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) implemented last month has created problems associated with existing and new group reassignments. Because of this, data from PECOS to the Multi-Carrier System for these changes have been delayed for all Medicare Administrative Contractors.


Physicians Concerned Over State’s Inaccurate Death Reporting - 06/25/2019

Some Texas physicians are concerned that the state’s death statistics are not as accurate as they should be. Like in many states, Texas’ death reporting system feeds inconsistent information into the state’s vital statistics database. As a result, distorted death statistics inaccurately portray how people are dying, which could have negative public health implications.


Faulty Guidelines - 06/03/2019

Former Texas Medical Association President Josie Williams, MD, was tenacious in advocating that organized medicine pay zealous attention to two topics: data and guidelines. In this, she was both sage and prescient. We have done well in following her recommendations on data, but we continue to fall far short of where we need to be on guidelines.


Doctor’s Order A Must For Lab Tests - 05/29/2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is paying attention to claims for these lab services because it has found they were paid in error in 2018 by some $28 million. For routine venipuncture, medical necessity errors accounted for virtually all the improper payments. For urinalysis, it was insufficient documentation.


Use Modifiers to Override Correct Coding Initiative Edits - 05/28/2019

Correct Coding Initiative Edits Now Free on Internet


Get Awarded For Your Quality Work in 2018 - 05/23/2019

Did you submit Merit-Based Incentive Payment System data for the 2018 Quality Payment Program and feel like you deserve some kind of recognition for your hard work all year long? Apply now for the 2018-19 Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award.


Code Carefully for Bilateral Procedures - 05/02/2019

Coding for bilateral procedures can be confusing. Many payers accept CPT modifier 50 as an indicator of a bilateral procedure, but they differ in how they apply it to their coding and payment policies.


Medicine to CMS: Medicare Report Inflates Success of Quality Program - 05/01/2019

If you read the recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report on the first-year of the Quality Payment Program, you’d likely come away with the perception that the program’s launch was an overwhelming success. But a closer look by the Texas Medical Association raises serious doubts about CMS’ numbers, transparency, and cheerleading – so much so that TMA and seven other state medical associations are asking the agency to take back the report.


Make Sure These Medicare Missteps Didn’t Affect Your Claims - 04/16/2019

Because of all of the policies, edits, determinations, rules, and revisions, Medicare’s claims processing sometimes goes awry for certain codes, fees, or other specific claim elements. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reports these errors and their fixes on a regular basis.


National Specialty Societies With MACRA Information - 03/27/2019

To help you get the best information possible, TMA has identified direct links to MACRA news, resource centers, education, and advocacy from national specialty societies. Visit your specialty society online for information specific to your specialty, setting, and practice.


Security Risk Analysis for HIPAA — and Medicare/Medicaid? - 03/08/2019

Do you need to conduct a security risk analysis or review of your practice in the next 72 days?


Medicare Enrollment Application Revised - 03/04/2019

A new Medicare enrollment application form for physicians and nonphysician practitioners will go into effect May 1.


How to File a Medicare Extended Repayment Plan - 03/04/2019

  Extended repayment plans (ERPs) are an option for returning overpaid money to Medicare. Ideally, you should request an ERP immediately after receiving the initial demand letter. However, you can request an extended payment plan any time while the overpayment is outstanding. 


Watch Those Extra Fees For Medicare Patients - 03/04/2019

Watch Those Extra Fees For Medicare Patients


Use New G Codes for Medicare Therapy Claims - 03/04/2019

Starting with services dated Jan. 1, 2013, physicians have to report new, nonpayable G codes and related modifiers on Medicare claims for outpatient physical, speech, and occupational therapy.


How's Novitas Doing? - 03/04/2019

Medicare wants to know what you think of the job Novitas Solutions is doing administering the Medicare program in Texas.