Jan 28, 2010

United Changes Radiology Policy

Starting Feb. 15, all physicians in UnitedHealthcare's Premium Quality and Cost Efficiency program must give United prior notice before ordering outpatient imaging procedures. The change applies to CT scans, MRIs, MRAs, PET scans, and nuclear medicine studies, including nuclear cardiology.

Keep Advanced Directives Act, TMA Says

Repealing the Texas Advance Directives Act 'is not good public policy,' TMA and the Texas Hospital Association (THA) say in a letter to Gov. Rick Perry and his Republican primary challenger Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Share Your Haiti Stories With Us

If you're among the many Texas physicians who volunteered or are planning to volunteer to treat the thousands of victims of the earthquake in Haiti, we want to know about it.

Jan 27, 2010

Governor Perry to Share Health Care Vision for Texas

Texas Gov. Rick Perry; AMA President Jim Rohack, MD; and NMA President Willarda V. Edwards, MD, will discuss the future of health care at TMA’s 2010 Winter Conference in Austin, Jan. 29-30.

TMA will live stream Governor Perry's speech via the Internet at 10:40 am CT, Jan. 30.

Jan 26, 2010

Will Apple Tablet PC "Break Through" in Health Care?

Apple is set to release a new tablet PC tomorrow. Our friends at Austin-based Medical Software Advice wonder whether this new device will be the first tablet PC to break through in the health care industry.

They've created a short survey (8 multiple choice questions) about what tablet PC features are important to health care professionals. They say they will use the results from the survey to "determine which tablet PC is best positioned to rule the halls of health care." Even if you've never used a tablet PC, they want your opinion on what features are important.

Here is another link to the survey.

We don't usually post stories like this on Blogged Arteries, but since they asked so nicely -- and we think gadgets are neat -- we went along. We're hoping they will give us the survey results and their assessment of the best tablet PC for health care to share with our readers.

Jan 22, 2010

'We Have to Do More': Physicians Seek to Reduce Preterm Birth Rate

From January's Texas Medicine:

Physicians are working to reduce preterm birth and its devastating consequences. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists calls the prevention of preterm births, including late preterm deliveries, a public health priority. TMA's House of Delegates adopted a recommendation in 2009 to support the prevention of iatrogenic prematurity (caused by deliberately delivering a baby early) by physicians and others who attend at the delivery of infants.

Jan 14, 2010

Medicare Fee Schedule Still Stings

Congress delayed for two months the 21.2-percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians that was supposed to take effect Jan. 1, but other elements of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2010 Physician Fee Schedule still affect your practice.

Congress' action in December did not prevent CMS from ending payment for consultation codes. CMS no longer pays physicians for consultations using the CPT consultation codes. The consultation codes comprise 99241-99244 for office or other outpatient consultations and 99251-99255 for inpatient consultations. To offset the change in billing for consultation codes, CMS increased the fees for most evaluation and management (E&M) codes and global billing codes.

Jan 12, 2010

TMA Leaders Go to Washington

TMA President-Elect Susan Rudd Bailey, MD, led a group that included Council on Legislation Chair Dan McCoy, MD, chief lobbyist Darren Whitehurst, and TMA Executive Vice President Louis J. Goodman, PhD, to Washington, D.C., this week. They went there to work with delegations from California and other state societies to lobby House and Senate members on health system reform legislation.

Jan 1, 2010

Getting Help Going It Alone -- Podcast TMA

Setting up a medical practice from scratch isn't easy. Determining setup costs and startup expenses, monthly operating costs, three-year cash flow projections; working with reliable vendors; recruiting staff; and implementing information technology systems are just part of the process involved in getting started.

Download the show now.

This installment of Podcast TMA includes firsthand accounts from two physicians who worked with TMA Practice Consulting to start their own practices. The cover story of the January 2010 issue of Texas Medicine magazine walks physicians through opening a practice with information on insuring a new practice, recruiting staff, purchasing new equipment, billing, and understanding the types of professional liability insurance policies. Today, Rogelio Trevino, MD, owner of Georgetown Family & Geriatric Medicine PLLC, and Christopher Brennig, MD, owner of Austin Vascular Institute, share their experiences with opening solo medical practices.

This installment covers:

  • Income guarantees;
  • What to consider before leaving a group practice to set up a solo practice;
  • The practice setup process; and
  • Advice for physicians thinking about starting their own medical practices.

Want to Subscribe to Podcast TMA through iTunes?

Here's the link. It takes you to the iTunes store. Subscription is free.
  • 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.)