TMA Action Jan. 17, 2014   News and Insights from Texas Medical Association 

INSIDE: Blue Cross Takes Blues Out of ACA Grace Period 

Blue Cross Takes Blues Out of ACA Grace Period
Claim Your Claim From Aetna Settlement
TMA Flu Fighters Are Back
Didn't Report PQRS in 2013? You Can Still Avoid Penalty
Don't Use Code G8553 for E-Prescribing
EHR Safe Harbor Exception Extended Through 2021
Time Is Running Out to Save 20 Percent on CME
Updated Child Mental Health Guide Available
Let's Protect 34,000 Little Heads This Year
Train Your Staff in State and Federal Privacy Compliance 

CMS Gives Refunds, Guidance on Incarcerated Patients
TMAF to Fund More Programs in 2014
Discovery Zone at TMA Winter Conference
Free Workers' Comp Education on Billing Changes
Disguise Yourself at TMAF's 21st Annual Benefit Gala
Now Accepting Quality Poster Submissions
Get AccessMedicine Textbooks from TMA
TMA PHW Conference Focuses on Cultural Competence
This Month in Texas Medicine

Blue Cross Takes Blues Out of ACA Grace Period

With many Texas medical practices concerned and confused about the 90-day grace period for patients paying premiums on Affordable Care Act exchange health plans, at least one Texas carrier has stepped up to help.

The ACA requires insurance companies to provide 90 days for a patient with subsidized marketplace coverage to pay all unpaid premiums. During the first 30 days of the grace period, insurers must pay for physician services provided to the patient. However, federal rules allow health plans to pend claims for services incurred in the second or third month of that window. Texas law on prompt payment of claims will still apply. If the patient still hasn't paid the premium, the carrier may then recoup any payments made.

"The federal law doesn't make any sense and is wrong," said Texas Medical Association President Stephen L. Brotherton, MD. "TMA has talked to the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services about the possible harm this regulation can cause to practices across the state. Officials there acknowledged it's problematic but have not taken steps to fix it. This is not acceptable."

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), which is the only insurance company offering ACA exchange plans in all 254 Texas counties, has pledged to help minimize any negative impact on physicians from the grace period.

"We recognize the difficulties presented by the federal law, and rather than holding or denying claims filed during the grace period, BCBSTX will pay physicians," said BCBSTX President Bert Marshall.

Mr. Marshall added that BCBSTX will reach out to encourage patients covered by the company to pay their premiums. "We have a very good track record of working with our members to make sure they get their premiums paid."

If the 90th day passes without the patient paying the premium, however, BCBSTX will recoup any payments made to physicians. It will notify doctors of those recoupments through an explanation-of-benefits notice.

"TMA is calling on other insurers to follow BCBSTX's example," Dr. Brotherton said.

The TMA website offers these additional resources for physicians regarding the ACA exchange plans: 

 

Claim Your Claim From Aetna Settlement

March 28, 2014, is the deadline for physicians to postmark claims for part of the $120 million settlement in a lawsuit against Aetna over payments for out-of-network services.

The settlement covers physicians and health care providers who delivered out-of-network services to Aetna subscribers any time between June 3, 2003, and Aug. 30, 2013, and received less than the billed charge.

There are two options for filing a claim. One involves submitting detailed documentation of the out-of-network services you provided, the bills you submitted to Aetna and the patients, and the payment you received. WhatleyKallas, LLP, one of the private law firms involved in the case, has published a step-by-step guide to help physicians and other health care providers maximize their recovery from the settlement.

TMA, the American Medical Association, and the medical societies of California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, and Washington sued Aetna in 2009 over its use of databases licensed from Ingenix, a UnitedHealth Group Inc. subsidiary. Ingenix underpaid physicians for out-of-network services, the lawsuit said. It also challenged other ways Aetna determined out-of-network payment rates and accused Aetna of failing to disclose how it figured those rates. A patient filed a similar suit in 2007.

Aetna, United, and other insurers agreed to stop using the Ingenix database in settlements with the New York State Attorney General in 2009. That settlement created FAIR Health to take over and improve the database and establish transparent, current, and reliable health care charge information.

Additional information about the settlement, including claim forms, can be found on the Aetna UCR settlement website

TMA Flu Fighters Are Back

With influenza now widespread across Texas, TMA's Committee on Infectious Diseases has resurrected the TMA Flu Fighters. The project provides physicians timely advice on how to prevent, recognize, diagnose, and treat influenza.

The Flu Fighters' first email update went out on Jan. 8, 2014, and the second went out on Jan. 15. It includes detailed information on dosages and treatment using antiviral medications.

TMA is targeting the email updates to those specialists most likely to encounter flu patients. If you are not receiving them but would like to, contact the TMA Knowledge Center by telephone at (800) 880-7955 or by email.

The Flu Fighters are John Carlo, MD, of Dallas, chair of TMA's Council on Science and Public Health; Wendy Chung, MD, Dallas County Health and Human Services' chief epidemiologist and chair of TMA's Committee on Infectious Diseases; Lisa Cornelius, MD, from the Texas Department of State Health Services; Bruno Granwehr, MD, and Seema Shah, MD, of Houston; Gil Handal, MD, of El Paso; Philip Huang, MD, medical director at Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services; Charles Lerner, MD, of San Antonio; and Donald Murphey, MD, of Fort Worth.

Didn't Report PQRS in 2013? You Can Still Avoid Penalty

Eligible physicians (EPs) not participating in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) for the 2013 reporting year will pay a 1.5-percent penalty on their Medicare claims in 2015. However, individual physicians and group practices that have not yet reported PQRS data, did not elect the administrative claims-based reporting option in October, and do not plan on meeting the full requirements to earn the 0.5 percent bonus still can avoid the penalty.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the following options are available.

Individual EPs

EPs can avoid the penalty if they report at least: 

  • One valid individual measure via claims, participating registry, or qualified electronic health record (EHR); or
  • One valid measure in a measures group via claims or participating registry. 

Group Practices 

Group practices participating in the group practice reporting option, referred to as GPRO, can avoid the penalty if they report at least: 

Note: You will not earn the 2013 PQRS 0.5-percent bonus payment simply by reporting one valid measure or one measures group. You will only avoid the future 1.5-percent penalty in 2015. Physicians and group practices can still participate fully in PQRS for 2013 — thus earning the bonus and avoiding the penalty — by reporting the required measures via claims, registry, or qualified EHR.

PQRS Reporting Methods and Deadlines

Claims-Based Reporting: All claims adjustments, re-openings, or appeals processed by Novitas Solutions must reach the national Medicare claims system data warehouse by Feb. 28, 2014, to be included in the 2013 PQRS analysis. To view a claims example, see CMS-1500 Claim PQRS Example.

Participating Registry: TMA endorses two registries for PQRS: PQRSwizard and Covisint PQRS. The submission deadline for the PQRSwizard registry is March 13, 2014. For Covisint PQRS, the submission deadline is March 1, 2014. Learn about TMA's discounted rates for these registries. 

Electronic Health Record (EHR): You have until Feb. 28, 2014, to submit data via a qualified EHR. Find out from your EHR vendor if this capability is incorporated into your EHR or is an add-on service.

More Information  

 

Don't Use Code G8553 for E-Prescribing

Starting this year, you'll no longer need the G-code for the Medicare e-prescribing program. If you use the G8553 code, the claim will be rejected and you'll have to resubmit it to Medicare.

Now that the e-prescribing incentive program has officially ended, e-prescribing penalties based on 2013 participation are in place. The only way to prevent penalties at this point is to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use incentive programs.

For 2014, physicians who did not successfully e-prescribe or participate in the Medicare EHR incentive program during 2013 will be penalized 2 percent. The 2-percent penalty will also be applied in 2015. At this point, the only way to prevent future EHR and e-prescribing penalties is to participate in the Medicare EHR incentive program.

Participation in the meaningful use program will automatically prevent e-prescribing and meaningful use penalties. Refer to TMA's one-pager that describes penalties and exemptions for the EHR program.

Send your questions about the e-prescribing program and other office technologies to the TMA HIT Helpline by calling (800) 880-5720 or emailing HIT

EHR Safe Harbor Exception Extended Through 2021

An exception to Stark self-referral and antikickback rules for physicians who accept donations of nearly-free electronic health records (EHRs) items and services from certain health care entities was set to expire last year, but it will continue through 2021. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published companion rules that extend the regulatory exemptions.

Physicians who receive these EHRs must pay at least 15 percent of the technology's cost to be eligible for the exception.

American Medical Association and TMA advocacy helped persuade HHS to extend the exemption through 2021, the year the Medicaid meaningful use program ends. In a letter to CMS, TMA opposed removal of or expiration of the exemption. "By keeping the safe harbor in place, physicians will have options for securing appropriate technology needed for their practice," TMA wrote.

The rules also make these notable changes:

  • A provision that laboratories may no longer donate EHRs,
  • A new definition of software considered "interoperable" for donation purposes,
  • Clarification of the prohibition of actions that limit or restrict the use, compatibility, or interoperability of donated items, and
  • Removal of the requirement related to electronic prescribing capability. 
 

         

Time Is Running Out to Save 20 Percent on CME

The TMA Education Center continuing medical education (CME) savings event is almost over. You only have through Jan. 31 to receive an additional 20 percent off most of TMA's wide selection of quality CME courses.

You already receive exclusive member pricing on all TMA CME courses as a benefit of your membership, but for the remainder of January, the discounts available in the TMA Education Center have gotten even bigger. With more than 80 TMA quality CME courses, including some 50 offering ethics credit, you won't have a problem finding education that can benefit you and your practice. 

Visit the TMA Education Center now to stockpile the courses you'll need to satisfy your CME credit requirements for the year, and you will automatically receive an additional 20 percent off your entire TMA Education Center purchase. On-demand courses and publications are available for viewing later, as your schedule allows. 

This exciting offer applies only to current TMA members and their staff and is available through the end of January. It excludes live seminars, software tools, and the Texas Medical Jurisprudence Manual and Study Guide

Contact the TMA Knowledge Center with questions or for assistance by email or phone, (800) 880-7955. 

Updated Child Mental Health Guide Available

Physicians who provide mental health care to children and adolescents have an updated, valuable resource at their fingertips. The 2013 version of Psychotropic Medication Utilization Parameters for Children and Youth in Foster Care is available on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) website.

First released in 2005, the 22-page guide features recommendations for the appropriate use of psychotropic medications for children in foster care. Developed by DFPS and The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, the guide includes information on the role of primary care physicians in the care of children with mental disorders, principles for the use of psychotropic medications in children, therapeutic controversies, usual recommended doses of common psychotropic medications, and adverse medication effects.

M. Lynn Crismon, dean of The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, says updates to the guide include a greater emphasis on performing a culturally and developmentally appropriate assessment of children, new data on the efficacy of psychotropic medications in treating acute mania, new information on the potential for cardiovascular adverse effects with stimulants, and tables on dosing recommendations.

TMA, along with the Rutgers University Center for Education and Research on Mental Therapeutics and other organizations, provided feedback on the guide's content. 

Let's Protect 34,000 Little Heads This Year

TMA's Hard Hats for Little Heads bicycle helmet giveaway program celebrates its 20th birthday this year. Help us make it an extraordinary year by sponsoring a helmet giveaway in your community.

TMA family members — physicians, county medical societies, medical students, and TMA Alliance members — can sponsor events. TMA provides everything you need for your event, from helmets to publicity materials to promotional and educational materials.

For the first 50 helmets you purchase, TMA provides another 50 helmets at no charge. From there, the helmet match increases based on the number you purchase. Helmets are $7.35 each, including shipping.

So far, TMA has given away 166,000 helmets to Texas children. In celebration of the program's 20-year history, we want to reach a new landmark — giving away our 200,000th helmet. That means we need to give 34,000 helmets over the next 12 months. Help us meet this goal.

Plan your event today. Here are three ideal times for an event:

  • March: Brain Injury Awareness Month,
  • April: Texas Child Safety Month, and
  • May: Bike Month.

For more information, contact Tammy Wishard, TMA's outreach coordinator, by email or by telephone at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1470, or (512) 370-1470.

Hard Hats for Little Heads is made possible through a grant from the TMA Foundation thanks to top donors — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Prudential, and two anonymous foundations - and generous gifts from physicians and their families and friends of medicine.

Train Your Staff in State and Federal Privacy Compliance

The Texas medical privacy law is even more stringent than its federal counterparts, HIPAA, and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, and requires that all physicians and their staff receive training specific to their jobs. It must be "as necessary and appropriate to carry out their duties"; one training size does not fit all.

TMA is offering a lunch-hour webinar on Jan. 22 titled HIPAA Training for Medical Office Staff that provides training on state and federal medical staff compliance. Among other topics, your staff will learn about common HIPAA myths, protected patient information, and disclosure of protected health information. The webinar concludes with a live question-and-answer session.

Register now, and tune in Jan. 22 from noon to 1 pm CT for an information-packed session.

Also, mark your calendar for TMA's Complying With HIPAA Security webinar, set for Feb. 19. That webinar will help you develop the required "clear procedures" to prevent, detect, contain, and correct security violations in your practice. 


TMAIT Action Ad 4.13   

CMS Gives Refunds, Guidance on Incarcerated Patients

If you had a Medicare payment recouped for providing services to patients mistakenly identified as "incarcerated," refunds and guidance are on the way.

Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) incorrectly recouped payments from physicians for services they provided to numerous Medicare patients who had mistakenly been identified as incarcerated or otherwise in custody.

Novitas Solutions began issuing refunds to affected physicians in December. CMS has also published a fact sheet titled "Medicare Coverage of Items and Services Furnished to Beneficiaries in Custody Under a Penal Authority" to guide physicians on the agency's policies and procedures.

The new fact sheet clarifies when the agency considers patients to be in custody or incarcerated. It makes denial forms and notices more explicit in justifying the reasons for a recoupment. The fact sheet focuses on how physicians can ensure a patient's eligibility through the electronic transaction for eligibility verification, the Medicare administrative contractor's online portal, or by calling the contractor's hotline.

In letters to affected physicians notifying them of their Medicare refund, CMS included a spreadsheet with claim-level details to help identify the claims reprocessed and amounts paid or refunded on the claims. CMS noted that, in some cases, the refund amount may include the claim repayment amount plus interest assessed incorrectly on the erroneous overpayment.

When the recoupment error initially came to light, the American Medical Association sent a letter to urge CMS to halt recoupment and establish a process for resolving future discrepancies without further burdening physicians. TMA and medical associations of 53 states, districts, and territories cosigned the letter. TMA's Payment Advocacy Department staff worked with AMA and CMS staff to resolve the issue.

The organizations urged the agency to stop the recovery and "improve the process used to identify periods of incarceration and clarify denial forms and notices so that providers are aware of the explicit reason justifying a recoupment." The letter said the groups "oppose the burdensome requirement placed on physicians to confirm the incarceration status of patients. While under certain circumstances providers may be aware that a patient is incarcerated, in other instances providers may have no indication of a patient's status, especially if the patient is residing in a halfway house, living under home detention, on parole, or unconscious and unable to convey that he or she is in custody."

A patient who is on parole, supervised release, or medical furlough or who lives in a halfway house or similar situation may be in the custody of authorities under a penal statute. In such cases, Medicare payment may be barred.

Please note that messaging for denied claims regarding incarcerated Medicare beneficiaries will change in February. For details, see MLN Matters No. MM8488.

For more information, visit the CMS website

TMAF to Fund More Programs in 2014

TMA has launched two new health improvement initiatives, bringing the total number of TMA Foundation (TMAF)-funded grant programs to seven this year. This represents nearly $390,000 in grant support from TMA's philanthropic arm, up from $329,000 in 2013.

The new projects are these:

  • Choosing Wisely encourages physicians and patients to discuss the appropriateness of medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary or even harmful.
  • Walk With a Doc — Texas was in pilot phase last year. Thanks to a generous gift from Aetna Foundation and a grant from TMAF, it will expand to 14 physician-led walk sites this year. Walk With a Doc is part of a national grassroots movement devoted to encouraging healthy physical activity and reversing the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. 

Award-winning programs that TMAF will continue to support in 2014 include Hard Hats for Little Heads, Be Wise — ImmunizeSM, the Minority Scholarship Program, the Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching, and the Award for Excellence in Academic Medicine. To learn more or donate to ensure the future of TMA's outstanding health improvement programming, visit the TMAF webpage; email TMAF Executive Director Lisa Stark Walsh; or call (800) 880-1300, ext. 1666, or (512) 370-1666.

Be Wise — Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.  

Discovery Zone at TMA Winter Conference

Want to learn more about the many great benefits your TMA membership brings? Have a question or want hands-on training on how to use a member service? Stop by the TMA Discovery Zone at the 2014 TMA Winter Conference and explore some fantastic things your TMA is doing to support physicians across Texas.

Visit the TMA Discovery Zone to:  

  • Peruse the current CME catalog in the TMA Education Center;
  • Learn how TMA's expert consultants can assist your practice;
  • Get hands-on training for DocbookMD — a HIPAA-secure mobile communication tool;
  • Get answers from TMA Knowledge Center staff;
  • Find technology and quality resources for meaningful use, the Physician Quality Reporting System, and more; and
  • Ease your transition to ICD-10 with an introduction to TMA's Complete ICD-10 Implementation Solution.  

TMA Winter Conference will be at the Hyatt Regency in Austin Jan. 31-Feb. 1, and registration is open. Make your hotel reservations online or by calling (888) 421-1442. 

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is a confirmed speaker for the conference. Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek, MD, along with a panel of physician leaders and legislators, will discuss the new health care transformation during the General Session on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 8:30 to 11:45 am. 

Free Workers' Comp Education on Billing Changes

The Texas Department of Insurance's (TDI's) Division of Workers' Compensation is hosting free education sessions on required new billing forms at its field offices around the state in February. Training will help workers' compensation system participants comply with mandatory changes regarding physician billing procedures that effect medical bills submitted on or after April 1.

The changes follow the newly updated 1500 Health Insurance Claim Form Version 02/12 (CMS-1500). The amendments also update the requirements for the UB-04, DWC Form-066, ADA 2006 Dental Claim Form, and CMS-1500 forms.

The "Workers' Compensation Paper Billing Form Changes" education sessions will provide information regarding:

  • Comparison of the old and new requirements for medical billing forms;
  • Deadline for using the new form and requirements;
  • Medical fee dispute resolution process; and
  • Available resources from the Division of Workers' Compensation and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The session dates and locations are:

Beaumont: Feb. 5
Lufkin: Feb. 5
Houston: Feb. 6
Denton: Feb. 12
Tyler: Feb. 12
Waco: Feb. 12
Dallas: Feb. 13
Fort Worth: Feb. 13
Corpus Christi: Feb. 19
Laredo: Feb. 19
Weslaco: Feb. 19
Wichita Falls: Feb. 19
San Antonio: Feb. 20
Austin: Feb. 25
Abilene: Feb. 26
Amarillo: Feb. 26
El Paso: Feb. 26
Lubbock: Feb. 26
Midland: Feb. 26
San Angelo: Feb. 26

To register online and for more details on the sessions, visit the division's Events and Training Calendar

Disguise Yourself at TMAF's 21st Annual Benefit Gala

Join your colleagues and gala cochairs, Joe Todd, MD, and Susan Todd, of Fort Worth, at the TMA Foundation (TMAF) 21st anniversary gala, A Masqued Ball, Friday, May 2, at the Omni Fort Worth, held in conjunction with TexMed 2014. You'll enjoy an evening of revelry fit for a carnival of incognito party goers, with two guest receptions, a silent auction, special entertainment, and dinner.

Purchase your tickets or table now. VIP tickets (greater recognition and early entrance) may be purchased for $225, and regular tickets are $175 through April 30. 

Proceeds benefit TMA health promotion programs, including Be Wise ─ ImmunizeSM, Hard Hats for Little Heads, the Ernest and Sarah Butler Excellence in Science Teaching Awards, Choosing Wisely, and the Minority Scholarship Program

Proceeds also help fund TMAF's Healthy Now, Healthy Future initiatives, including the Champion of Health Award and Medical Community Grants Program, which unite medicine, business, and community in a shared vision of a healthier Texas. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the TMAF webpage, email Sean Dunham, or call (800) 880-1300, ext. 1664, or (512) 370-1664.

Be Wise ─ Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.  

 

   PC Action Ad June 13     

Now Accepting Quality Poster Submissions

TMA's second annual Quality Poster Session will take place at TexMed 2014 in Fort Worth in May. You will have the chance to share your successes and breakthroughs in improving patient care with your peers from around the state. 

TMA and the TMF Health Quality Institute will host an official continuing medical education (CME) presentation at TexMed, during which the poster authors can talk about their creations. The posters will then be on display for viewing throughout the rest of the day.

The Quality Poster Session is a great opportunity for all physicians to support their colleagues by taking time to walk through and see what's happening in the medical community in Texas. Poster session attendees will also earn CME credit and learn some best practices to develop their own programs.

Have a quality improvement success you want to present? Submit your abstract today. First-, second-, and third-place winners will receive special recognition at TexMed and in Texas Medicine magazine. All selected submissions will receive a modest stipend.

Refer to the Quality Poster Session FAQs or contact Rebecca Stevens by email or phone, (800) 880-1300, ext. 1423, or (512) 370-1423, with questions. This will be a great opportunity for you to not only report on your quality improvement methods and best practices, but to also gain inspiration from your colleagues' approaches to providing quality patient care and to identify new quality improvement techniques to implement in your own practice.

Get AccessMedicine Textbooks from TMA

The TMA Knowledge Center is adding an innovative textbook resource to our online databases. AccessMedicine from McGraw-Hill Medical provides TMA members with access to more than 75 medical titles from the best minds in medicine, updated content, thousands of images and illustrations, interactive self-assessment, case files, timesaving diagnostic and point-of-care tools, a comprehensive search platform, and the ability to view from and download content to a mobile device.

Updated frequently and expanded continuously by world-renowned physicians, AccessMedicine provides fast, direct access to the information necessary for completing evaluations, diagnoses, and case management decisions, as well as for pursuing research, medical education, or self-assessment and board review.

AccessMedicine comprises respected and revered medical titles such as Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, CURRENT Medical Diagnosis & Treatment, Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine, and Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine.

Get Access Medicine through the TMA Knowledge Center members-only books and journals page. If you have problems logging in, email or call the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955.

TMA PHW Conference Focuses on Cultural Competence

"Cultural Competence: Putting Patients First" will be the theme of the Physician Health and Wellness (PHW) Training Session and 21st Annual Retreat, Feb. 14-15, at the Inn on Barons Creek in Fredericksburg.   

Presentations during the conference will include Prescription Access in Texas; Cultural Competence; How to Engage Your Audience in an Effective Presentation; Beyond PowerPoint: Other Technologies on the Horizon; Copyright Laws: What Physicians Need to Know; Ethics of Cultural Conflicts in Medicine; Folk Medicine; Complementary and Alternative Medicines; How to Improve Communication Skills in Cross-Cultural Populations; and Sexuality, Gender Variance, and Cultural Competence.    

Presented by the TMA Committee on PHW, the conference has been accredited for a maximum of 10.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, 7.5 of which are designated as ethics and/or professional responsibility education.

Those who will benefit from the seminar are physicians of all specialties; members and potential new members on the regional education teams of the PHW Committee; members and consultants of state and county medical society PHW committees; district coordinators; hospital chiefs of staff, medical staff coordinators, and members of hospital-based peer assistance committees; and others interested in learning more about the issues.   

Review the conference brochure, and register online. To request a brochure or for additional information, contact Linda Kuhn by telephone at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1342, or (512) 370-1342, or by email.

This Month in Texas Medicine

The January issue of Texas Medicine  reports the results of a RAND survey about what makes physicians happy and what makes them feel dissatisfied with practicing medicine. It also tells you how TMA's Physician Services Organization will equip physicians for the crucial role they will play in new health care models; explains the key role physicians play in educating patients about vaccines; discusses how an improved Medicaid provider portal has the potential to improve care, if done right; examines the impact of AMA's declaration that obesity is a disease; and explains how TMA is helping physicians incorporate the "Choosing Wisely" program into their daily practice.

Check out our digital edition.

Texas Medicine RSS Feed

Don't want to wait for Texas Medicine to land in your mailbox? You can access it as an RSS feed, the same way you get the TMA Practice E-Tips RSS feed.

E-Tips RSS Feed

TMA Practice E-Tips, a valuable source of hands-on, use-it-now advice on coding, billing, payment, HIPAA compliance, office policies and procedures, and practice marketing, is available as an RSS feed on the TMA website. Once there, you can download an RSS reader, such as Feedreader, Sharpreader, Sage, or NetNewsWire Lite. You also can subscribe to the RSS feeds for TMA news releases and for Blogged Arteries, the feed for Action.  

 This Just In ...

Want the latest and hottest news from TMA in a hurry? Then log on to  Blogged Arteries.  

TMA Education Center

The TMA Education Center offers convenient, one-stop access to the continuing medical education Texas physicians need. TMA's practice management, cancer, and physician health courses are now easier than ever to find online. 

Webinars

HIPAA Training for Medical Office Staff
1/22

Complying With HIPAA Security
2/19

On-Demand Webinars

OSHA Annual Training Webinar

Hard Knocks: An Update on Concussion and Texas Law  

Conferences  

TMA Winter Conference
1/31-2/1    Austin

TexMed2014
5/2-3    Fort Worth  

Physician Health & Wellness, ext. 1342

Cultural Competence: Putting Patients First  
2/14-15 Fredericksburg 

Healthy Physicians: Healthy Patients 
3/29      Galveston 
4/5        Amarillo 

About Action       

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