Action: Oct. 1, 2014

TMA Action Oct. 1, 2014   News and Insights from Texas Medical Association

INSIDE: What About Hydrocodone Combination Refills?

What About Hydrocodone Combination Refills?
First U.S. Ebola Case Confirmed in Dallas
TMA Asks Legislature to Increase Medicaid, CHIP Payments for Physicians
TMA Opposes Bill to Expand Audiologists' Scope
TMA: CHIP Managed Care Plans Responsible for Out-of-Network Payments
Survey Says Physicians Overextended and Overworked
Are You Choosing Wisely?
Physicians Get Green Light to Treat Families for Infectious Diseases
DSHS Alert Urges Doctors to Report Respiratory Illness Outbreaks
Broadband Access Needed for EHR Incentive Programs
Educate Your Patients on Flu Vaccination
Training Available for Preventable Adverse Events Reporting
Get Your Practice in Shape With TMA’s Business Boot Camp
DSHS Offers Local Health Authority Training Module
TMA Knowledge Center Offers Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2015
Nominate a Teacher for Excellence in Science Teaching Award
TMF Announces 2013-14 Texas Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award Recipients
Take TMA's Texas Physician Survey
This Month in Texas Medicine  

What About Hydrocodone Combination Refills?

Q. On Aug. 22, 2014, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published a final rule in the Federal Register reclassifying drugs that contain hydrocodone combinations from Schedule III to Schedule II. The change will take effect Oct. 6, 2014.

If I write a prescription for a hydrocodone combination product on Oct. 5 (while it is still a Schedule III drug) and specify refills, will pharmacies honor those written under the Oct. 5 prescription, or must I rewrite the prescription as a Schedule II drug?

A. Prescriptions for hydrocodone combination products that are issued before Oct. 6 and that have authorized refills may be dispensed in accordance with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration rules until April 8, 2015. Both the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas State Board of Pharmacy have indicated to TMA that refills authorized on prescriptions dispensed prior to Oct. 6 will be honored.

For more answers, see the hydrocodone Q&A page on the TMA website. 

Published Sept. 24, 2014

TMA Practice E-Tips main page

First U.S. Ebola Case Confirmed in Dallas

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reports a Dallas hospital patient has tested positive for Ebola, making him the first case diagnosed in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the positive test, conducted Sept. 30 at the state public health laboratory in Austin. 

Texas Health Commissioner David Lakey, MD, says there are no other suspected cases in Texas.

DSHS says the patient is an adult with a recent history of travel to West Africa who developed symptoms days after returning to Texas. The patient went into isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where hospital officials say they have implemented infection control measures to help ensure the safety of patients and staff.

CDC Director Thomas "Tom" Frieden, MD, says there is no need to move the patient to a different or more specialized hospital for treatment. "Virtually any hospital in this country that can do isolation, can do isolation for Ebola," he said.

Dr. Frieden says CDC is sending a team to Dallas to help local and state officials identify and monitor what he called "a handful" of people potentially exposed to the patient. They will develop a map based on "time, place, and level of exposure" and then work "concentric circles" to evaluate those people.

"This is core public health work," Dr. Frieden said.

Early symptoms of Ebola include sudden fever, fatigue, and headache. Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure. 

DSHS encourages health care professionals to ask patients about recent travel and consider Ebola in patients with fever and a history of travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and some parts of Nigeria within 21 days of the onset of symptoms. CDC says there is no risk of transmission from patients who have recovered from Ebola or from those who have been exposed to the virus but are not yet sick. Visit the CDC website for more information about the disease. 

"Ebola is a scary disease because of the severity of the illness that it causes," Dr. Frieden said. "We're stopping it in its tracks in this country."

TMA Asks Legislature to Increase Medicaid, CHIP Payments for Physicians

TMA and 17 state specialty societies called on the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) asking for action to increase "utterly inadequate physician payment rates" in Texas Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 

In testimony regarding physician Medicaid and CHIP payments, TMA and the other organizations ask the LBB specifically for the following: 

  • Maintain Medicare parity in the 2016 to 2017 budget for primary care physicians currently receiving the higher rates. Congress enacted and funded the higher rates, but without legislative or congressional action, the rates will expire Dec. 31, 2014. At least six other states, including Alabama, have voted to sustain the higher payments to ensure an adequate physician network for their Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • Extend the parity payments for primary care to services provided to CHIP.
  • Establish competitive Medicaid and CHIP payment rates for physician specialties that are not included in the Medicaid to Medicare parity increase. 
  • Reverse the 8-percent payment reduction for physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses practicing under physician supervision. The cut, which will take effect in early 2015, will undermine Texas' efforts to promote team-based models of care, an essential element of reforming the Medicaid delivery system. 

The testimony cites preliminary data from TMA's 2014 physician survey, which indicates only 34 percent of physicians accept all new Medicaid patients, a 33-point decrease since 2000, when 67 percent of physicians said they would accept all new Medicaid patients. In the letter, TMA says "grossly inadequate payment is the single overriding reason physicians cite for why they or their colleagues limit or no longer participate in Medicaid." 

The letter stresses physicians want to participate in Medicaid "as a means to provide health care to vulnerable, low-income Texans," but acknowledges that "as owners of small businesses, facing ever more costly and demanding federal and state regulatory burdens, many just cannot afford to stay in a program that pays less than half their costs."

TMA also asked the LBB to support the Department of State Health Services' requests for funding for women's health, mental health, chronic disease prevention, tobacco prevention, substance abuse services, community mental health initiatives, and improvements to the state hospital system.  

"TMA strongly urges the Legislative Budget Board to seize this opportunity to invest in Texas' public health infrastructure as it relates to these costly issues and prevent paying an even higher price in the future," the letter states.

TMA Opposes Bill to Expand Audiologists' Scope

TMA and more than 110 national organizations, state and local medical associations, and state and local specialty societies delivered a clear message to members of the U.S. Congress: Oppose any efforts to give audiologists direct, unlimited access to Medicare patients without a physician referral and to include audiologists in the definition of physician. The groups outlined their opposition to House Resolution 5304 in a letter to Congress last month. 

In part, HR 5304, known as the Audiology Patient Choice Act of 2014, would enable Medicare patients to choose an audiologist without being under the care of or referred by a physician or other health care practitioner. Additionally, services wouldn't have to be provided under the supervision of a physician or other health care practitioner.

"Audiologists are not physicians and should not be considered as such under the Medicare program. Notwithstanding the patient safety concerns associated with direct access, the inclusion of audiologists in Medicare's definition of 'physician' will create confusion regarding the qualification and training of various health care providers," the letter states.

The letter adds "a physician-led health care team with coordination of services is the best approach for providing the highest quality care to patients."

TMA: CHIP Managed Care Plans Responsible for Out-of-Network Payments

Because federal law prohibits patients covered by the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) from paying anything other than a copay, the state of Texas should require managed care organizations in CHIP to cover the costs for out-of-network physicians. That's the position TMA takes in a formal letter to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. 

"The [health plans] are responsible, and should be held accountable, for setting rates at an appropriate level to attract an adequate number of physicians and other providers to join their networks and paying out-of-network providers at a rate sufficient to ensure balance billing does not occur," TMA General Counsel Rocky Wilcox wrote in TMA's comment letter. "Precluding medical providers from billing shifts the responsibility for the outstanding medical expense from the [plans] that voluntarily accepted network adequacy responsibilities and payment obligations under CHIP to physicians and other providers who never agreed to participate in CHIP or enter into a contract with the CHIP [plans]."

 TMLT Action Ad 4.13 

Survey Says Physicians Overextended and Overworked

Physicians are at or exceeding full patient capacity and are limiting access to their practices in light of significant changes to the medical practice environment, according to a comprehensive new survey by The Physicians Foundation.

Overworked physicians, harried by mountains of federal regulations and the looming switch to ICD-10 and seeing little help from electronic health records (EHRs) and their clinical autonomy threatened, are pessimistic about the state of the medical profession, according to one of the largest and most comprehensive physician surveys conducted in the United States. Texas physicians, who account for 1,807 of the 20,088 physician respondents, were even more negative.

Among the key findings of "2014 Survey of America's Physicians: Practice Patterns and Perspectives" are:  

  • Nationally, 55 percent are "“very" or "somewhat" negative about the current state of the medical profession. Among Texas physicians, that figure is almost 64 percent.
  • Half of all physicians and 61 percent of Texas physicians are "very" or "somewhat" negative or pessimistic about the future of their profession.
  • About 80 percent of all physicians, and a like share of Texans, say they are "overextended and overworked" or "at full capacity."
  • Physicians spend a staggering 20 percent of their time on nonclinical paperwork.
  • Half of all U.S. physicians and 58 percent of the Texans say the switch to ICD-10 next year will "create a severe administration problem." Only 11 percent of U.S. doctors and 8 percent of Texas physicians say the shift will "improve diagnosis or quality of care."
  • About 80 percent of Texas physicians — and 85 percent of the entire sample — say their practice has put an EHR system in place. Almost one-third of those nationally, and a quarter of the Texans, say the EHR has improved the quality of care. But across the board, about one-fourth say it has detracted from the quality of care, nearly half say it has detracted from practice efficiency, and almost as many say it has detracted from the quality of patient interaction.
  • When it comes to clinical autonomy, almost 18 percent of Texas doctors and 15 percent of physicians nationwide say "my decisions often are compromised." 

"The state of the physician workforce, and medicine in general, is experiencing a period of massive transition," said Lou Goodman, PhD, president of The Physicians Foundation and chief executive officer of TMA. "While I am troubled that a majority of physicians are pessimistic about the state of medicine, I am heartened by the fact that 71 percent of physicians would still choose to be a physician if they had to do it over, while nearly 80 percent describe patient relationships as the most satisfying factor about practicing medicine."

Consulting firm Merritt Hawkins conducted the survey online from March 2014 through June 2014. 

"Given the changes in the current health care climate, it is imperative the physicians' perspective be presented," said TMA President Austin I. King, MD. "This survey ensures physicians' voices can be heard loud and clear throughout the nation." 

The Physicians Foundation Board of Directors is sharing the survey results with political leaders, policymakers, and the news media nationwide.  

Are You Choosing Wisely?  

The Choosing Wisely® campaign is a no-cost initiative that promotes conversations among physicians and patients about the need for, or lack thereof, many commonly ordered tests or treatments. 

Here's how to get started: 

  1. Learn more about the Choosing Wisely campaign and how it can help you. Watch the Choosing Wisely continuing medical education (CME) webinars and earn 3.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and 3.75 ethics credits. For a limited time, the Choosing Wisely CME bundle is available free.
  2. Identify your medical specialty's Choosing Wisely recommendations to learn what recommendations pertain to your specialty and practice. 
  3. Use the many resources provided by Choosing Wisely and TMA in your practice: fact sheets, videos, patient education materials, and more. 
  4. Educate your patients about tests, procedures, or medications that are common but may not be necessary to ensure the right care is delivered at the right time. 

The ABIM Foundation awarded TMA and its philanthropic arm, the TMA Foundation, a grant to advance the Choosing Wisely campaign among Texas physicians. Support for the grant program comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  

Physicians Get Green Light to Treat Families for Infectious Diseases

Texas physicians may now prescribe medications and vaccines to close contacts of their patients to prevent the further spread of infectious diseases. The Texas Medical Board (TMB) announced the change to its rules in the July 25 issue of the Texas Register.

The old TMB rule prohibited physicians from providing postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), or treatment administered immediately after exposure to an illness, to family and close contacts of patients with infectious diseases such as pertussis and meningococcal meningitis, unless the physician had already established a professional relationship with the close contacts and family members. 

TMA, along with the Texas Pediatric Society and the Texas Infectious Diseases Society, petitioned the board to change the rule to better enable physicians to implement Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. Read "Protecting the Family" in the August 2014 issue of Texas Medicine

CDC, the American Public Health Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend PEP as a preventive measure for family members or others in close proximity to patients with a variety of infectious diseases. Depending on the illness, PEP can be administered in the form of antibiotics, vaccines, or immune globulins.

Before the change, physicians in Texas could prescribe treatment to nonestablished patients only in cases of sexually transmitted diseases or when the governor declares a pandemic. 

TMA argued if a physician diagnoses a child with an infectious disease, the physician should be able to prescribe antibiotics to the child and his or her immediate family members or other individuals who regularly come in close contact with the child. The pertussis outbreak in 2013 spawned TMA to petition TMB for the rule change.

In May, TMA's House of Delegates adopted recommendations in a report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases to work with TMB to allow physicians to implement recommendations for PEP approved by CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services. According to TMB, the rule change improves "the medical community's ability to safely, quickly, and effectively respond to infectious diseases that are of primary public health concern in Texas."

DSHS Alert Urges Doctors to Report Respiratory Illness Outbreaks

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has issued a health alert since learning nine residents of North and East Texas tested positive for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory.

According to CDC, EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Severe symptoms may include difficulty breathing and wheezing. People with asthma may have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.

DSHS adds other more common respiratory viruses are also currently circulating and can cause symptoms similar to EV-D68. For example, of the 37 samples from Texas that have been tested by CDC, 15 were positive for rhinovirus. Other Texas samples are still pending enterovirus testing at CDC.

The department encourages health professionals to report clusters or outbreaks of respiratory illnesses (any etiology, any age group, any severity level), as well as any suspected EV-D68 patients with atypical manifestations (neurological symptoms), to their local health department

Also, CDC has information on enterovirus common prevention practices you can share with patients and their families. 

Clinicians should be aware of EV-D68 as a possible cause of acute, unexplained, severe respiratory illness, particularly in children. The DSHS health alert includes recommendations for clinicians, practices for reducing risk of EV-D68 infection, and DSHS EV-D68 criteria for specimen submission. DSHS says specimen testing criteria are limited to the following: 

  • Pediatric patients younger than 18 years who have been admitted to an intensive care unit with severe respiratory illness with symptom onset no earlier than Aug. 1, who have tested positive for enterovirus or enterovirus/rhinovirus, if such testing has been completed. Please note specimens may be submitted without previous enterovirus or enterovirus/rhinovirus testing.
  • Patients of any age with respiratory illness who are part of a suspected EV-D68 cluster as determined by the local health department.
  • Suspected EV-D68 patients of any age with atypical illness manifestations. 

In addition to meeting at least one of the criteria listed above, DSHS says specimens must be accompanied by an EV-D68 patient-under-investigation form and a DSHS virology specimen submission form. See the DSHS specimen submission and collection protocol for more information. Local health departments can provide copies of the current investigation form and assist health professionals with specimen submission to the DSHS laboratory. Qualified specimens received by DSHS will be forwarded to CDC for enterovirus testing.

Access the CDC advisory for more information and guidance, including a link to a case reporting form and contact information for public health departments.

Broadband Access Needed for EHR Incentive Programs

Physicians living in rural areas may struggle with some of the meaningful use measures, especially if their patients cannot access the information required. For this reason, there is an exclusion related to broadband access. TMA has received calls about how physicians can find out if they are eligible for this exclusion.  

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), "An eligible professional that conducts 50 percent or more of his or her patient encounters in a county that does not have 50 percent or more of its housing units with 3Mbps broadband availability, according to the latest information available from the FCC [Federal Communications Commission], on the first day of the EHR reporting period may exclude the second measure of the Patient Electronic Access objective and the Secure Electronic Messaging objective."  

The FCC's national broadband map allows eligible professionals to search, analyze, and map broadband availability in their area. Physicians concerned about patients having access to broadband should review the FCC's broadband map.  

If you need in-office EHR consulting, TMA recommends you contact the regional extension center (REC) in your area. Visit the TMA REC webpage for details on how the RECs can help.  

If you have questions related to the EHR meaningful use program, contact TMA's Health Information Technology Department by email or by calling (800) 880-5720.  

 TMAIT Action Ad Sept 14   

Educate Your Patients on Flu Vaccination

Oct. 1 is annual Influenza Awareness Day in Texas. The day, designated by the Texas Legislature in 2013, raises public awareness of the health risks associated with influenza and encourages Texans to reduce these risks. One of the safest, most effective ways to reduce transmission of flu is to receive annual flu vaccination, universally recommended for anyone aged 6 months and older. 

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also recommends receiving the immunization as soon as the vaccine is available. This year's trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines will contain the same virus strains as last year's vaccines. They are available in different formulations, including the standard-dose shot, intradermal shot, high-dose shot, and nasal spray.

Influenza Awareness Day is also an opportunity to discuss the risks associated with flu. Influenza-related complications require hospitalizations and can be deadly. Flu virus can cause severe disease, which can also be associated with advanced age or pregnancy or from complications of underlying cardiopulmonary or other chronic diseases.

Discussing the benefits of flu vaccine provides an opportunity to determine whether your patients are up-to-date on all of the recommended vaccines for adults. For uninsured patients, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) provides free vaccines for adults through the Adult Safety Net Program. Vaccines offered through the program include hepatitis A; hepatitis B; human papillomavirus (HPV); measles/mumps/rubella (MMR); pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23); and tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap).

The DSHS website allows you to search your city or county to identify where patients or their family members can get vaccinated. The website also includes instructions on how to become a provider through the Adult Safety Net Program.

Training Available for Preventable Adverse Events Reporting

Mandatory reporting of preventable adverse events (PAEs) occurring at Texas health care facilities, including general hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, will begin Jan. 1, 2015. Amendments to the Texas Health and Safety Code during the 2013 legislative session require reporting by health care facilities to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for public posting on the DSHS website. 

DSHS is offering a webinar that demonstrates how to enter PAE data into the Texas Health Care Safety Network online reporting program. Training targets include general hospital and ambulatory surgery center personnel in quality improvement, risk management, infection prevention, patient safety, and administration, and others involved in PAE reporting.

Register for the webinar, which will be offered multiple dates and times, beginning Oct. 22. For webinar dates, visit the DSHS website.

Contact Vickie Gillespie at or for more information.

Get Your Practice in Shape With TMA’s Business Boot Camp

In this tough business climate of rising costs and falling payments, two-thirds of Texas physicians report having trouble covering payroll and other practice expenses because of slow pay, low pay, or no pay from insurers and government payers. It is now more imperative than ever to closely manage your practice's finances, minimize waste, and collect every bit of income you are due.

TMA provides the tools and education for you to make these things happen in the new seminar Business Boot Camp: Take Charge of Your Finances. This seminar shows you how to monitor revenues and expenses, bill smart and collect what's due, fine-tune your payer mix, and avoid incentive program penalties.

Physicians and practice managers alike can benefit from this seminar by learning how to take charge of their practice's finances. Remember: Passive financial management can rob you of the resources you need to care for your patients. Managing finances proactively will help you secure your future.

Thanks to a generous grant from The Physicians Foundation, Business Boot Camp is available at a subsidized price for all Texas physicians. This series begins in Houston Oct. 7 and travels to 14 cities across the state through mid-November. Register today to reserve your seat for the seminar near you. 

DSHS Offers Local Health Authority Training Module

Physicians who have been appointed as a local health authority (LHA) or have an interest in the role can now access online training from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Division for Regional and Local Health Services. The LHA training module debuted online in August. The module, developed based on feedback obtained in a statewide survey of LHAs, provides an overview of roles and responsibilities. 

DSHS says the module is one part of a multifaceted approach to help meet the training needs of LHAs as they serve their local communities. The agency also has plans for an annual conference workshop and ongoing webinars to address public health issues based on LHA needs. 

To register for the module and to earn 1 hour of continuing medical education credit, visit the Texas Health Steps Service Provider website.

TMA Knowledge Center Offers Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2015

To deliver the best care to your patients, turn to the No. 1 annually updated guide in internal medicine and clinical practice, Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2015

The latest edition is now available in AccessMedicine, a database offered as a member-only benefit through the TMA Knowledge Center. Access this database and many others through the website

Questions? Email the TMA Knowledge Center or call (800) 880-1300 or (512) 370-1300.

PC Action Ad Oct 13 

Nominate a Teacher for Excellence in Science Teaching Award

TMA is giving away $24,000 in cash prizes to great science teachers. Please help spread the word. Three Texas science teachers will receive $5,000 each and an all-expense paid trip to TMA's annual conference for the TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching presentation ceremony in May 2015. Their schools will receive a $2,000 award to use toward the science curriculum. In addition, second-place winners receive $1,000 for their schools.

Each year, the award recognizes and rewards schoolteachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels who share their energy and enthusiasm for science with their students. We do this because innovative teaching supports the basic premise of medicine — that of health care having a scientific foundation.

All Texas state-certified, full-time public and private school science teachers with a minimum of two years' completed classroom experience who will return to teach during the 2015-16 school year are eligible.

Visit the TMA website to nominate science teachers or to apply for the award. The nomination deadline is Oct. 25, and the application deadline is Dec. 31. (All nominees will be contacted by TMA and asked to complete an application.) 

Together, let's make sure Texas science teachers are well represented. Nominate or apply today.

If you have questions, email Gail Schatte at TMA or call her at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1600, or (512) 370-1600.

TMF Announces 2013-14 Texas Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award Recipients

TMA, the TMF Health Quality Institute, and the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association recognize the 291 recipients of the 2013-14 Texas Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award for their commitment to improving patient care. 

These practices have demonstrated excellence in health care quality through exemplary performance on national quality priorities. View the list of recipients.

To receive an award, practices must have met established thresholds in the all of the following four categories: 

  1. Exemplary performance on nationally recognized clinical outcomes measures,
  2. Regular use of population care management methods,
  3. Participation in a data reporting quality initiative, and
  4. Implementation of tools and processes to promote patient engagement and improve the patient's experience. 

Learn more about the award program

For more information, email or call TMF quality improvement consultant Sherri Gagner at (512) 334-1717.

Take TMA's Texas Physician Survey

TMA's 2014 Texas Physician Survey is under way. Complete the survey, and provide TMA with your opinion on and experience related to health care issues. Your feedback helps support the association's policy development and political focus. 

Since 1990, TMA has conducted a biennial survey of Texas physicians that focuses primarily on health care practice and economic and legislative issues. Each month, TMA emails a section of the survey to all Texas physicians with email addresses in the association's directory.

If you have not received an email, contact Jessica Davis, TMA health care research and data analyst. Texas physicians who answer all of the surveys in 2014 are eligible to win one of five Apple iPads. 

This Month in Texas Medicine

The October issue of Texas Medicine features a cover story on the 50th anniversary of the first surgeon general's report to link smoking to cancer. It examines the tobacco industry's marketing of new products to younger potential customers, and efforts from state and federal health organizations to make smoking a thing of the past. In the latest issue, you'll also find information on the new Institute of Medicine report on graduate medical education, a look at state health agencies under Sunset Commission review, a comparison of conflicting health insurance premium subsidy court rulings, a discussion of emerging trends in worksite primary care, and information on the TMF Health Quality Institute, Texas' quality improvement organization.

Click to launch the full edition in a new window.  

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.    

Deadlines for Doctors 


TMA's Deadlines for Doctors alerts you and your staff to upcoming state and federal compliance timelines and offers information on key health policy issues that impact your practice.  


HIT: First-Year Participants: Deadline to Attest to Meaningful Use for the 2014 Medicare EHR Incentive Program  

HIT: Upgrade EHR for Meaningful Use Stage 2


Reclassification of Hydrocodone Combination Products

 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.  


Business Boot Camp: Take Charge of Your Finances 
10/7    Houston
10/8    Houston
10/15  Corpus Christi
10/16  Harlingen
10/21  Tyler
10/22  Dallas
10/23  Fort Worth
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10/29  Amarillo
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11/11  Abilene
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Dealing with Difficult Patients 
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Physician Health and Wellness, ext. 1342

 Physician Well-Being for Life  
10/24-25 Dallas                  

Healthy Physicians: Healthy Patients  
10/4    Tyler  

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Last Updated On

November 09, 2017