TDI Debuts Network Adequacy Waiver Hearings - 05/24/2024

Physicians soon may hear from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) regarding public hearings for health plans seeking a network adequacy waiver. The hearings are required under a new state law championed by TMA to address inadequate networks and an overused waiver process. Read more.

New APM Committee Accepting Nominations - 05/22/2024

Recognizing the fast-moving shift to value-based care and the need for physician guidance in that transition, the TMA House of Delegates approved a new standing Committee on Alternative Payment Models (APMs) at TexMed 2024. TMA leaders are in the process of appointing participants to the nine-member body with regional representation of varying practice sizes, types, and specialties. Read more.

LSC Bestows Scholarships to Four Future Physicians Dedicated to the Medically Underserved - 05/21/2024

The Lone Star Caucus, comprised of smaller, nonmetro county medical societies, awards scholarships annually. Meet this year’s winners, recognized for their outstanding achievements and leadership skills. Read more.

TMA Urges Framework for Innovative Coverage, Cancer Prevention to Senate Committee - 05/21/2024

As the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services begins its interim investigation into alternatives to employer-based health insurance and cancer prevention efforts, TMA offered recommendations to ensure patients have access to high-quality care. Read more.

Meet Your 2024-25 TMA Sections Executive Councils - 05/20/2024

After a fun kickoff at the All-Conference Murder Mystery Mixer, TMA sections presented awards, discussed resolutions, attended CME, and networked. Plus, help sections continue to provide fun, exciting activities for members by taking the annual sections survey.

Aetna Scraps Required Prior Auth for Cataract Surgery - 05/15/2024

Organized medicine’s efforts across the nation to torpedo or curb prior authorization recently got a small but encouraging boost when Aetna rescinded its year-old preauthorization requirement for cataract surgeries.

Delegates Emphasize Women’s, Reproductive Health Ahead of Legislative Session - 05/15/2024

Continuing its mission to improve the health of mothers and babies in Texas, along with addressing ongoing sexual health and opioid crises, TMA passed and strengthened policy to shape the association’s advocacy come legislative session.

New Medicare Advantage Rules Aim to Improve Access, Equity - 05/15/2024

 Medicare Advantage enrollees soon may benefit from expanded access to outpatient behavioral health care and more equitable prior authorization policies.  

New TMA Policies Aim to Strengthen Physician Workforce Pipeline - 05/14/2024

Among others, top new policies direct TMA to study ways to assist unmatched medical graduates and to advocate for increased per-resident funding to offset medical schools’ teaching costs – a rate that has not budged since 2008. Read more.

TMB Proposed Rules on Abortion Ban Exceptions Invite TMA Opposition - 05/14/2024

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) recently released proposed rules intended to clarify exceptions to the state’s overlapping abortion laws. But TMA argues the proposal could exacerbate physician confusion, administrative burden on practices, and patient care delays. Read more.

Jenny Shepherd Says “I Do” to TMAA Presidency - 05/13/2024

The longtime medical advocate became the 107th Texas Medical Association Alliance (TMAA) president at TexMed May 4.

TMA House Prioritizes Noncompetes, Physician Payment Reform - 05/13/2024

The TMA House of Delegates adopted several policies intended to alleviate economic pressure on physician practices. Those include directing the association to advocate for more statutory limitations on noncompete agreements in employment contracts and protections from health plans’ problematic payment policies. Read more.

Congressional Committees Grill United CEO Over Cyberattack - 05/13/2024

Federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle rebuked UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty for the company’s handling of the recent cyberattack on its subsidiary, Change Healthcare, during back-to-back hearings. TMA has been in touch with members of Congress regarding the attack’s impact on physicians, among other advocacy efforts. Read more.

“Your Voice Has Power:” Dr. Glaucomflecken Lauds Texas Physician Advocacy - 05/09/2024

The experience of a cardiac arrest and surviving testicular cancer – twice – might seem even less funny than incisive critique of the U.S. health care system. But in the hands of Will Flanary, MD, an ophthalmologist in Oregon City, Ore., who moonlights as Dr. Glaucomflecken on social media, these topics occasion cathartic laughter.

TMA House Elects New Leadership - 05/09/2024

In addition to installing G. Ray Callas, MD, as president, Texas Medical Association delegates elected several top leaders at TexMed 2024, making history in the process.

Dues Increase, Independent Practice Committee Approved by TMA House - 05/09/2024

With an eye toward strengthening the Texas Medical Association and the Texas physician practices it represents, the House of Delegates approved a handful of new policies that include a phased-in dues increase and a standing committee on independent practice.

Mental Health Care to Expand With State Hospital Renovations Under Way - 05/09/2024

Renovations to Texas state mental health hospitals are under way across the state with the help of investments from state legislators and support from the Texas Medical Association to expand access to behavioral health care.

ChatGPT Adviser Harvey Castro, MD, Shares AI Insights at TexMed - 05/09/2024

As a Dallas emergency physician, Harvey Castro, MD, began experimenting with ChatGPT – an artificial intelligence chatbot trained on data from the internet to generate human-like responses to text prompts – in November 2022 after asking himself what he’d “want from AI in a hospital setting.”

Physician-Legislator Burgess Wins TMA’s Highest Honor - 05/08/2024

In recognition of his nearly 50-year career spanning obstetrics-gynecology practice in Lake Dallas and 11 terms in Congress, the Texas Medical Association awarded U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville), the 2024 Distinguished Service Award at its annual conference, TexMed, in Dallas on May 3.

Physicians Advocate, Educate, Innovate at TexMed 2024 - 05/08/2024

From cutting-edge CME and robust discussion to the installation of new association leadership and policymaking, this year’s annual meeting in Dallas was filled with excitement as more than 1,200 physicians, residents, and medical students successfully fulfilled the three missions of TexMed 2024: advocate, educate, and innovate.

Walk with a Doc Takes Steps to Improve Texans’ Health - 05/08/2024

Texas Medical Association physicians interested in helping their patients get active can join TMA's Walk with a Doc (WWAD) program, now in its 12th year in Texas. TMA covers the cost of start-up fees for members, a $2,100 value.

Texas Senate Interim Charges Underscore TMA Legislative Priorities - 04/29/2024

Scope-of-practice creep and access to mental health care are among the 57 charges Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently issued for Senate committees to study ahead of the 2025 legislative session. The Texas Medical Association’s advocacy for medicine-friendly policy also continues apace during the interim, with the association closely monitoring several of these charges.

Cigna to Deny Claims Without Z-Code Documentation - 04/24/2024

Starting July 14, Cigna Healthcare will deny certain claims that are billed with a Z code and without documentation, a move that could add to physicians’ administrative burden.

Dawn Duster Examines “Rubik’s Cube” of New DNR Law - 04/23/2024

The in-hospital DNR law, codified as Senate Bill 11 in the 2017 Texas Legislature, went into effect on April 1, 2018. Ms. Atwood and Jason Morrow, MD, medical director of inpatient palliative medicine at University Health System in San Antonio, examined the legal requirements of the complicated law and associated ethical considerations.

TexMed 2024 Brings Exciting Speakers to All Attendees - 04/23/2024

Thanks to a new scheduling approach, attendees at TexMed 2024 will experience a more cohesive conference, bringing together members from all different stages in the path of organized medicine.