News

Texas Students and Residents Nab AMA Posts - 11/18/2019

Ten residents and medical students from Texas won elections over the weekend at the 2019 interim meeting of the American Medical Association in San Diego.


Above-Average Flu Activity Throughout Texas; One Pediatric Death Reported - 11/18/2019

Confirmed and possible cases of flu and flu-like illnesses have risen significantly across Texas in recent weeks, state health officials said, with one death reported – a 5-year-old who lived in the Rio Grande Valley.


Webinar to Explore Creating a Healthy Long-Term Care System - 11/15/2019

If you’re interested in the current landscape of the long-term care delivery system, its funding mechanisms, and the state and federal legislation that model this system, tune into a webinar scheduled for Monday, Nov. 18.


“Patient Privacy Must Be Protected,” TMA Says in Response to Ascension-Google Partnership - 11/14/2019

Protecting sensitive patient health information should remain a top priority as technology and health care continue to intersect, Texas Medical Association President David C. Fleeger, MD, said Thursday in response to a partnership between Google and Ascension health system.


Register Now For The TMA 2020 Winter Conference - 11/14/2019

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.


How Practice Owners Can Control Health Insurance Costs During Open Enrollment - 11/13/2019

If you’re a practice owner whose health insurance is up for renewal during Health Insurance Open Enrollment, Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, there are ways to control the cost of your health insurance. The health insurance advisors at TMA Insurance Trust know of a lesser-known option that you can use to keep group plan cost within budget.


Open Enrollment 2020: Be Prepared for Coverage Changes - 11/13/2019

You’re probably already aware that open enrollment for commercial health insurance plans, including those on the Affordable Care Act Exchanges, opened Nov. 1 and will run through Dec. 15. While some patients won’t make any changes to their coverage, others will make significant changes, including enrolling with a completely different health plan.


Do Your Security Risk Assessment Before Dec. 31 - 11/13/2019

If you participate in the Medicare Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), conducting or updating a risk assessment is a requirement in the Promoting Interoperability category. In order to meet the 2019 performance year requirements, you must complete your security risk assessment by Dec. 31. This is not an optional measure. Thankfully, an upgraded tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) might make the assessment easier.


Texas’ Rise in Uninsured Kids Among Fastest in Nation, Report Says - 11/13/2019

The bad news keeps coming for Texas’ uninsured rate. Between 2016 and 2018, Texas tied for the second-highest jump in the rate of uninsured children among all 50 states, according to a study released Wednesday by Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families in Washington, D.C.


Examine the Billing Cycle “Vitals” for Your Practice - 11/13/2019

The Texas Medical Association’s free webinar, What You Need to Know to Evaluate Your Billing Process, offers a step-by-step process and tools to assess your practice’s financial health and identify key areas for improvement. The webinar will show you how to use practice management reports to evaluate your staff’s productivity, your billing and collections processes, and even payer performance.


Join Discussion on Treating Opioid Addiction - 11/13/2019

To help you gain a better understanding of opioids, the Nueces County Medical Society (NCMS) Alliance is hosting a symposium on addiction, prevention, treatment, and recovery later this month.


Updated White Paper Has Latest Information on Telemedicine in Texas - 11/12/2019

Updated this year, the Texas Medical Association's white paper, Texas Laws and Regulations Relating to Telemedicine, describes the new Texas legal and regulatory requirements that apply to a physician providing telemedicine medical services.


Learn The ABCs of the QPP With Free CME - 11/12/2019

The Texas Medical Association has heard from physicians who are just now tuning in to the 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP) and don’t know where to begin to avoid the 7% Medicare payment penalty in 2021.


Use New Medicare IDs in 2020 to Avoid Rejected Claims - 11/12/2019

Your Medicare patients have ditched their old Medicare ID numbers. It’s high time you do, too, to avoid unpaid claims in the new year. Starting Jan. 1, Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBIs) replace patients’ old Social Security number-based health insurance claim numbers (HICNs). Novitas Solutions, the Medicare payer for Texas, will reject any claim submitted with a patient’s HICN, with a few exceptions. You will have to refile the claim with the patient’s MBI to get paid.


TMA PracticeEdge ACOs Tops for State, National Medicare Savings - 11/11/2019

Three accountable care organizations formed through TMA PracticeEdge were among state and national leaders in generating Medicare savings during the 2018 Medicare Shared Savings Program performance year.


Texas Among Best in Keeping Medical Students, Residents Practicing In-State, Report Shows - 11/11/2019

Texas continues to rank among the most successful states in retaining physicians from its medical schools and residency programs, beating out 47 other states, data from 2019 show.


Vitamin E Acetate “A Strong Culprit” in Vaping-Related Lung Injuries - 11/11/2019

Vitamin E acetate, a sticky substance used in skin lotions and vitamin supplements, could be to blame for severe lung injuries linked to vaping that have sickened more than 200 people in Texas and thousands more across the U.S., health officials said Friday.


Looking to Implement Remote Patient Monitoring Technology In Your Practice? - 11/08/2019

How do you successfully implement remote patient monitoring technology in your practice? Answers to that question and many more can be found in the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) Digital Health Implementation Playbook.


Federal Grant Funding Opportunity for Primary Care Rural Residency Programs - 11/08/2019

To incentivize the development of residency programs that prepare physicians for practice in rural, underserved areas, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration is now accepting applications for the 2020 Primary Care Training and Enhancement: Residency Training in Primary Care Program.


Experience. That’s Why Physicians Lead Medical Teams - 11/07/2019

Because advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants interact with so many patients, many assume nonphysician practitioners are a type of physician or a physician-in-training. This chart compares how physicians, APRNs, and PAs in Texas are educated, trained, and employed in health care settings. It shows why APRNs and PAs are considered vital parts of medical teams – and why physicians are the leaders of those teams.


Removing the Pain from Prescribing Pain Meds - 11/07/2019

If you prescribe opioids for chronic pain, there are things you need to know to protect your patients as well as your practice, including knowing which patients need drug monitoring and what type of monitoring should be implemented. Thankfully, the Texas Medical Association’s new e-book, Monitoring Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain, serves as a brief resource for that information and more.


More Cases of Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated With Vaping Identified in Texas - 11/06/2019

The number of people with pulmonary illness linked to vaping continues to rise both in Texas and nationwide, but health officials are still not certain what’s causing the illnsses. As of Monday, 222 possible cases of EVALI, or e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, have been reported in Texas.


Senate Committees Will Examine Uninsured Rate During Interim Year - 11/06/2019

Texas’ nation-leading uninsured rate will be under the state senate’s microscope in 2020 as part of the interim charges Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has assigned to senate committees. The list of interim charges, released last week, directs the Senate Business & Commerce Committee to “[s]tudy and report on ways to … decrease the uninsured rate in Texas” as part of its examination of the cost of health care.


Texas Voters Approve Renewed Funding for Cancer Research - 11/06/2019

Texas' ongoing battle against cancer just got new life. Voters statewide overwhelmingly approved Proposition 6 on Tuesday to continue funding for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), the state's cancer-fighting agency.


Keep Texans Safe And Healthy; Support Community Projects - 11/05/2019

Each year, local medical societies or alliance chapters may apply for up to $7,500 in matching funds from the TMAF Medical Community Grants program. The TMA Foundation Board approves the grant funding during its meeting in September.