House Republicans Release American Health Care Act Proposal: Things to Know

House Republicans on Monday released their American Health Care Act proposal, an Obamacare replacement geared toward downsizing the government’s role in helping lower-income Americans access coverage while dismantling other facets of the Affordable Care Act as well. Under the 123-page proposal, which was scheduled to be voted on beginning Wednesday, coverage will still exist for individuals with preexisting conditions and for children under their parents’ (or their legal guardians’) policies until age 26. The AHCA bill will also continue Medicaid expansion until 2020. However, a number of ACA provisions would be repealed under the AHCA, including the individual mandate—it’s replaced… Full Story

Senator Proceeding With New Texas Telemedicine Rules

Texas may be on the road to revising its telemedicine regulations, with Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) saying he would sponsor a bill that “eliminates the requirement for physicians to meet with patients in-person before using telehealth services.” Texas is one of the last states in the country to mandate that an in-person physician and patient relationship must be established before telehealth services can be used. According to mHealth Intelligence, a compromise bill is reported to be heading to the Legislature to eliminate this requirement. “I think we will have a bill very soon,” Schwertner told the Houston Chronicle. Texas’ telemedicine battle… Full Story

Former Tenet Healthcare Corp. Executive Indicted for Alleged Role in $400 Million Fraud Scheme

A former executive of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare has been indicted for allegedly paying kickbacks for patient referrals and intentionally misleading federal authorities. According to the Department of Justice, the indictment alleges from 2000 through 2013 the executive played a role in an over-$400 million scheme to defraud, victimizing the U.S. government, the Georgia and South Carolina Medicaid programs, and prospective patients of Tenet hospitals. John Holland, 60, was charged on Jan. 24 in the Southern District of Florida with one count of mail fraud, one count of healthcare fraud, and two counts of major fraud against the U.S. Holland previously… Full Story

THA Testifies Before Senate Finance Committee’s Workgroup on Containing Cost Growth

The Texas Hospital Association testified before the Senate Finance Committee’s Workgroup on Feb. 3 to discuss healthcare costs, specifically, the financing environment in which hospitals operate and initiatives they are investing in to reduce costs and improve healthcare quality. John Hawkins, senior vice president of governmental relations at THA, represented the organization while presenting his case to to the SFC, chaired by Sen. Charles Schwerner (R-Georgetown). “Texas hospitals understand the state’s challenge of stretching limited revenue to cover growing budget needs,” Hawkins said in a statement. “Every day, Texas hospitals face the need to serve more patients, invest in the… Full Story

It’s All on the Table: Healthcare Experts Contemplate Donald Trump’s Presidency

For insight on how a Donald Trump presidency will look, experts are closely watching how he addresses healthcare reform: will he fast-track the repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a plan to replace, or will the businessman bring to the table a strategy of how to limit its inevitable ripple effect on providers, health plans, and consumers? Full Story

Becoming MACRA Compliant: This is What Physician Practices Face

This story is published in concert with the Dallas County Medical Society, which produced the content. It’s an ongoing resource guide to making your practice complaint with MACRA. Enjoy.  In November, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will pass a final rule regarding how physician practices will need to shift to become compliant with a new quality-based reimbursement program. These proposed changes, which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has named the Quality Payment Program, replace a patchwork system of Medicare reporting programs with a flexible system that allows physicians to choose from two paths that link quality… Full Story

Compliance 101: Your Plan Should Increase Office Efficiency and Transparency. Does It?

Although patient confidentiality is an important piece of compliance practice standards, a compliance plan addresses much more. An effective compliance plan helps an office run more smoothly from check-in to check-out and for patient care. And it also helps open lines of communication to encourage whistle-blowing that protects your practice. Full Story