Nov 13, 2011

Video: Medicare is the Patients' Benefit



TMA President Bruce Malone, MD, tells a story about a patient who feels that Medicare is his benefit and not one for doctors. His testimony occurred at the American Medical Association meeting New Orleans in support of the organizations' efforts to make direct Medicare contracting a priority.

Stop ICD-10 Now



Speaking at the American Medical Association House of Delegates, David Teuscher, MD, of Beaumont argues why the AMA should move now to stop the federal government from requiring physicians and health care providers to switch to the onerous ICD-10 documentation system. Dr. Teuscher, an orthopedic surgeon and member of the Texas Medical Association Board of Trustees, was testifying on behalf of Resolution 224, which the Texas Delegation submitted along with physicians from North Carolina and Nebraska.


That resolution asks AMA to:


  • Immediately petition the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to stop implementation and development of all new coding and billing standards including ICD-10; and
  • Work with other national and state medical and informatics associations to develop and evaluate the appropriate replacement for ICD-9.

ICD-10, which will be required of all physicians, hospitals, and health care providers beginning Oct. 1, 2013, is one of the many new regulatory burdens covered in TMA's Calendar of Doom.

Nov 12, 2011

Susan Todd Holds AMA Meeting Fundraiser

NEW ORLEANS -- Newly announced legislative candidate Susan Todd of Fort Worth helped to kick off her campaign this evening with a well-attended fundraiser and reception at the interim meeting of the American Medical Association.




Susan -- past president of the Tarrant County, Texas, and AMA Alliances -- is running in the open Republican Primary for Texas State Representative District 97. She is a prominent Fort Worth health care advocate and former nurse. At TMA, we know her as the founder and organizer of "First Tuesdays at the Capitol," the enormously successful series of lobby days we hold on the first Tuesdays of every month when the Texas Legislature is in session.


Susan has been an active Tarrant County Republican for the past 30 years. She is campaigning as a “Texas Conservative for a Healthier Texas” with a four-part campaign platform calling for a healthier economy, healthier citizenry, healthier education system, and healthier protection of our constitutional rights.

Two Texas Students Nab AMA Posts

NEW ORLEANS -- Congratulations to a pair of medical students who won election as new Region 3 representatives to the American Medical Association Medical Student Section. David Savage from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston is a new Region 3 delegate, and Elliott Richards from the Baylor College of Medicine is an alternate delegate.


Elliott Richards (l) and David Savage

Sue Takes the Gavel


Dr. Gurman and Dr. Bailey

NEW ORLEANS -- TMA Immediate Past President Sue Bailey, MD, walked to the podium today for her first session as the vice speaker of the American Medical Association House of Delegates. Elected by the house in June, the Fort Worth allergist runs the meeting along side House Speaker Andy Gurman, MD, of Pennsylvania.

Fort Worth attorney
Doug Bailey watches with
pride from the front row.

Nov 7, 2011

Texans Ask Feds to Halt ICD-10, HIPAA 5010 Requirements

A sharply worded resolution the Texas Delegation is taking to the American Medical Association House of Delegates asks the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to immediately “stop implementation and development of all new coding and billing standards, including ICD-10 and HIPAA 5010.” The resolution, cosponsored by the North Carolina and Nebraska delegations, says CMS has not accounted for the massive disruption these standards will wreck on physicians’ practices on top of the big changes that will accompany the large-scale transitions to electronic health records and other health information technology tools. It calls on AMA to “work with other national and state medical and informatics associations to develop and evaluate the appropriate replacement” for the current ICD-9 coding system.

Practices that do not implement the 5010 transaction standards by Jan. 1, 2012, will not be paid for their work. The deadline for adopting the ICD-10 coding system is Oct. 1, 2013. Read more about complying with these new regulatory burdens at the TMA Calendar of Doom. The AMA house convenes Saturday, Nov. 11, 2011, in New Orleans.

The full resolution, which the AMA house has designated Resolution 224, is reprinted below:

Subject:                 Coding and Billing Standards

Whereas, Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and other Health Information Technology (HIT) tools such as Health Information Exchange are being actively implemented in medical practices; and

Whereas, In the next five year EMRs and HIT likely will be required for participation in new payment organizations such as Accountable Care Organizations and may become a standard of practice; and

Whereas, Significant upgrades of EMRs and HIT will be required between 2012 and 2015 in order to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 and Stage 3 for those physicians who are eligible for EMR stimulus funds, and physicians not eligible for stimulus funds will have significant challenges implementing EMRs and HIT without financial support; and

Whereas, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has mandated that ICD-10 will be implemented in October 2013 and has not accounted for the difficulty of making this change in addition to the difficulties of EMR and HIT implementation; and

Whereas, There is significant concern that ICD-10 will cause significant financial and workflow disruptions if implemented simultaneously with new EMRs and HIT systems; and

Whereas, There is dissent in the informatics community that ICD-10 is the appropriate replacement for ICD-9 given ICD-11 is to be available in 2015; therefore be it

RESOLVED That our American Medical Association immediately petition the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to stop implementation and development of all new coding and billing standards including ICD-10 (Directive to Take Action); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association work with other national and state medical and informatics associations to develop and evaluate the appropriate replacement for ICD-9. (Directive to Take Action)