Quality of Care

The Customer Is Always Right? Patient-Reported Outcome Measures Have Fans and Detractors - 01/26/2021

For too long, some doctors say measures of a physician’s quality of care have been about process: the average length of a patient stay, for example, or a patient’s readmission rate. The bottom line is results, and that’s why a shift to patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures is necessary. However, even proponents of PRO measures note that collecting the information from patients for those metrics places burdens on physicians, and some remain skeptical of bonuses and penalties tied to a measure that derives from a subjective factor: what patients think.


Troubling Trend: Texas’ 2018 QPP Data Contains More Bad Signs - 01/05/2021

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services continues to churn out glowing data annually on its Quality Payment Program (QPP), a full picture of the program’s impact eludes the agency’s reporting. According to the Texas Medical Association’s analysis of state-level data in the 2018 QPP Experience Report, it’s clear that small practices continue to feel most of the program’s punitive pressures.


TMA Calls Governor’s Plan “Prudent and Careful” - 04/27/2020

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement that Texas hospitals now need to reserve only 15% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients.


Texas Physicians Push to Improve Health Care for LGBTQ Patients - 09/03/2019

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) patients face unique barriers that put them at greater risk for mental and physical health problems. Often, their health disparities result from a lack of family support, public prejudice, and fear of the health care system. Texas physicians have launched a new workgroup and are adapting their practices to treat this underserved population.


Quality Care Pilot Takes Flight - 09/03/2019

How one children's clinic uses a targeted program to dramatically improve care, lower costs.


Physician, Hospital Groups Distribute Urgent Measles Advisory - 08/06/2019

Texas doctors and hospitals have a new tool to fight the ever-increasing measles threat, as the number of people sickened by the infectious yet preventable disease climbs. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and Texas Hospital Association (THA) have created a new resource to help physicians, hospitals, and other health care professionals combat the highly contagious, yet entirely preventable, respiratory illness.


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.


Learn From the Experts - 09/26/2018

The Texas Quality Summit, scheduled for November 18-19 and hosted by the Texas Medical Association and the American College of Medical Quality, will give physicians the tools they need to prosper in a value-based care environment.


Help Patients Make Wise Choices About Treatment Options - 04/20/2018

Tools are emerging to help physicians overcome the time constraints that can preempt discussions with patients.


TMF Offers Resources to Navigate CMS Requirements - 04/20/2018

TMF has launched three physician-focused networks designed to save time, improve patient care, and reduce costs associated with meeting these requirements. These programs, focused on immunizations, behavioral health and value-based improvements, are designed to help physicians benefit from—and not be penalized by—these mandates.


QPP Made Simple(r) - 04/20/2018

The Physicians Advocacy Institute is helping doctors understand the MACRA Quality Payment Program (QPP) by launching an online resource center with the help of the Texas Medical Association, other state medical societies, and health care consulting firm Healthsperien.


Quality Improvement: Practice Awards and Free Webinars - 04/20/2018

TMA, the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association (TOMA), and the TMF Health Quality Institute are collaborating again to provide the Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award program. The award formally recognizes physician practices for their dedication and commitment to providing high-quality patient care and improving outcomes.


Tips on How to Report Data on Quality Measures for MACRA - 04/19/2018

Tips from TMA to help you determine which reporting mechanism will best fit your practice for the first Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance period in 2017.


Tell Your Patients What They Want to Know - 04/19/2018

Patients want their doctor to provide health-related information and often feel they are not getting enough information. Choosing Wisely® can help you bridge the gap with guidelines from medical specialty societies.


Final MACRA Rule Includes Real Improvements - 04/19/2018

Maybe the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) isn’t a cold, faceless bureaucracy after all. In the wake of this summer’s withering criticism of the agency’s draft rule to implement Medicare’s new quality payment programs, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt pledged that he and his staff would listen to physicians’ real concerns about the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). CMS published the final rule on Oct. 14, and, at first blush, the 2,398-page document appears to include some significant improvements for physicians and patients. TMA suggested many of those improvements in the 50 recommendations we submitted to CMS in our formal comment letter on the draft rule.


Getting Patients to Take Their Meds - 04/19/2018

Patients need to take the medicines you prescribe so they can get well or feel better. New payment models reward you when they do. Here are some tips for helping patients stay with their medication regimen.


Survey Says … - 04/19/2018

Texas Medical Association leaders say physicians should take the time now to understand the impact of patient satisfaction and evaluate themselves before payers or others do it for them. Already Medicare ties a portion of hospital pay to patient satisfaction measures, and similar mandates are beginning to hit physicians.


Hard Evidence - 04/19/2018

The Texas Medical Association is collaborating with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Effective Health Care Program to put free, evidence-based resources directly into physicians' and patients' hands. TMA is a member of the program's National Partnership Network, and the tools are the latest in a suite of quality improvement resources the association's Council on Health Care Quality has developed or collaborated on with other organizations.


Driving Quality - 04/19/2018

Private payers aren't the only ones eyeing quality-based payment reform to control costs while improving patients' health. Now that Texas Medicaid has moved into managed care almost completely, the state is intent on similar strategies. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission won a $3 million federal grant to design innovative delivery and payment systems. It hopes to win as much as $50 million to later test the models under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services State Innovation Models initiative. From accountable care organizations and medical homes to health information technology and bundled payments, the state is looking to physicians, health plans, and others to figure out what it takes to successfully implement such models for Medicaid patients across the multiple payers and providers that manage them.


Investing in Prevention - 04/19/2018

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires most private health insurance plans and Medicare to cover certain U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) services without patients sharing costs. The services are in four categories: evidence-based screenings, counseling, routine immunizations, and preventive services for women and children. Some physicians may already perform those services for their patients but miss out on additional payment; others may not realize the range of preventive services that would benefit patients. Still others may be unsure of the fiscal sustainability of providing the services. To help physicians make those assessments, the Texas Medical Association Council on Health Care Quality has developed 36 interactive "prevention calculators" encompassing all of the billing codes associated with each USPSTF guideline.


Penalties Add Up - 04/19/2018

Putting off Medicare's quality reporting initiatives could take a financial toll on physicians as many of the current incentives shift to penalties over the next couple of years. Those programs include the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), e-prescribing, meaningful use of electronic health records, and, eventually, a value-based modifier that will automatically adjust physicians' Medicare payments based in part on PQRS performance.


Recognition and Reward - 04/19/2018

Physicians are dedicated to improving the health of their patients, but they want to be compensated for it. Health plans and employers want to see costs come down alongside quality improvements. The TMA House of Delegates voted to support best-practice models like the Bridges to Excellence (BTE) program to help physicians prepare for a value-based care system that will start paying them based on quality measures. BTE measures the quality of care delivered by physicians and other clinicians. Many payers have adopted the program to financially reward those who earn BTE recognition. The program emphasizes managing patients with chronic conditions and offers recognition in more than a dozen different areas, including diabetes, cardiac care, depression, and medical home readiness. 


Learn About Choosing Wisely With Free CME - 04/19/2018

Are you talking to your patients about choosing wisely?  Choosing Wisely® is an initiative that supports physicians’ efforts to avoid unnecessary tests and procedures by delivering the right care at the right time.


Hand in Hand - 04/19/2018

Fifteen years after the Institute of Medicine issued its 1999 sentinel patient safety report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, physicians agree there's more work ahead. But they also say heightened awareness of the issue has sparked progress thanks to collaborative quality improvement efforts among systems, physicians, and patients, and a number of patient safety tools that have emerged as a result.