Legislative Hotline: Telemedicine Bill Up for Vote Today - 04/24/2019

Expanding access and payment for telemedicine services is a Texas Medical Association priority this session, and a bill that would improve physicians’ ability to serve their own patients electronically is making steady progress.

Section 8: Boost Access to Care - 03/07/2019

 In a rural Texas town where one-third of the patients admitted to the local hospital have no insurance, Athens family physician Douglas Curran, MD, does all he can to keep women like Rose (not her real name) out of the hospital.  

Telemedicine Can Help Expand Access to Health Care - 02/11/2019

If we are to save critical access hospitals in Texas for those who desperately need them, we must do better at supporting those who keep people out of the hospital with telemedicine policies that do not handcuff contracted physicians. To be clear, I would be delighted if the payers would pay a covered service delivered via telemedicine with parity, but I would be satisfied if payers simply allowed physicians to explore telemedicine options without risking their contract and negatively impacting their entire panel of patients.

TMA Pushes to Increase Telemedicine Use in Medicaid - 02/08/2019

It’s time for Texas to hit the accelerator on fostering more telemedicine use in Medicaid, the Texas Medical Association and several other organizations are telling the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Q&A: Thomas Kim, MD, Internist, Psychiatrist, Telehealth Advocate - 12/07/2018

Thomas Kim, MD, is an avid user and advocate of telehealth, and the Austinite regularly shares his expertise and experience with fellow physicians and state lawmakers. “If you recognize telehealth as a skill to be mastered, you can apply it to most any population you want,” he said.

Webinar Can Help You Clear Medicaid Telemedicine Static - 10/12/2018

Do you understand telemedicine in Texas, particularly when treating Medicaid patients? If not, you might want to register for a live, free webinar on telemedicine and telehealth services scheduled for the end of October.

Key Date on the Way: Medicaid Telemedicine Benefit Updates - 09/27/2018

Along with patients presenting via remote video, doctors using telemedicine for Medicaid encounters should have Oct. 1 on their radar screens. That’s when Texas Medicaid’s updated benefit policy language on telemedicine and telehealth for managed care organizations takes effect.

White Paper Has the 411 on Telemedicine - 07/31/2018

TMA's new white paper on telemedicine in Texas outlines the legal guidelines for providing care via telemedicine and additional requirements physicians should consider.

TMA to AMA: Work to Open E-prescribing For Psychiatrists - 06/08/2018

The Texas Medical Association will try to persuade the American Medical Association to adopt policy to let psychiatrists e-prescribe medications when a telemedicine relationship has been established.

Texas Laws and Regulations Relating to Telemedicine - 05/15/2018

The 85th Texas Legislature (2017) passed Senate Bill 1107, a bill that marks a significant shift in how physicians may provide telemedicine in Texas. This document describes the new Texas legal and regulatory requirements that apply to a physician providing telemedicine medical services.

Telemedicine Bill Would Uphold Good Patient-Physician Relationship - 04/17/2018

This bill represents more than a year of collaborative effort by stakeholders from professional associations, industry groups, health systems, and others. This coming together of groups from all corners of health care demonstrates an agreement in what telemedicine is and, by extension, is not.

New Law Shapes the Future of Telemedicine in Texas - 04/17/2018

Texas physicians and telehealth providers are now playing by the same rules to treat patients by phone, computer, and other new technologies — the same as when physicians see patients face-to-face in a traditional doctor’s office visit. Senate Bill 1107, passed this session by the Texas Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in late May, clarifies the framework to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients remotely via telecommunication technology.

Citing Telemedicine Law, FTC Drops TMB Antitrust Probe - 04/17/2018

Following the passage of TMA-supported legislation governing telemedicine in Texas, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has closed an investigation into whether the Texas Medical Board (TMB) violated antitrust law, FTC said in a release.

Dallas: Your Telemedicine Questions Answered - 02/23/2018

TMA's new seminar will help answer your questions on Texas’ new law on telemedicine and how you can implement it in your practice.

Fort Worth: Your Telemedicine Questions Answered - 02/22/2018

TMA's new seminar will help answer your questions on Texas’ new law on telemedicine and how you can implement it in your practice.

Last Chance: Telemedicine Seminar in El Paso Tomorrow - 02/14/2018

To help you make the most of telemedicine, the Texas Medical Association presents an in-depth seminar Feb. 15 in El Paso.

Got Questions About Billing Telemedicine Visits? - 02/09/2018

If you want a deeper look at how you can implement and offer telemedicine services in your practice, check out TMA’s new half-day seminar.

San Antonio: You Have Telemedicine Questions - 02/06/2018

TMA’s new seminar, TELEMEDICINE: How to Implement Virtual Care and e-Visits in Your Practice, can provide answers to your questions, and many others.

Improving Health in Hard-to-Reach Communities - 01/25/2018

The health impact pyramid offers a framework for considering the relative significance of socioeconomic determinants of health and for prioritizing interventions that may be effective in improving health outcomes in hard-to-reach and rural populations. Barriers to health care delivery in rural settings are outlined with examples provided. Demonstration projects in East and West Texas are reviewed. Those programs reach unique populations such as agricultural and migrant workers and those with mental illness by using innovative approaches, such as the use of specially trained community health workers and telehealth and telemedicine. Having a health impact on hard-to-reach groups and rural populations is largely a function of overcoming numerous barriers. Adopting a population health approach that engages the community in overcoming those barriers is likely to be more effective in producing improved health outcomes.

Telemedicine Benefits to Change for Texas Medicaid in 2018 - 12/15/2017

Just as throwing a stone creates waves throughout a pond, Texas' new law on telemedicine services is causing ripples among the state’s health plans, including Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs).

Medicare Adds Telemedicine Codes - 11/08/2017

The newly adopted 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule has a few coding additions and changes that boost telemedicine services for Medicare patients.

Medicine's Bills Pick Up Speed - 07/06/2017

With roughly six weeks to go in the Texas Legislature, lawmakers near the finish line in drafting a state budget for the next two years with significant improvements.

Telehealth: A Skill to be Mastered and a System to Be Optimized - 03/08/2017

Dr. Kim presents four areas to demonstrate opportunities for our elected officials to support and encourage the continued growth and maturation of telehealth in Texas. Additional challenges do remain and largely revolve around our current inability to know exactly how best to proceed. Technology innovates at a blazing pace creating devices and services with enormous potential every day. As a doctor dedicated to figuring out how best to use technology, even I am sometimes captivated by the latest and greatest. Ultimately, I tend to support care models that strike the balance between innovative improvements and the maintenance of standards of care.

Support Telemedicine-Done-Right - 02/03/2017

Generally, legislation should answer the question: How do we provide for the establishment of a new patient-physician relationship in a telemedicine environment that adheres to the standards of care in order to write a valid prescription.

TMB-Teladoc Lawsuit on Hold - 01/10/2017

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) and Teladoc are in "negotiations," as both have filed motions to put Teladoc v. TMB on hold until April 19, 2017. The previous trial date was set for February.