Jan 31, 2012

Use War Money for Medicare

Texas Medical Association joined the American Medical Association and dozens of other state and national medical organizations in urging Congress to permanently stop the fiscally irresponsible cycle of scheduled cuts and short-term patches to Medicare physician payments.

In a letter to U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Michigan), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, physician groups called for an end to the failed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that threatens access to care for seniors and military families in the Medicare and TRICARE programs. They asked Congress to use projected spending that will not be needed as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down to help pay for ensuring access to health care for military and seniors.

Jan 30, 2012

Physicians Need to Lead Innovation in Health Care

Nancy Nielsen, MD, PhD, discussed the latest in care and payment innovation at the TMA 2012 Winter Conference.

"We're seeking ideas that make sure we do coordinated care better," Dr. Nielsen said. She referred interested physicians to http://innovations.cms.gov/.

Dr. Nielsen is the senior adviser to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and past president of the American Medical Association.

TMA, ACS Join Cancer Study

TMA and the American Cancer Society teamed up in a landmark study aimed at reducing the impact of cancer. The goal of the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) study is to enroll men and women from various racial/ethnic backgrounds from across the U.S. to help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer, and to save lives.

Jan 29, 2012

Texans Tops in Meaningful Use

More Texas physicians are meeting federal meaningful use criteria in adopting electronic health records than in any other state, according to an analysis of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation.

Jan 27, 2012

TMB Starts Remedial Plan System

The Texas Medical Board has implemented fairness provisions of a new state law -- backed by the Texas Medical Association -- that allows physicians named in complaints to resolve their cases with a "remedial plan" rather than a formal disciplinary action.

Jan 20, 2012

New Physician Leaders Take Over in El Paso

Dr. Malone (l) administers oath of office to Dr. Applebaum

The El Paso County Medical Society hosted the installation of Bruce Applebaum, MD, as its 2012 president on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012.

Other officers are:

  • President-Elect: Patricio Pazmino, MD
  • Secretary - Juan Escobar, MD
  • Treasurer - Syed Yusoof, MD
  • Assistant Treasurer – David Mansfield, MD
  • Immediate Past-President - Jose Aun, MD

Bruce Malone, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association, was the guest speaker, and philanthropist Guadalupe de la Vega, founder of the FEMAP Foundation, was the keynote speaker.

Jan 19, 2012

Medicaid HMO Expansion: Are You Ready?

On March 12, Texas will complete statewide expansion of the Medicaid HMO model by requiring most patients living in rural and South Texas counties to obtain their health care services from physicians and providers participating in one of the Medicaid HMO networks. Patients were sent English and Spanish versions of enrollment packets on Dec. 15. Patients must select an HMO and a primary care physician by Feb. 12 or be assigned to an HMO and/or primary care provider (PCP) by the state's enrollment broker, Maximus. Patients who are assigned to a plan and/or PCP can subsequently change it.

Jan 18, 2012

Meaningful Use Deadline Coming

Physician have until Feb. 29 to register and attest to meeting meaningful use requirements to receive payments for 2011 through the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System.

Feb. 29 also is the deadline to submit any pending Medicare Part B claims from 2011, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) allows 60 days after Dec. 31, 2011, for all pending claims to be processed.

Jan 17, 2012

Using an NPP in Your Practice? Do It Right

Do you employ a nonphysician provider (NPP)? Thinking about hiring one? Attend TMA's half-day seminar Nonphysician Providers: Fundamentals of Billing and Supervision and learn to:

  • Avoid legal pitfalls,
  • Enhance revenue and bill correctly,
  • Increase efficiencies and give patients more access to care,
  • Create a "team care" approach, and
  • Supervise and delegate correctly.