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February 2018 Archives

Nurses in Texas: Lots of debt could mean no license

It seems astonishing to even consider, but many nurses and other professionals with student loan debt in Texas could lose their licenses to work if they fall into trouble with that debt. The idea is that if nurses know their job is at risk, they will find a way to pay that debt.

Important Notice for Medicare Providers: Medicare Beneficiaries Identifier is replacing Social Security number

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 mandates removal of Social Security Number (SSN)-based HIC numbers from Medicare cards to address current risk of beneficiary medical identity theft. CMS will use a new MBI generator to assign over 150 Million MBIs beginning April 1, 2018, and continuing through December 31, 2019, for full implementation January 1, 2020. While CMS will continue to process transactions utilizing a beneficiary's current HIC number during the transition period, Medicare fee for service entities must modify their current processes and systems to be ready to submit or exchange the MBI by April 1, 2018. The current system requires a 9-byte SSN plus 1 or 2-byte BIC. The MBI system will require an 11-byte alpha numeric numeration system. All Medicare fee for services entities are advised to check all of their internal billing systems to be certain the software they are currently using will accommodate the new MBIs. During the transition period, Medicare entities will be allowed to enter either the MBI or HIC number. If you use vendors to bill Medicare, ask them about their MBI practice management system changes and make sure they are ready for the change.

SUNSET COMMITTEE CONCLUDES THE BOARD UNFAIRLY PENALIZES NURSES FOR CONDUCT UNRELATED TO NURSING

The Board of Nursing underwent review by the Sunset Advisory Commission during the 85th legislative session, and it was determined that SIGNIFICANT CHANGES be implemented to the Board of Nursing's rules.

Despite exoneration, Texas Medical Board won't clear doctor's name

An Austin doctor's ordeal has already lasted nearly three years and the end is not yet in sight. Dr. Robert Van Boven might be forgiven for prematurely celebrating the end back in December of last year. That was when he received the news that the Texas Medical Board had finally accepted a ruling from the State Office of Administrative Hearings that exonerated him of allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a pair of patients and unprofessional conduct with another.

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