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Physicians faced numerous challeng- es in 2012, and TMA was always there, working on their behalf.


• TMA and member physicians in the Rio Grande Valley convinced the Tex- as Health and Human Services Com- mission to restore the Medicare Part B deductible payment for patients eligible for both Medicare and Med- icaid, also known as “dual eligibles.” The state cut payments to physicians treating those patients to save money, financially devastating their practices and placing some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens at risk.


• TMA helped state officials resolve computer issues threatening pay- ment of more than 30,000 physicians’ claims worth $23 million when the claims clearinghouse Availity inadver- tently cut its connection to the Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership.


• The Hassle Factor Log program, which allows physicians to bring pay- ment issues to TMA’s attention, recov- ered $26.2 million, including money recovered from incorrectly processed claims, lost or delayed Medicare en- rollment applications, and other pay- ment issue claims.


• A special TMA team conducted a tele- town hall meeting, plus webinars and seminars and other educational efforts, to help physicians make the transition from TrailBlazer Health Enterprises to Novitas Solutions for processing Medicare claims with as little disruption as possible.


• TMA lobbied the federal government to delay implementation of the ICD- 10 coding system in 2014, but at the same time developed a webinar, video series, and other tools to help physicians prepare for the profound change in how they code their claims.


That proved to be a wise decision when the government decided to go ahead with the switch.


• After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protect and Affordable Care Act in June, TMA doubled down on its efforts to improve the broken Medicaid system in Texas. TMA con- vened the Physician Medicaid Con- gress to examine Medicaid. After a lengthy study, the group made sev- eral recommendations for lawmakers to consider in their 2013 session to strengthen the ailing program, im- prove patients’ access to care, and at- tract physicians back to it.


• Working with other state and national medical societies, TMA reached a set- tlement with Aetna in a lawsuit over out-of-network claims that will earn physicians $120 million.


2012 by the numbers


900,000 Visits to TMA website 47,000+ TMA members at the end of 2012 15,000 Inquiries fielded by TMA Knowledge Center 6,962


• TMA won a court ruling protecting patients’ safety in a lawsuit over non- physicians’ encroachment into phy- sicians’ scope of practice. The Texas Court of Appeals upheld a trial court verdict against the Texas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners that needle electromyography and manipulation under anesthesia are not within the scope of chiropractic practice.


• TMA improved physicians’ access to TMA’s practice management, cancer, and physician health continuing med- ical education (CME) courses by es- tablishing the TMA Education Center on the TMA website at www.texmed .org/education offering convenient, one-stop access to the courses.


Physicians who participated in person or via online in nearly 60 TMA ethics and PHR CME programs


2,700+ Physicians who earned CME credit through TMA Education Center


1,845 466


19 Physicians who attended TMA on-site seminars


Physicians helped with practice issues through customized on-site consulting projects


Physician graduates of TMA Leadership College 52 TEXAS MEDICINE May 2013


• TMA offered a free member ser- vice, DocbookMD (www.docbookmd .com), a mobile app that allows phy- sicians to send and receive vital pa- tient information instantly via smart- phones or tablets and to be HIPAA- compliant in the process. DocbookMD helps enhance patient care, make your practice more efficient, gain and give referrals, and avoid mistakes.


In 2012, TMA also:


• Continued its effort to convince Congress to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate formula that annually threatens to cut Medicare payments


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