Jul 29, 2008

PHR Committee Plans Seminar on Transitions

"Transitions in the Medical Practice: Frustrations and Opportunities"  will be held Oct. 3-4 at the Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott.

PHR Committee Plans Seminar on Transitions

7/29/2008 7:00 PM

TrailBlazer Develops NPI Training Tool

Problems using the National Provider Identifier (NPI) on claims continue, so TrailBlazer Health Enterprises has developed  a training tool that gives you details instructions on the accurate submission of NPI claims data and the correction of NPI data …

TrailBlazer Develops NPI Training Tool

7/29/2008 7:00 PM

Medicaid Changes Radiology Process

The Texas Medicaid program has streamlined its radiology prior authorization and request process. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission and its contractor, the Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP), made the improvements based on …

Medicaid Changes Radiology Process

7/29/2008 7:00 PM

HealthExecLynx Offers Health Care Links


TMA has added HealthExecLynx to the Health Information links page. This Web site is the result of efforts to help health executives and professional find relevant information quickly and easily.

HealthExecLynx Offers Health Care Links

7/29/2008 7:00 PM

TDI Issues Hurricane Dolly Notice

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has ordered HMOs and other insurers to waive penalties and restrictions  on patients when they obtain necessary emergency and non-emergency services as a result of Hurricane Dolly.

TDI Issues Hurricane Dolly Notice

7/29/2008 7:00 PM

TMA Urges 20/220 Pathway Restoration

The Texas Medical Association joined the American Medical Association and other medical societies across the country in asking the U.S. Department of Education to reinstate the 20/220 pathway loan repayment program.

TMA Urges 20/220 Pathway Restoration

7/29/2008 7:00 PM

Heads Up: Genetic Testing Ad Campaign Coming

Myriad Genetics Inc. will launch a direct-to-consumer marketing campaign in Texas for its BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene tests in September. Similar marketing in other states increased demand for this type of genetic testing.

Heads Up: Genetic Testing Ad Campaign Coming

7/29/2008 7:00 PM

TrailBlazer Using New Medicare Fee Schedule

TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, the Texas Medicare carrier, is now paying physicians the new fee schedule approved by Congress last week.

TrailBlazer Using New Medicare Fee Schedule

7/29/2008 7:00 PM

Jul 28, 2008

Medical Records & EMRs - What You Need to Know: Podcast TMA

Today’s topic, as prosaic as it might seem at first, is the medical record. Regardless of your specialty, the medical record is the heart of your practice. A good medical record is vital for clinical, business, and legal reasons. Download the show now. Today’s conversation is based on the release of the second volume of “greatest hits” from Texas Medical Association’s Practice Management E-Tips. Our guests are two of TMA’s expert staff members. Lee Spangler is TMA’s associate general counsel. He’s an attorney with extensive knowledge and expertise in health law and medical ethics. Shannon Moore is director of the TMA Health Information Technology Department. Shannon and her team are your trusted advisors on hit adoption and implementation. This installment covers:
  • How long do physician practices have to keep patients’ records?
  • What’s the best approach to destroying patient records?
  • How does a practice know whether the time is right to take the big plunge into the electronic medical record (EMR)?
  • How much should a physician be prepared to spend to buy the right EMR for his or her practice?
  • From a legal perspective, does it matter whether a practice uses paper or electronic medical records?
  • How can physicians who use EMRs limit their liability exposure when it comes to documenting the patient encounter?
Useful resources:
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Catch up on all the old Podcast TMA episodes on the TMA Web site.

What's a Podcast, how do I get it, and what do I with it once I have it? (See the short tutorial on the iTunes Web site.)

Jul 22, 2008

Congress Rejects Bush Veto, Cuts Stopped

Congress overwhelmingly overrode President Bush's veto of legislation stopping the 10.6-percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians on Tuesday. The House of Representatives voted 383-41 to override the veto, while the Senate voted 70-26.

Jul 15, 2008

Watch Out for Bad Retirement Plans

Some of the attorneys who have represented TMA and physicians in Texas against health care payment plans are investigating claims for doctors who have been sold faulty retirement plans.

Watch Out for Bad Retirement Plans 7/15/2008 7:00 PM

Medical Board Speeds Up License Processing

Texas Medical Board officials say they have cleared up the backlog of physicians applying for a license to practice medicine in Texas.

Medical Board Speeds Up License Processing 7/15/2008 7:00 PM

Assessing Your Billing and Collections

Do you know if your staff effectively works your accounts receivable? Establishing goals for accounts receivable follow-up will enable you and your practice manager to better measure staff performance and analyze staffing needs.

Assessing Your Billing and Collections 7/15/2008 7:00 PM

DSHS Changes Rabies Vaccine Ordering Rules

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will order human rabies vaccine for physicians instead of requiring physicians to place all orders directly with the vaccine manufacturer, as previously announced.

DSHS Changes Rabies Vaccine Ordering Rules 7/15/2008 7:00 PM

You Can Be a Country Doctor

Are you looking for a practice opportunity in rural Texas? The Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals and the Office of Rural and Community Affairs will conduct HealthFind on Aug. 23 at the Hotel-Intercontinental in Addison.

You Can Be a Country Doctor 7/15/2008 7:00 PM

United Requires Imaging Accreditation

UnitedHealthcare now requires outpatient imaging sites and physicians that bill on a 1500 Health Insurance Claim Form or its electronic equivalent to have completed and submitted an application to be accredited as a condition for reimbursement for …

United Requires Imaging Accreditation 7/15/2008 7:00 PM

TDI Ombudsman Helps With Insurers

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) says its provider ombudsman can help solve physicians' problems with insurance companies.

TDI Ombudsman Helps With Insurers 7/15/2008 7:00 PM

Jul 14, 2008

Everything You Need to Know About Medical Records -- and Need to Ask

Free e-book: TMA Practice E-Tips Greatest Hits, Vol. 2: Medical Records & Privacy

From one of the most-frequently asked question in the TMA Knowledge Base ("How Long Do I Need to Keep a Patient's Medical Record") to the latest in health information technology, this fact-packed new e-book covers medical records and privacy as only the Texas Medical Association can.

Download Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 today, and keep an eye out for the accompanying Podcast TMA segment, featuring two of TMA's leading staff experts.

Jul 11, 2008

Texas senators say they would override a veto on Medicare legislation

From today's Dallas Morning News
U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison said Thursday that they'll vote to override Mr. Bush's expected veto of a bill to void a 10.6 percent pay cut for doctors treating Medicare patients.

Jul 9, 2008

Senate Listens, Passes Medicare Bill, Stops Fee Cuts

Intense lobbying by the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Medical Association Political Action Committee (TEXPAC), and their member physicians paid off this afternoon as Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison joined 67 of their Senate colleagues in reversing the 10.6-percent cut in Medicare physician payments by a vote of 69-30. The margin is large enough to protect it from President Bush's threatened veto. The vote proved once again that physicians can make a difference when they make their voices heard in Congress.

TMA President Josie Williams, MD, said Texas physicians "want to commend the courage and wisdom" of both Senators Cornyn and Hutchison "who voted for their constituents – our patients – today. Our Texas senators listened to their patients and physicians and reversed the 10.6-percent physician Medicare cuts that went into effect July 1. We cannot thank them enough for standing up for our patients."

The rest of the story ...

Jul 6, 2008

NY Times: Senate Republicans Stall Accountability on Medicare

A sensible new Medicare bill must pass so that Congress can wring subsidies from inefficient private Medicare plans.
New York Times outlines the arguments almost perfectly read more | digg story

Jul 4, 2008

More Texas doctors opting out of Medicare

Excellent Houston Chronicle article on the Medicare payment crisis.

"In my 50 years in medicine, I've not seen the level of frustration and anger out there now," said TMA President Dr. Josie Williams. "Most doctors have got to the point that they don't think the real problem's ever going to be fixed and are looking at whether to continue participating. They feel they've carried Medicare on their back as long as they can."