Physicians will be forced to limit the number of Medicare patients they treat if the 10.5-percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians occurs on July 1, a sobering TMA physician survey shows.
Mar 31, 2008
Chances are at least one of your patients has come to you asking about something he or she read on an Internet health site. And it could be that what they can read is misleading at best.
"What appears to be a medically oriented Web site may actually be an advertising tool for a third party with a financial incentive to exaggerate or downplay a product’s benefits or dangers," Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott cautions in a new consumer alert. Those with "financial incentives" include plaintiffs' attorneys and class-action law firms.
San Antonio's Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center is the setting for TMA's TexMed 2008 Educational Showcase & Expo May 2-3. Tex Med is free to all TMA members. It includes more than 100 hours of continuing medical education programming (CME), a chance to influence TMA policy on issues that affect your practice, and an exhibit hall with more than 160 vendors.
As health insurance premiums continue to skyrocket, employers seek ways to minimize the costs of insuring employees. Insurers entice patients and businesses to choose physicians placed on higher tiers of their networks by offering lower premiums and/or lower patient copays. Conversely, patients of physicians in lower tiers face higher premiums or copays.
You can learn what you need to know about building and sustaining a palliative care program at a three-day seminar presented by the Center to Advance Palliative Care Nov. 13-15 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine.
Bike Month in May is a perfect time for physicians and medical students to spread awareness of helmet safety statewide. You can be part of this exciting effort by joining with TMA's bike helmet giveaway program, Hard Hats for Little Heads, to sponsor a helmet giveaway in your community.
TMA has added HealthExecLynx to its Health Information links page. This Web site is the result of efforts to help health executives and professional find relevant information quickly and easily. Currently, there are more than 1,100 links to health sites, making it one of the largest health executive health gateways on the Web.
Mar 14, 2008
An Austin appeals court sided with TMA and the Texas Orthopaedic Association and said the Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners was wrong when it adopted a rule that expanded the definition of the foot to include the bones in the ankle.
Mar 13, 2008
Texas Medical Association physician leaders and staff have worked for the past two years to win concessions from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) to make its physician-rating program fair to doctors and useful to patient
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a needed bill to ensure parity for mental health coverage in insurance benefits. But it includes stark restrictions on physicians' rights to own or invest in hospitals and other facilities, based on a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assertion that such restrictions will save money.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn has filed legislation in Congress to change the way Medicare pays physicians. The bill, the Ensuring the Future Physician Workforce Act of 2008, would stop the 10-percent cut in Medicare payments set for July 1, replace the faulty Sustainable Growth Rate formula, and base future payment adjustments on the Medicare Economic Index.
Updated consensus guidelines for detecting adenomatous polyps and colorectal cancer (CRC) in asymptomatic average-risk adults have been developed by the American Cancer Society, the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology.
Mar 12, 2008
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We invited Professor Oshinsky into the TMA studio to discuss the race between Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin to develop the polio vaccine, why today’s Americans are much more skeptical about scientific advances than our parents were, and what it’s like to win a Pulitzer Prize.
We encourage all of our listeners to pick up a copy of Dr. Oshinsky’s book, Polio: An American Story, and to come to San Antonio in May to hear him speak at TexMed 2008.
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Mar 11, 2008
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the biggest insurer in the state, was all set to publish data on the performance of the state’s doctors. But the insurer gave the doctors a chance to review the data first — and the docs caught enough mistakes to make the company hold off, the Nashville Tennessean reports.
In some cases, the data said docs didn’t perform certain important tests, but the doctors’ own records showed otherwise, the chairman of the Tennessee Medical Association told the paper. That sort of thing gets at one of the big questions in the larger debate over doctor ratings and pay for performance: the source of the data that drive the ratings and payments.
All this comes as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is about to announce its latest set of physician ratings.
Mar 1, 2008
Physicians can sign up for the state's new Foster Care Health Plan scheduled to roll out April 1. All children in Child Protective Services foster care will have their medical, dental, vision, and behavioral health care covered through the STAR Health Program for Children in Foster Care, administered by Superior Health Care Network.
As of March 1, Medicare fee-for-service claims must include an National Provider Identifier (NPI) in the primary provider fields on the claim (billing, pay-to provider, and rendering provider fields). Claims will be rejected without it.
The Knowledge Center has compiled a quick guide for accessing many online textbooks that cover clinical, health business, and reimbursement topics.