October 21, 2004

A proposal was unanimously approved by the University of North Texas System Board of Regents on Oct. 19 that will allow the University of North Texas Health Science Center to administer operations of the Texas Independent Osteopathic Physicians Association, Inc. The approval came in a special teleconference meeting at 9:30 a.m.

The Texas Independent Osteopathic Physicians Association is a nonprofit physician organization certified by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. TIOPA, Inc., serves as a managed care credentialing and contracting organization for approximately 310 North Texas physicians and 80 UNTHSC physicians. The organization had been controlled by its sole member, Health Care of Texas, which was the holding company for Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas, prior to Tuesdayâ??s decision.

When OMCT closed on Oct. 8, the Physicians Association found itself without a sponsoring organization since HCT was not able to continue as the sole member of TIOPA. The Health Science Center stepped in to offer interim management services for TIOPA to ensure business continuity for its faculty physicians and many of its local referring physicians.

The proposal to transfer TIOPA administration to the Health Science Center was made so UNTHSC physicians would still have access to managed care credentialing and contracting. If the board of regents had failed to approve the proposal, the Health Science Centerâ??s faculty practice plan would have had to renegotiate many of the universityâ??s third-party payer contracts, causing a disruption in payments.

â??Roughly one-third of practice plan revenue for fiscal year 2003-04 was derived from contracts negotiated and administered by TIOPA, Inc.; therefore, any disruption in these payments would have impacted our clinical operations,â? said Marc B. Hahn, DO, dean of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and chairman of the faculty practice plan. â??Just as important, our community physician partners are also dependent upon credentialing and contracting activities performed by TIOPA.â?

There will be no cost to the Health Science Center to begin administration of TIOPA since fees collected from physician/members will cover all day-to-day operating costs.

In a special evening meeting on Oct. 18, the TIOPA Board of Directors approved the administrative change proposed by the Health Science Center. An interim management agreement is currently being drafted.


Contact: Kay Colley at 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail: kacolley@hsc.unt.edu

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