News & Information
Lack of Firm Date for ICD-10 not Raising Concerns
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 12:04 PM

Now that there is a firm date for the transition to the new ICD-10 coding system -- and it's little more than a year away -- you'd think practices would be rushing to get ready, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  The new ICD-10 coding system was originally set to take effect this October, but was then pushed back at least a year in a bill -- the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (H.R. 4302) -- which was signed into law in April.

However, the bill didn't specify an exact date for the switch -- saying only that the Department of Health and Human Services "may not, prior to Oct. 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets," meaning that it could be later than that date. This left  providers in limbo, without a definite date for a switch.  Then, on July 31, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Oct. 1, 2015, was the definitive date for the change.

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TMA, Controlling Government
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 11:52 AM

TMA never misses an opportunity to engage in a scope of practice battle and on August 13th, 2014 TMA did not disappoint.

The University Interscholastic League (or UIL) the age-old organization that brings you high school sports is under state Sunset Review to determine whether a state agency is worth keeping around awhile longer.  Problem is that it can also provide fodder for legislators with a few choice bones to pick.  Several used the process for just such an occasion.

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TMA and Lawsuits, Special Consideration Under the Law?
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 11:30 AM

In Texas during 2003 a daily steady drum-beat of news stories highlighted what was termed a rapidly growing “doctor shortage.” The problem was especially acute, were were told by the medical profession, in areas of the state where medical malpractice lawsuits were said to be common and abusive because irresponsible juries awarded exorbitant punitive damages and made trial lawyers rich.  Yet while TMA basks in the glow of lawsuit protection, it does not deter TMA / AMA from using (or overusing) the courts to protect their own kind through endless litigation.

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Doctors Behaving Badly
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 11:19 AM

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.” ― Isaac Asimov

The mantra from TMA and AMA is always the same, tiresome and unsubstantiated contention that all things healthcare must be supervised, controlled, and managed by allopathic doctors to protect the public safety. While TMA always points to evidenced based reasons why docs must control the healthcare world, time and time again they cannot point to any study that backs up their claims.

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More Data Kept from Doc Payments Database
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 11:14 AM

Dollars for Docs currently lists $2.5 billion in payments through 2012 from 15 companies representing about 43 percent of U.S. drug sales, but A new problem has emerged with the federal government's Open Payments system, which is supposed to go live Sept. 30 and disclose payments to physicians by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

A couple weeks ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it would be withholding information on one-third of the payments, citing data inconsistencies in company submissions.

Now, a source familiar with the matter tells ProPublica that CMS won't disclose another batch of payments: research grants made by pharmaceutical companies to doctors through intermediaries, known as contract research organizations.

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