News

Prescription Monitoring Program: Is Your EHR Connected? - 01/27/2020

Beginning March 1, 2020, all prescribers must set up an account with the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program, known as PMP Aware, and check the PMP prior to prescribing opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or carisoprodol.


Urge Patients to Use Common Virus Prevention as Coronavirus Investigation Continues - 01/24/2020

Texas physicians should recommend patients take the usual precautions to avoid viruses as health officials investigate a novel coronavirus outbreak that began in China.


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.


Send TMA Your Prior Auth Nightmare Stories - 01/24/2020

Arbitrary. Confusing. Frustrating. Never-ending. Maddening. Those are some of the terms we can actually print that describe physicians’ perceptions of insurance companies’ prior authorization requirements and approval processes. Your personal stories of patient harm due to prior authorization request delays or denials can give the Texas Medical Association the ammunition it needs to fight this problem. Please submit your stories via email to the TMA Payment Advocacy Department.


Physicians Must Lead Care Teams, Medicine Tells Feds - 01/24/2020

The Texas Medical Association, and 99 other medical societies, are making it clear to Medicare that physicians are the nation’s most highly trained health care professionals – and the government shouldn’t weaken or eliminate their supervision of nonphysicians.


Primary Care Consortium Seeking Breakout Proposals For Summit - 01/24/2020

The Texas Primary Care Consortium is looking to you to make its upcoming annual summit more in line with your experience with practice transformation. Here’s your chance to lead a breakout session.


TMA to Trump: Do Not Expand NPPs’ Scope of Practice - 01/23/2020

When President Donald Trump released an executive order earlier this month that would, in part, expand the scope of practice of nonphysician practitioners, the Texas Medical Association vowed to keep physicians at the head of the health care team. On Monday, TMA President David Fleeger, MD, took a major step to do that, urging President Trump and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to remove that language entirely.


TMA Says “No” to Federal Scope Expansion Under President’s Medicare Executive Order - 01/23/2020

At least one piece of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on Medicare will meet strong opposition from the Texas Medical Association. “Know this: TMA will stand up for our profession and our patients to prevent this totally unwarranted scope-of-practice expansion from becoming reality,” said TMA President David C. Fleeger, MD.


Submit 2019 QPP Data by March 31 to Avoid a 7% MIPS Payment Cut - 01/23/2020

The data submission period for Medicare’s 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP) is under way and closes on March 31. If you haven’t started the process, now is the time to ensure your data for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is in order and submit it in time to make corrections by the deadline, if needed.


Nine Pediatric Deaths Reported as Flu Season Continues - 01/23/2020

Nine children in Texas have died of flu-related illness since the season started at the end of September, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said last week.


Your Telemedicine, TMA Questions Answered - 01/22/2020

If you're interested in telemedicine, or you want to know all the ways the Texas Medical Association can help you, tune into to a 30-minute virtual meeting scheduled for noon to 12:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 20.


Keep Your Records Straight and HIPAA-Compliant With TMA CME - 01/21/2020

TMA’s in-depth publication, Managing Your Medical Records, will help physicians and front office staff better understand the rules of consent, release, and disclosure. Get up to speed on everything from practical, efficient methods for record organization to best practices for record storage that’s HIPAA- and HITECH-compliant.


Deadline: Claim Your 5% Medicare Bonus by Feb. 28 - 01/21/2020

If you participated in an advanced alternative payment model (APM) during the 2017 Quality Payment Program (QPP) performance year but haven’t received your 5% APM incentive payment for 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to hear from you. The Texas Medical Association has learned that CMS has been unable to disburse the 2019 incentive payment to nearly 3,000 clinicians nationwide because the agency cannot verify their banking information.


Your Patients’ Health Depends on Your Overall Well-Being - 01/17/2020

Taking care of your patients is obviously your first priority. But while you’re working to improve the lives of people in your community, don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. After all, you can’t treat patients effectively if you’re not treating yourself well.


Microsoft Windows, Server Systems Vulnerable to Hackers, Feds Warn - 01/17/2020

Texas physicians should look out for a security weakness in Microsoft Windows 10, Server 2016, and Server 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said this week.


Database Helps Find Answers to Your Health Care Questions - 01/15/2020

You’re probably already familiar with the Texas Medical Association Knowledge Center, an exclusive benefit that provides TMA members with answers and information on virtually all aspects of practicing medicine. But did you know the Knowledge Center offers members access to several searchable online databases, including Stat!Ref, a full-text health care library that contains more than 600 titles in 50-plus specialties?


TDI Explains Arbitration Law Process - 01/15/2020

Before you’re involved in an out-of-network medical bill dispute that would be covered by the state’s new baseball-style arbitration law, it’s best to know what could be in store.  The Texas Department of Insurance has provided further details on how the law will be implemented, including how the arbitration process will work.


Improve Your Work-Life Balance with These Simple Steps - 01/14/2020

You’re a busy physician, so you might not always have time to take care of yourself as well as your patients. But taking care of yourself doesn’t just mean focusing on your physical well-being. Your mental, financial, and emotional fitness need to be looked after as well. The Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Physician Health and Wellness can help you assess your work-life balance and determine your core values.


Improve Your Spiritual, Emotional, and Social Well-Being - 01/14/2020

The Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Physician Health and Wellness has developed CME courses that will help you stay positive, let go of angry thoughts, and relieve stress and burnout.


Register Now For The TMA 2020 Winter Conference - 01/13/2020

Attend the Texas Medical Association's 2020 Winter Conference, scheduled for Jan. 24-25 at the Hyatt Regency Austin and the Louis J. Goodman Texas Medical Association Building (Friday only) in downtown Austin. Online registration is now open.


What’s Your Experience with EHR? - 01/13/2020

Does your practice use an electronic health record (EHR)? If so, can you or someone on your staff spare an hour or two to help other practices that are considering switching to one? The Urban Institute is looking for physicians, other health care professionals, administrators, and information technology (IT) staff – particularly those in small or rural practices – to participate in online interviews Jan. 13 through 17.


Texas Physicians Propose Mass Violence Prevention Strategies - 01/13/2020

How should Texas address the incidents of mass violence that have rocked the state in recent years? Physicians laid out medicine’s priorities before a special committee of the Texas House of Representatives late last week.


Medical Students: Register Now for TMA’s Winter Conference - 01/13/2020

Mark your calendars for a medical student member meeting during the Texas Medical Association’s 2019 Winter Conference. The medical student section will hold a business meeting from noon to 1:30 pm Jan. 26, followed by new chapter officer leadership training from 1:30 to 3 pm.


Reconnect With Your IMG Colleagues at TMA Winter Conference - 01/13/2020

Join your colleagues in Austin and enjoy all of the International Medical Graduate (IMG) Section events at TMA Winter Conference, Jan. 24-25 at the Hyatt Regency, Austin.


Warning: Mercury in Skin Creams from Mexico - 01/10/2020

Texas health officials are warning physicians to watch for mercury poisoning after a woman who purchased cosmetics in Mexico was hospitalized in Texas.