News

TMA Defeats Bills to Ban Vaccine Mandates - 10/22/2021

Thanks to physician-led grassroots advocacy, the Texas Medical Association beat back bills that aimed to codify Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent executive order banning vaccine mandates. Those bills had failed to advance out of their respective chambers when the Texas Legislature adjourned from its third special session of the year on Oct. 19.


TMA White Paper: Does COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Ban Affect Your Practice? - 10/21/2021

If you run a business, any business – including a medical practice – you may be subject to Texas’ new law barring businesses from requiring customers to produce COVID-19 vaccine documentation – now known in common parlance as a “vaccine passport.”


Preorder Pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 Shots by Today - 10/20/2021

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is requesting that pediatric practitioners preorder the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by 5 pm CT today, in light of the Food and Drug Administration’s pending emergency use authorization of that vaccine for ages 5 to 11.


AMA Report: Telehealth Use Spiked Between 2018 and 2020 - 10/20/2021

The percentage of physicians using telehealth skyrocketed during a two-year period that covered the first several months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new American Medical Association report.


Congress May Extend Postpartum Medicaid Coverage to 12 Months - 10/19/2021

Federal legislation could move Texas toward one of the Texas Medical Association’s long-time goals for improving maternal health – extending Medicaid postpartum coverage from two months to a full year.


Offering Access to Patients With Limited English Proficiency - 10/19/2021

Under the Affordable Care Act and accompanying federal rules, certain medical practices must take “reasonable steps” to provide meaningful access to people with limited English proficiency (LEP). A new Texas Medical Association white paper provides members with information on their LEP obligations under the law and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rulemaking, including the most recent rules published in 2020.


Survey: Medicare Cuts Could Force Physicians to Drop Care Even Amid Pandemic - 10/19/2021

With physicians facing several Medicare payment cuts totaling nearly 10% at the start of 2022, a new Texas Medical Association member survey quantifies the drastic impact the cuts could have on access to care if Congress doesn’t act to stop the cuts.


TMA Minority Scholarships Support Diversity Among Medical Students - 10/18/2021

Do you know someone who has received early 2022 medical school acceptance? If the physician-to-be is a member of certain minority groups, the Texas Medical Association’s Minority Scholarship Program can help lessen the financial burden of attending medical school.


Survey: Health Officials Plan for Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution - 10/18/2021

As approval for a pediatric version of the COVID-19 vaccine gets underway, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is planning ahead for its distribution and needs your feedback by 5 pm CT this Wednesday, Oct. 20.


TMA Weighs In on Bills to Ban Vaccine Mandates - 10/18/2021

Taking science-based interventions like vaccinations off the table during an ongoing public emergency is like telling coastal residents they can’t board up their windows or fill sandbags as a hurricane approaches.


How to Avoid Coding Mistakes in Texas Medicaid - 10/15/2021

Ensuring Texas Medicaid dollars are spent for their intended purpose requires the Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) to work with health care professionals to prevent waste. Accurate medical coding is part of that work. Incorrect codes result in overpayments – which impact taxpayers – and underpayments, which can impact your practice.


Medicare Cuts an Insult to Patients and Physicians - 10/13/2021

What would you do if your employer cut your pay by 10% during one of the most stressful times in recent history? And what if your company did that after not giving you a cost-of-living raise for more than two decades?


Texas Prepares to Implement “Gold Card” Prior Auth Bill - 10/13/2021

Soon, physicians who’ve had their fill of insurers’ burdensome prior authorizations will have the chance to earn their way out of them. The Texas Medical Association wants to make sure the  new law giving doctors that “golden” opportunity will be implemented as intended – and is pushing back against health plans’ attempts to reduce its impact.


You Can Help Prevent Family Violence During COVID-19 - 10/13/2021

How has family violence changed during COVID-19 and how can medicine respond? Four members of the Texas Medical Association Subcommittee on Behavioral Health address those questions and more in a new TMA Practice Well podcast – Family Violence During COVID-19.


Congressional Watchdog Echoes TMA Concerns About MIPS - 10/13/2021

The Texas Medical Association has raised concerns about Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for years. Now, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), often called the congressional watchdog, has done the same.


Texas FQHCs Receive Almost $50 Million for Modernization - 10/12/2021

The federal government will distribute nearly $50 million among 66 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in Texas as part of a nationwide infusion of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to modernize those centers and support underserved communities.


Tomorrow: TMA Policymaking 101 - 10/11/2021

Learn how to make a difference in the Texas Medical Association’s House of Delegates by attending the next virtual webinar in the Lifelong Leadership series scheduled for Oct. 13 at 6 pm.


Register for Upcoming AMA Section Meetings by Oct. 24 - 10/11/2021

Various American Medical Association section meetings are coming up in November. To attend virtually, register by Oct. 24. The meetings are free for AMA members.


El Paso Finds a Recipe for Vaccination Success - 10/11/2021

While city and county health authorities all over Texas keep searching for a recipe to get more local residents vaccinated for COVID-19, El Paso – the city and the county – have found what Ogechika Alozie, MD, calls a “secret sauce.”


TMA Offers Low-Interest Loans for Students, Resident Physicians - 10/08/2021

If life throws a financial curveball during medical training, it can be overwhelming. The Texas Medical Association’s low-interest loans for medical students and residents can help.


Virtual Summit: A Closer Look at Primary Care - 10/08/2021

This year’s virtual version of the Texas Primary Care Consortium (TPCC) Summit – a learning lab, collaborative gathering, and catalyst for primary care transformation in Texas – kicks off this Thursday, Oct. 14, and continues on Oct. 15.


Overdoses Still Climb Despite Big Drop in Prescription Opioids - 10/08/2021

The number of opioid prescriptions has dropped 44% since 2011, yet there are still more drug-related overdose deaths than ever – a clear sign policymakers should work to remove barriers to care for patients, according to the American Medical Association’s 2021 Overdose Epidemic Report.


How to Reverify Patients’ Medicaid Eligibility When the Public Health Emergency Ends - 10/06/2021

With the federal public health emergency (PHE) slated to expire at the end of 2021, millions of Medicaid patients across the U.S. are at risk of losing their coverage. Texas physicians should prepare by scheduling services as soon as possible for such patients and evaluating the financial impact of potential increases in uncompensated care. They also should expect to reverify patients’ Medicaid eligibility when the PHE expires.


Medicare Corrects 2020 MIPS Errors, Extends Review Deadline - 10/06/2021

Many physicians who participated in Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2020 are seeing their scores rise – a bit – after Medicare acknowledged and corrected a pair of technical errors by the agency that affected scores for 2020 MIPS participants. As a result, Medicare has extended the deadline to Nov. 29 for you to review your MIPS score for accuracy.


TMA Makes Its Case on “Starting Point” COVID Relief Bill - 10/05/2021

A bill to distribute nearly $17 billion in COVID-19 relief funds – medicine’s focal point during the current special session of the Texas Legislature – drew both praise and recommendations for improvement from the Texas Medical Association and several state specialty societies.