Dec 23, 2012

Commissioner Janek Talks Medicaid, etc. with TMA


New Texas Health Commissioner Kyle Janek, MD, has concerns about Medicaid - about having enough physicians to care for patients, about how to improve the health insurer, and other thoughts he shares with Texas Medical Association's Texas Medicine magazine. See excerpts of his thoughts below.

Then watch for the entire entire interview 1/1/13 in Texas Medicine magazine and TMA's YouTube channel.

Dec 18, 2012

State Delays Medicaid Fee Increase

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission postponed the Medicaid primary care physician payment increase authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The law requires states to increase Medicaid payments to Medicare parity for primary care services provided by pediatricians, family physicians, and general internists from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2014. The federal government will pay the higher costs.

So when will you start to get paid the higher fees? Read on.

Learn more about the Medicaid primary care pay hike.

Dec 17, 2012

Dual-Eligibles Cut Partially Restored

After months of TMA-organized rallies, lobbying, and meetings, the Legislative Budget Board directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to restore part of the cut in payments for patients covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.

Read more about this critical breakthrough and the work that's still left to do, and check out the video below that brought the issue to the public's attention nearly a year ago.


Medicaid Expansion Update

From the Health Care Reform Memo, Dec. 17, 2012, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions publication

As of Friday (12-14-12), 10 states reported they will not expand their program; 14 states and the District of Columbia will expand, and 27 plus states are undecided/undeclared.

Participating in Medicaid expansion Not participating Medicaid expansion
Undecided/ Undeclared
AR, CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, MD, MA, MN, MO, OR, RI, VT, WA AL, GA, LA, ME, MS, OK, SC, SD, TX, VA AK, AZ, CO, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, MI, MT, OH, PA, NC, NE, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, TN, UT, WI, WV, WY, FL

Note: states do not have a deadline to make a decision on Medicaid expansion and may opt in or out of participation at any time.

Dec 11, 2012

Your Online Reputation: Shifting Negative Reviews to Positive

Maintaining a healthy online reputation is pivotal to success as a physician in the Internet Age. In 2011, a report by the Pew Research Center’s Susannah Fox found that 44 percent of Internet users consulted the Web to evaluate potential physicians and healthcare professionals. If you look just at the 34-45 years old age group, that number jumps to 51 percent.

Software Advice’s David Fried recently spoke with two experts in reputation management to learn how physicians can manage their online reputation effectively. Fried discovered that it’s important to focus on what you absolutely can’t do (such as electronically communicate with patients without their permission), what you shouldn’t do (point fingers--you’ll only validate negative reviews this way), and what you must do (ask websites to remove libelous comments).

Read Fried's findings on the Profitable Practice blog: Ionizing Your Online Reputation: Shifting Negative Reviews to Positive.

Dec 6, 2012

2013 Medicare Enrollment Deadline Dec. 31

Are you going to stay in Medicare next year?

Physicians have until Dec. 31 to enroll in the Medicare program for 2013. You have three options. Make sure you understand what they mean and how to use them.

Dec 5, 2012

Practice Tied Up in Red Tape?

TMA wants to hear from you as part of its red-tape reduction effort in the 2013 session of the Texas Legislature. What administrative hassles do you face? Where does the red tape need to be cut and how?

Read more ... or submit your entry to our Red Tape Hassle Log.

Dec 4, 2012

Tell Congress to Kill the SGR Zombie

We need your help to convince Congress to stop the "zombie Medicare financing" it uses to pay physicians. Every year for the past 12, cuts driven by the defective Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula have come back from the dead … but in even worse shape. The SGR crisis is not dead nor does it lie dormant. It's very much alive.

Physician calls to your representative and senators can make a real difference in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Make your voice heard.

Find out how you can kill this zombie ... for good.

Dec 3, 2012

HIPAA Privacy Training: Why Now Is a Good Time

Here’s a New Year’s resolution for you: Train your staff about HIPAA privacy rules. Here are three good reasons for doing this:

  1. It’s required by state and federal law.
  2. It’s good defense in the case of an audit.
  3. It’s good insurance against privacy violation complaints, or against stiff sanctions if a slip-up in your practice occurs.

TMA can help you get rolling on New Year’s training resolution. Our new suite of three live lunch-hour training webinars with Q&A can give you a firm underpinning for training your whole staff. We’ll offer the series in December and again next spring.