Fall 2016

TMA Now Accepting Minority Scholarship Applications

The TMA Minority Scholarship Program has provided scholarships to qualified, underrepresented minority medical students since 1998. This scholarship supports TMA’s mission to improve the health of all Texans and its long-standing commitment to address health disparities. 

Review the scholarship’s qualifications and forward the online application to those who may benefit. Also, consider donating to the TMA Foundation so all Texas medical schools receive funding for an annual scholarship. 

For more information about the scholarship program, email Gail Schatte at TMA, or call her at (512) 370-1600 or (800) 880-1300, ext. 1600. To contact the TMA Foundation, call (512) 370-1664, or (800) 880-1300, ext. 1664. 

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 Submit an Abstract for the TexMed 2017 Poster Session

TMA announces the fifth annual TexMed Poster Session, presented by the TMA Council on Health Care Quality, on May 6, 2017, during TexMed 2017 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. 

The TMA Poster Session is a platform for physicians and medical students to share their breakthroughs and best practices for better patient care, especially in one or more of the six aims of quality care: that it be safe, timely, effective, equitable, efficient, and patient-centered.

The TMA Poster Session offers you a chance to gain exposure, network with Texas physicians, and have your work published. Here are just a few of the many reasons to participate:   

  • You can present your poster to physicians from across Texas during a continuing medical education event at TexMed 2017.
  • Your abstract will appear on the TMA website, which draws more than 75,000 visitors each month.
  • The top three winners in each category receive a cash award.  

Abstract submissions are due on March 17, 2017. All accepted poster exhibitors who participate in the author-hosted presentation at TexMed will receive a travel stipend.  

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 New Rules Say You Must Address Language Barriers 

Oct. 16, 2016, brings a new requirement for a sign to post on your practice walls, as well as a plan for fulfilling its promise. TMA’s new white paper MembersOnlyRed has all the details about accommodating your patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). 

New rules from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lay out a compliance framework for physicians and health care providers regarding all types of discrimination, including discrimination against individuals with LEP. 

The framework, explained in detail in the new white paper from the TMA Office of General Counsel about accommodating people with limited English proficiency, includes factors to help you determine the reasonable steps you must take to provide these individuals meaningful access.

For example, what is the nature of your communication with patients who speak another language? How often do you encounter patients of a specific language? What resources are you realistically able to provide?  

In addition, you'll be required to: 

  • Post a notice of consumer rights providing information about communication assistance; and
  • Post taglines in the top 15 languages spoken by LEP individuals in Texas, indicating the availability of such assistance. The white paper lists these languages and a link to translations from HHS. 

The rules implement the nondiscrimination provision, Section 1557, of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin (which includes limited English proficiency), sex (this includes discrimination on the basis of  gender identity), age, or disability.

Note that the new discrimination rules apply to any entity that has a health program or activity, any part of which receives federal financial assistance from HHS. HHS says most physicians will find themselves subject to Section 1557 and thus must comply with the requirements of the rules. You should consult with your legal counsel to determine the application of the rules to your particular situation.

If you have questions, contact the TMA Knowledge Center by phone at (800) 880-7955 or by email.

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TMA Offers New Cyber Security and Ransomware Tools  

Ransomware has reached Texas, and its emergence highlights the importance of up-to-date security. Health care is particularly vulnerable to the ransomware threat. KPMG's 2015 Health Care and Cyber Security Survey, which polled 223 U.S.-based health care executives, found four-fifths of respondents said cyber attacks had compromised their information technology.  

Several large health systems have been high-profile ransomware targets. When smaller practices are the target, the perpetrators adjust their ransom demands accordingly. You can take steps to protect your practice.

TMA is raising awareness and educating physicians on ways to manage security and technology risks. A new webinar, Cyber Security and Ransomware: Protect Your Practice, is available in the TMA Education Center. The webinar outlines how to mitigate cyber risk and respond appropriately in the event of a breach or ransomware demand.

TMA's new Ransomware and Cyber Security Resource Center offers cyber security articles, education resources, consulting services, and endorsed vendor information — all in one place. 

If you have cyber security questions, call TMA's Health Information Technology Department at (800) 880-5720, or send an email.

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Register for the Texas Quality Summit

 This fall, TMA is hosting a unique event designed to help you improve performance, increase efficiency, and continue to deliver high-quality care. Join your colleagues for the Texas Quality Summit Nov. 18–19, and get the latest resources and hands-on training to take your practice to the next level. Register now, as seating is available to a limited number of participants on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The Texas Quality Summit, cohosted by the TMA Council on Health Care Quality and the American College of Medical Quality (ACMQ), begins with a powerful pre-conference workshop, ACMQ's Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Workshop, on Friday, Nov. 18. Next, attend the full-day summit on Saturday, Nov. 19, for in-depth presentations, physician panels, and case studies addressing quality strategies to enhance your practice. Programming will include an update on health population trends in Texas, transitioning to value-based care, alternative payment models, implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), and much more. 

The 2016 Texas Quality Summit will be held in Austin at the TMA building in the Thompson Auditorium. Discounted room rates are available to attendees at the Doubletree, conveniently located across the street from the TMA building. 

Space is limited, so register online today, or visit the TMA website for more information. 

For more information about the summit, read "Learn From the Experts" in the October issue of Texas Medicine

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 Register for CDC Pink Book Immunization Training in Austin

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will present live CDC Pink Book training on the epidemiology and prevention of vaccine-preventable diseases Oct. 25–26 at the Omni Austin Hotel at SouthparkRegister today. 

CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases faculty will present a comprehensive review of immunization principles, as well as vaccine-preventable diseases and the recommended vaccines to prevent them. The event will cover the most up-to-date immunization information from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. 

The Texas Department of State Health Services Immunization Unit has reserved a block of rooms at the hotel with a government rate of $135 per night. Reserve your room.

All attendees will need a copy of the Pink Book. You may choose to download it free of charge from the CDC website, or purchase a book with registration before Oct. 15. 

For more information, visit the Pink Book training website. If you have questions, email Linc Allen at DSHS 

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Win $5,000 for Your Local Champion of Health

Nominate a program in your town or city that promotes healthy lives and healthy communities by Oct. 31, and it may win a $5,000 grant and bronze commemorative statue. The 2017 TMA Foundation (TMAF) John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award focuses on exceptional projects that address urgent threats to the public’s health and those that further TMAF’s mission to fund initiatives with the power to help physicians create a healthier future for all Texans.

The deadline for entries is Oct. 31. Winners will be notified in December, and the award presentation is Jan. 28, 2017, at 2017 TMA Winter Conference at the Hyatt Regency Austin. Visit www.tmaf.org, or contact TMAF at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1664, or (512) 370-1664 for nomination forms and more information about the program. 

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TMA Education Center Offers CME 

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. 

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Update Your TMA Online Profile So Referring Colleagues Can Find You

When prospective patients and referring colleagues visit TMA’s online Find a Physician directory (the most frequently visited page on the TMA website) or the DocbookMD mobile app — will they be able to find you? 

“Take a few moments to check the data in your online membership profile and make any corrections needed,” said Steven L. Cole, DO, past chair of the TMA Committee on Membership. “Be sure to confirm your contact information under the Address tab. 

“While you’re at it, click on the Interests tab to tell us exactly which professional topics you need to know the most about,” Dr. Cole continued. “Thanks in advance for helping us keep our membership lists accurate and for helping us use your membership dollars for purposes more worthwhile than shuffling paper.” 

Questions? Contact the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955, Monday-Friday, 8:15 am-5:15 pm CT, or email knowledge@texmed.org

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Are You Getting the Most From Your TMA Membership?

Check TMA's return on investment calculator to see what other benefits and services you can tap into. 

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Connect With TMA on Social Media

Are you keeping up with TMA on social media? 

TMA is very active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We also have a robust YouTube channel with hundreds of videos by and about TMA. These pages help us communicate with our more than 49,000 members and keep you informed about news, events, member benefits, and our advocacy efforts.   

We hope you will follow, like, tweet, and engage with us. We’d also like to hear from you! If you have any social media questions or suggestions, contact Jen Rios in the TMA Communication Division at jennifer.rios@texmed.org.   

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