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Monday, January 30, 2012


Physicians must take the lead in driving innovations that make the U.S. health care system more efficient and effective, Nancy Nielsen, MD, senior adviser to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, told the TMA 2012 Winter Conference. "We need a payment system that keeps physicians in practice," Dr. Nielsen said. "We're seeking ideas that make sure we do coordinated care better." For more information and to submit your ideas, go to http://innovations.cms.gov/. Other highlights of this past weekend's meeting:

  • I don't know if there's an ICD-10 code for "fed-up physician," but I do know that the new system has 480 codes for a fractured patella – up from a grand total of two in ICD-9 – and that YO411XA is the ICD-10 code for "assault by human bite, initial encounter." I learned that from our speaker, Dennis Flynt, who called ICD-10 "the most significant change in how you conduct business in 25 years. … Productivity will go down as you learn a whole new language." TMA is working with Mr. Flynt's firm to provide you with training and tools to help you make the transition before the Oct. 1, 2013 deadline.
  • 58 elected leaders and dedicated staff from 21 Texas county medical societies shared their greatest fears and highest hopes for the year at our annual grassroots leadership forum.
  • TEXPAC political consultant Bryan Eppstein predicted the 2012 presidential tickets would be Mitt Romney and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for the GOP vs. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side.

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