TMA Action June 4, 2012

 News and Insights from Texas Medical Association 

 
 
 INSIDE: TMA to Congress: No Sneak Torts

UHC Delays Beacon Lab Benefit Program
Sunset Commission Calls for Mandatory Pain Med History Checks
Victory: Anthem-Cigna Merger Blocked by Court
Medicare Meaningful Use Attestation Deadline Extended
Meaningful Use Penalty Reconsideration Form Deadline
Practice Websites Targeted in ADA Shakedown
Comptroller Releases Health Care Spending Report
Confused About Quality Reporting? Get Help From TMF and TMA

MACRA: Propose Your Own Physician-Focused Payment Model
ACIP Publishes 2017 Immunization Schedules
Registration Open for the Texas Primary Care and Health Home Summit
New Infographic Promotes Child Care Worker Vaccinations
TMAF Honors Endowment Innovation Campaign Donors
Challenges in Austin, Change in Washington
This Month in Texas Medicine

 
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UHC Delays Beacon Lab Benefit Program

Strong opposition from organized medicine pushed UnitedHealthcare (UHC) to put on hold an expansion of its Laboratory Benefit Management Program, which would have been extended to fully insured commercial plan patients in Texas effective March 1. 

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Sunset Commission Calls for Mandatory Pain Med History Checks

In its Report to the 85th Legislature the Sunset Advisory Commission recommends breathing 12 more years of life into the Texas Medical Board and goes into great detail about TMB's oversight of physicians who prescribe "extremely addictive and dangerous drugs, particularly drugs designed for patients with chronic pain, as some of these drugs contribute to an epidemic of addiction and overdose throughout the country." The commission recommends "the board target its inspections of pain management clinics toward the top prescribers, that the board more effectively monitor prescribing patterns through the newly enhanced Prescription Monitoring Program (PDMP), and that physicians and physician assistants be required to search the program and review a patient's prescription history before prescribing dangerous pain medications." 

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Victory: Anthem-Cigna Merger Blocked by Court

In a significant win for organized medicine and the nation's patients, federal judge Amy Berman Jackson blocked the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger. She found that the merger would have substantially lessened competition for the sale of health insurance to national employers, resulting in higher prices and diminished prospects for innovation. Anthem Inc. planned to take over Cigna for $50 billion. American Medical Association findings show the Anthem-Cigna merger would enhance market power in 85 metropolitan areas within 13 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and Virginia. 

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Medicare Meaningful Use Attestation Deadline Extended

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the meaningful use attestation deadline for the Medicare electronic health record (EHR) incentive program to March 13. The Medicaid meaningful use attestation deadline remains March 16. 

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TMLT Ad Jan 2012



Meaningful Use Penalty Reconsideration Form Deadline

If you received a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stating that you are subject to a penalty for not meeting the meaningful use requirements during the 2015 electronic health record (EHR) reporting period and feel there’s been an error, you have until Feb. 28 to submit the reconsideration form to CMS. 

 

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Practice Websites Targeted in ADA Shakedown

An Austin attorney is sending demand letters to physicians and providers across the state alleging that their websites are not accessible to people with visual disabilities and that he will personally sue them unless they pay him $2,000 plus attorney fees. 

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Comptroller Releases Health Care Spending Report

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar issued a report examining health care-related spending by 68 state agencies and higher education institutions from 2011–15. 

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Confused About Quality Reporting? Get Help From TMF and TMA

Reporting deadlines for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value-Based Payment Modifier, and meaningful use programs are fast approaching. This data submission timeframe is happening at the same time CMS is rolling out the new Quality Payment Program, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and advanced alternative payment models required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Are you confused about the alphabet soup of quality reporting? If so, get help from the TMF Quality Innovation Network and TMA Practice Consulting. 

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ActionNeedtoKnow        



MACRA: Propose Your Own Physician-Focused Payment Model

Have you been reading up on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the new Quality Payment Program? Are the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and advanced alternative payment models (APMs) not good fits for your practice and specialty? If they’re not, consider proposing your own physician-focused payment model. Register today to learn about this opportunity and how to submit a strong proposal. 

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ACIP Publishes 2017 Immunization Schedules

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has released the 2017 immunization schedules for children and adults. 

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Registration Open for the Texas Primary Care and Health Home Summit

This year’s Texas Primary Care and Health Home Summit will be the fifth annual statewide conference focused on expanding access to high-quality, person-centered primary care for Texans and their families. Sponsored by TMA, the summit will offer stakeholders the opportunity to learn about innovative primary care models, including the health home. Attendees will become conversant with best practices for innovation in primary care and will have opportunities to interact with program experts at various stages of implementation. Register now to attend the summit May 11–12 at the Sheraton Gunter in San Antonio. 

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What Can Practice Production Numbers Tell You?

 Consider these factors if your production isn't consistent.

 A practice management tip from
 TMA Practice Consulting 

    



New Infographic Promotes Child Care Worker Vaccinations

Bacteria and viruses can spread easily in a child care center, putting those who work with children — and the kids themselves — at greater risk of contracting vaccine-preventable illnesses. TMA's new infographic, Vaccinations for Child Care Workers, lists the shots recommended for people who work with children: flu, pertussis, chickenpox, and measles. 

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TMAF Honors Endowment Innovation Campaign Donors

TMA Foundation recognized more than 100 TMA and TMA Alliance members who collectively donated $1 million to TMAF’s Endowment for Innovation Campaign (EIC) on Jan. 28 during TMA’s Winter Conference. 

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Challenges in Austin, Change in Washington

One month into Texas' 2017 legislative session, the ramp-up is beginning as medicine and lawmakers ready for what's certain to be a flurry of activity related to health care. 

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This Month in Texas Medicine

The February issue of Texas Medicine is a symposium on infectious diseases. The special edition of the magazine features clinical articles that cover ethical challenges related to infectious diseases, emerging infectious diseases, future epidemics, the infectious disease outbreak investigation process, health care-associated infection prevention, antimicrobial resistance, the hygiene hypothesis, and infectious disease physician workforce needs.

Check out our digital edition

Also, you can subscribe to RSS feeds for TMA Practice E-Tips, TMA news releases, Blogged Arteries, and Texas Medicine.

 

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 This Just In ...

 Want the latest, hottest news from TMA in a hurry? Then log on to  Blogged Arteries . You can hear the latest Podcast TMA and read the most recent news from Action and Texas Medicine.  


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. The seminars listed below are among the CME opportunities found in the TMA Education Center.

 Practice Management, Ext. 1421

Recorded Web Seminars

Avoiding RAC Audits 
 Avoiding the Courthouse: 10 Practice Pitfalls 

Communication Skills: Why Bother? 
 HIPAA and the HITECH Act        
 10 Ways to Turn Satisfied Patients Into Loyal Patients 
 Write, Click, or Paste ... The Changing World of Documentation  


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