November 1, 2011

Austin family physician named to new position at HHSC
On Jan. 1, 2012, TAFP member Mark Chassay, M.D., of Austin will assume his new appointment as deputy executive commissioner for the Office of Health Policy and Clinical Services at the Health and Human Services Commission, where he will oversee policy initiatives intended to improve the coordination, quality, and efficiency of Texasí health care system. more...

Texas House releases interim charges
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has released the list of charges to House committees that will form the blueprint for legislation in the 83rd Legislature. Among the tasks, committees will look at the impact of cuts on graduate medical education, the progress of state health reform passed in the last session, and the preparations for federal health care reform. more...

Texas Medicare, Medicaid EHR incentive payments reach $30 million
Since opening the incentive program to reward physicians for adopting and using electronic health records, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have paid $30 million to Texas physicians, with $870 million distributed to physicians and hospitals nationwide. Itís not too late to participate. more...

AAFP News Now: Videos, Speak Out alert drives support for Medicare payment reform
AAFP urges members to stand up and fight for Medicare payment reform through customized Speak Out alerts and two new videos in the Family Medicine Matters Campaign. Setting a Medicare payment rate for the next three to five years would give Congress time to study various payment methodologies to come up with a better solution than the SGR, AAFP says, and adding a 3-percent increase for primary care physicians within that set payment rate would provide some stability for family medicine practices. Read more in the Oct. 28 AAFP News Now story.

AAFP News Now: Two months to implementation of 5010 electronic transaction standards
Family physicians have only two months to assess the ability of their practices to submit and receive electronic claims and other electronic transactions under the new HIPAA 5010 transaction standards. AAFPís coding expert says members must have a plan for working with clearinghouses to keep their claims moving after Jan. 1, 2012. Read more in the Oct. 25 AAFP News Now Story.


Make progress toward your MC-FP, register for TAFPís December SAM workshops
TAFP presents two SAM workshops on Dec. 10. Join us in Lubbock for the SAM on asthma or in San Antonio for the SAM on depression. These programs help diplomates of the American Board of Family Medicine satisfy one requirement of their Maintenance of Certification process. For more information and to register, click here.