News & Information
Texas DSHS and Public Health
Written by Editor   
Thursday, July 19, 2018 09:55 AM

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) seeks to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Texans through good stewardship of public resources, a focus on core public health functions, and the use of science and data to drive decision-making and best practices.

They develop public health strategies, including prevention and intervention, and seeks to optimize public health response to disasters, disease threats and to improve and support delivery of public health services.

DHSH conducted an online survey of its stakeholders March 1-April 15, 2018, and stakeholders were asked to rate how well DSHS performs six key public health functions:

Upcoming TDI-DWC Training
Written by Editor   
Thursday, July 19, 2018 09:21 AM

The Texas Department of Insurance–Department of Worker’s Compensation regularly holds training seminars and webinars across the state.

On August 15, Texas Workers’ Compensation 101 for Health Care Providers and Staff will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at America’s SBDC @ TX Tech, 749 Gateway St., Ste. 301, Abilene, TX.   

This seminar covers:

  • Identifying a workers’ compensation patient and verifying coverage;
  • Utilization Review - prospective, concurrent, and retrospective review of medical necessity;
  • Return-to-work and the DWC073;
  • Medical bill processing and fee guidelines; and
  • Processes for resolving disputes.

CMS' 2019 Proposed Medicare Fee Schedule
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 06:09 PM

With great fanfare, officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a number of proposed initiatives in the 2019 Medicare physician fee schedule.  "I spent part of the last year traveling the country and visiting clinicians in different care settings," CMS administrator Seema Verma said. "One thing we heard time and time again is that time spent on paperwork is time away from patients .... It became clear to me that if we were going to be serious about improving quality and access for patients, we have to improve the lives of providers on the front lines."

One example of this push is several proposed documentation changes aimed at cutting the burden on physicians who provide evaluation and management (E/M) services. These include giving providers the following options:
  • Documenting office/outpatient E/M visits using medical decision-making or time instead of applying the current 1995 or 1997 E/M documentation guidelines
  • Using time as the governing factor in selecting visit level and documenting the E/M visit, even if counseling or care coordination dominates the visit
CMS: Changes Coming to Stark Self-Referral Law
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 05:51 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is hoping to issue a proposed regulation by the end of the year that would loosen the “Stark law” prohibiting physician self-referral, CMS administrator Seema Verma has said.  "One of the barriers around [promoting] value-based care is burdensome regulations, and that's where Stark comes into it," Verma said. "We are going to do something on Stark -- I'm very certain about that -- and we hope to have something out by the end of the year."

The 1989 law, named for former congressman Fortney H. “Pete" Stark (D-Calif.), "prohibits a physician from making referrals for certain designated health services payable by Medicare to an entity with which he or she (or an immediate family member) has a financial relationship (ownership, investment, or compensation), unless an exception applies," CMS notes on its website.
TBCE Proposes Repeal of its Acupuncture Rule
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 05:40 PM

The Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) proposes the repeal of Chapter 78, §78.14, concerning Acupuncture. This rule will be replaced by a new acupuncture rule at the Board meeting on August 16, 2018. The proposed repeal and replacement is to promote a clear understanding of the use of acupuncture as a modality by chiropractors.

The Board’s Executive Director, Patrick Fortner, has determined that the expected public benefit of the proposed repeal will be clarity and guidance for the public and stakeholders regarding the use of acupuncture in the practice of chiropractic.

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