News

Go Paperless With UHC Document Vault - 09/25/2020

Looking for ways to reduce the amount of paper your practice uses? One way is to digitally receive claim and prior authorization letters for UnitedHealthcare commercial and Medicare patients through UHC’s Document Vault, rather than by mail.


Cost of Newborn Screening Kits has Increased - 09/25/2020

Beginning Jan. 1, the cost of each Texas Newborn Screening Program kit will increase from $55.24 to $60.58 to accommodate the inclusion of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) screening, which was added this summer.


New Poster Encourages Flu Vaccination Amid COVID-19 - 09/24/2020

“COVID-19 is here, but so is the flu.” That is the message of a new downloadable poster available from the Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise – Immunize program to help you stress the need for flu vaccination, this year more than ever.


Opening an Independent Practice During COVID-19 - 09/24/2020

Regardless of how the pandemic is affecting the economy, people always will need health care. This may be the best time to open a new practice, incorporating lessons learned during the pandemic, including telemedicine as a practice necessity.


Coding Changes Affect UnitedHealthcare Prior Authorization Lists - 09/23/2020

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has replaced and added procedure codes on its notification and prior authorization (PA) lists.


Charging Concierge Fees to BCBSTX Patients - 09/23/2020

Although Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) places limits on the additional fees participating network physicians can charge BCBSTX patients, some are allowed when you provide concierge services.


Audio-Only Telehealth: Who Submits Corrected Claims? - 09/23/2020

Will Medicare Administrative Contractors automatically reprocess  claims for audio-only telehealth visits retroactive to March 1, or will physicians need to resubmit them? To date, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not published a clear answer to that question.


Ambetter: New Required Field on CMS-1500 Claim Form - 09/23/2020

Ambetter from Superior HealthPlan, a plan available on the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange, has changed the status of box 18 on the CMS-1500 claim form from a conditional/optional field to a required one, effective July 1.


Turn to TMA to Resolve Prompt-Pay Issues - 09/23/2020

If you or your practice is dealing with prompt-pay or other health plan problems, the Texas Medical Association can help resolve those issues through TMA’s Reimbursement Review and Resolution Service. The Texas Department of Insurance last week released a bulletin reminding plans that a portion of prompt-pay penalties must be paid to the state.


Are You Eligible for “Expedited Credentialing?” - 09/23/2020

If you’re completing health plan credentialing, “expedited credentialing” might apply to you. And if it applies, that could be good for you and your practice. But how do you know if it does?


Didn’t Get Your 5% APM Incentive Payment? Take Action by Nov. 13 - 09/23/2020

If you participated in an advanced alternative payment model (APM) under the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP), the Texas Medical Association encourages you to take action now to verify that you have received your 5% APM incentive payment for 2020.


Governor Rescinds Non-Emergent Surgery Restrictions in Most of Texas - 09/21/2020

Gov. Greg Abbott today reauthorized non-emergent elective surgeries at hospitals and allowed nursing homes to reopen for visitations under certain conditions across the majority of Texas.


Docs Must Supervise Delegation to CRNAs, TMA Tells Attorney General - 09/21/2020

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton should state that certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) require physician supervision when a physician delegates medical acts to them, the Texas Medical Association told the attorney general in response to a request for opinion.


Check For 2019 MIPS Errors, File Targeted Review by Oct. 5 - 09/21/2020

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to check your Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance feedback, including your 2019 MIPS final score and 2021 payment adjustment, and file a targeted review by Oct. 5, if needed.


STIs, Firearm Safety, Mental Health Among Revised Public School Curriculum Standards - 09/21/2020

Texas public school students are on track to receive more comprehensive and medically accurate instruction on multiple health-related topics.


Nail Your Virtual Job Interview, With TMA’s Help - 09/18/2020

Job interviews can be stressful and uncomfortable, but the recent shift to virtual interviews because of COVID-19 adds an entirely new layer of awkwardness. If you’re looking for tips on how to stand out virtually, check out a new Texas Medical Association webinar, How to Ace a Virtual Interview.


Work to Expand Medicaid, Protect Telemedicine, Speakers at TMA Tele-Town Hall Say - 09/18/2020

Texas physicians need to lobby state and federal lawmakers as soon as possible to prevent cuts in important state services, to encourage the expansion of Medicaid, and to preserve gains made in telemedicine, a panel of speakers told participants in a telephone town hall sponsored Thursday by the Texas Medical Association’s Border Health Caucus.


What Financial Questions Should You Be Asking Your Administrator? - 09/17/2020

Here are common questions you should be asking your facility or practice administrator to help you navigate wRVU reviews and calculations.


COVID-19 Negatively Affecting Physician Wellness, Survey Shows - 09/17/2020

Fifty percent of physicians have experienced inappropriate anger, tearfulness, or anxiety because of COVID-19’s effects on their practice or employment, according to a new survey on the pandemic’s effects on physicians.


Be Vigilant - Hospital Medical Staff Bylaws and You - 09/16/2020

To bolster an argument that bylaws are binding on physicians, medical staff, and a hospital, the Texas Medical Association Office of the General Counsel has crafted language that could improve the binding effect of your hospital’s bylaws.


Education Board Approves Curriculum Standards on HPV Vaccines - 09/15/2020

The State Board of Education has approved health education standards that would require public schools to teach the importance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines beginning in seventh grade.


TMA Delegates OK Policy on Certain Health Care Disparities, LGBTQ Health Section - 09/15/2020

At an unprecedented live virtual meeting Saturday, the Texas Medical Association House of Delegates took action on a variety of initiatives important to the health of all Texans.


Medicaid Kills Proposed Rule That Would Have Restricted Supplemental Funding, Services - 09/15/2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday withdrew a proposed rule that would’ve restricted how states fund their share of Medicaid, causing serious cuts in services.


How Has COVID-19 Affected Care Along the Border? - 09/15/2020

The Border Health Caucus and the Texas Medical Association will host a Tele-Town Hall meeting on COVID-19 specifically for physicians caring for patients along the border at 7 pm (CT), Thursday, Sept. 17.


Free Webinar: Understanding and Navigating Conflict - 09/15/2020

If you would like to learn skills and practices that will help you understand and manage conflict, tune in to a webinar presented by the Texas Medical Association Alliance at noon (CT) Thursday, Sept. 17.