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Congress passes SGR repeal
Senate vote heralds long awaited victory for family physicians

After more than a decade of sustained advocacy by AAFP, TAFP, and other physician organizations, the Medicare sustainable growth rate is all but dead. On Tuesday, April 14, the U.S. Senate voted 92-8 to pass the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which repeals the SGR and establishes a new set of value-based payment measures designed to encourage physicians to improve quality and efficiency of care delivery. The House of Representatives passed the same legislation last month by a vote of 392-37. The president has indicated he will sign the bill into law.

AAFP President Robert Wergin, MD, applauded the Senate and House for the passage of MACRA in a statement released shortly after the final vote. “Medicare beneficiaries comprise one out of four patients in a typical family physician’s practice; for some, elderly and disabled patients constitute six out of 10 of their patients. These individuals depend on their family physicians for preventing illness, treating problems if they do arise, coordinating with other health care team members, and ensuring the right treatment from the right professional at the right time. By passing MACRA, Congress has ensured uninterrupted health access security to their elderly and disabled constituents.”

For more information and analysis, read the following:
> AAFP declares victory for FPs as Senate fully repeals SGR
> Medpage Today: Senate passes historic SGR repeal bill by vote of 92-8
> AAFP Leader Voices Blog: Take a bow, physicians – you defeated the SGR

Register now for this year’s Texas Primary Care and Health Home Summit
The Texas Medical Home Initiative and the Texas Health Institute present the third annual Texas Primary Care and Health Home Summit in San Antonio, June 18-19, 2015. Summit attendees will learn about medical home models, new models of primary care, and best practices in transitions of care. Register for the summit now.

New MCHAT requirement for THSteps providers
As of April 1, Texas Health Steps providers are now required to screen for autism at both 18 months and 24 months of age using the Modified Checklist for Autism for Toddlers. Providers can bill and will be reimbursed for this service, much like other developmental screens. Read more about the change on the DSHS Texas Health Steps website.

HPV vaccine survey
The UT MD Anderson Cancer Center is gathering information from Texans whose work relates to HPV vaccinations. The survey information will identify barriers and ways to increase the rate of HPV vaccination, ultimately informing policies that will reduce HPV-caused cancers. Take the 10-minute survey here.


Register for TAFP’s new CME conference this June
This year TAFP’s conference schedule includes a brand new event, the Texas Family Medicine Symposium, held in San Antonio, June 5-7. Attendees will have the chance to earn up to 24 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits with just one day out of the office. ABFM diplomates will also have the opportunity to make progress toward their Maintenance of Certification with two SAM Workshops. Register online now at www.tafp.org/professional-development/tfms.