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CAPITOL UPDATE: Senate committee approves bill to increase access to primary care
The Senate Committee on Higher Education approved Senate Bill 143 on Wednesday, April 3, to strengthen the physician workforce in Texas. TAFP worked closely with the office of Sen. Jane Nelson to craft the bill and TAFP President Troy Fiesinger, M.D., testified on its behalf. more...

2 percent Medicare cut effective April 1: Novitas answers your questions
Because Congress failed to reach a budget deal to block the Budget Control Actís sequestration cuts before the March 1 deadline, a 2 percent Medicare cut has gone into effect as of Monday, April 1. Novitas Solutions, Texasí Medicare contractor, has compiled a list of frequently asked questions. more...

Texas Medicaid contractor begins accepting primary care attestation
Complete form to qualify for rate increases retroactive to Jan. 1, 2013
Medicaid fees for E/M services and vaccine administration should increase by 66 percent in Texas this year, but physicians must attest that they are board certified in a primary care specialty or that 60 percent of their billing is comprised of those services. The primary care attestation process for Texas physicians is now available, and the link to the form is inside this story. more...

Encourage patients to dispose of unused medications at National Take-Back Event
The abuse and misuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem in the United States. To reduce the risk of diversion, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration encourages the public to safely dispose of unused or expired household prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications at the next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The DEA has created promotional materials for you to alert your patients of this opportunity. more...

Calling all researchers: Enter TAFPís annual research poster competition
Show off your research at the 2013 TAFP Student, Resident, and Community Physician Poster Competition, to be held during Annual Session on Aug. 2 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. The top resident will win a $300 cash prize and up to $1,500 in travel funding to attend a national research conference. The deadline to submit an application and abstract is May 15. more...

Attend this year’s AAFP Family Medicine Congressional Conference
You can now register to attend the 2013 Family Medicine Congressional Conference held in Washington, D.C., May 14-15. This is an opportunity to understand federal advocacy, learn about current priorities for family medicine, and get practical, hands-on experience with the legislative process. Go to the AAFP website, www.aafp.org/fmcc, for more details and to register.

EDUCATION UPDATE

Register online or on-site for April 13 SAM in Dallas
It’s not too late to register and attend next week’s Self-Assessment Module Workshop to make progress toward your ABFM Maintenance of Certification. Join TAFP at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Dallas on Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., for the workshop on Asthma. The course will be moderated by Linda Siy, M.D., and is $300 for TAFP members. For more information and to register, visit the events page of the TAFP website at www.tafp.org/professional-development/events.