Contents tagged with 84th
By Anna Chatillon
Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition
In the midst of the chaos and inevitable drama of the 84th Texas Legislature, we risk overlooking one piece of news with the potential to change thousands of lives for the better. Funding for women’s preventive health care services, such as annual check-ups and contraceptive care, was increased by nearly $50 million in the state budget for the coming biennium.
In 2011, draconian budget cuts to Texas’ Family Planning program devastated the women’s health care safety net. When the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, a collaboration of 60 member organizations led by TAFP and others, was formed in 2012, its aim was to restore that funding. The Coalition’s successful advocacy restored the funding in 2013 through the Texas Women’s Health Program and the Expanded Primary Health Care program, in addition to the Family Planning program.more
By Joey Berlin
The Texas Public Health Coalition and diligent physicians earned significant victories during the 84th Texas Legislature in their drive to reduce tobacco and electronic cigarette use.
Lawmakers also provided the Texas Department of State Health Services with a likely bump in chronic disease prevention funding, and an effort to keep children’s immunization records in the state registry through their early adult years made its way into law.more
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Back to the future with direct primary careRemember a time when you could treat your patients … more
By Dale Ragle, MD
TAFP President, 2014-2015
Greetings colleagues. Do you remember a time when you could take care of your patients without any of the hassle and expense associated with billing insurance companies? When you could spend as much time with your patient as needed? When you simply received payment from your patients instead of some third-party payer?
Many physicians practicing today have only heard stories of those days, but a growing number are rediscovering them by stepping off the insurance treadmill and contracting directly with their patients. Direct primary care is an innovative model for delivering and purchasing health care services that gives physicians and their patients an alternative to the third party, fee-for-service system. For a flat monthly fee, patients have unlimited access to their doctor—in person and by phone or e-mail—for a full range of comprehensive primary care services including acute and urgent care, regular checkups, preventive care, chronic disease management, and care coordination.more
By Tom Banning
Yogi Berra famously said I hate making predictions, especially about the future. It’s particularly painful when those predictions come true as was the case for many of the predictions TAFP made at the outset of the 84th Texas Legislature on how health care issues would fare this session.
Playing to their primary voters, the House and Senate focused attention almost solely on tax cuts, border security, transportation, when and where you can carry a gun, and a host of other mostly inconsequential partisan ideas.more
The clock is winding down on the Texas Legislature
With less than a week left in the 84th Texas Legislature, many bills TAFP has been tracking have passed the House and the Senate … more
By Dale Ragle, MD
TAFP President, 2014-2015
Welcome colleagues to a new year, a new Congress, and a new Texas Legislature. On all fronts, health care is evolving. These changes present family physicians tremendous opportunities to shape our future health care system. It’s up to all of us as family physicians to advocate for our specialty in the halls where decisions are made that affect our patients and our practices.
In Washington, D.C., the 114th Congress is well under way and is busy on a number of health care issues. AAFP’s advocacy work is focused on fixing Medicare’s broken payment model, changing Meaningful Use requirements, delaying ICD-10, and reforming graduate medical education funding. Another area in which AAFP is concentrating efforts is in making payment for direct primary care services a qualified health benefit under IRS rules. This would enable patients to pay for direct primary care with pre-tax HSA and FLEX account dollars, a move that would aid the expansion of this emerging and promising model of practice.more
By Blair Cushing
Fourth-year TCOM student
As a fourth-year medical student, I have spent the past four years highly concerned about what fate would await my classmates and me on Match Day, which is now only a few weeks away. With each passing year, the number of graduating medical students has climbed while the number of available first-year residency positions has remained stagnant. It is anticipated that in 2016, Texas medical schools will graduate 100 more doctors than available residency positions in the state. With three new medical schools expected to matriculate their first classes that fall, this number could easily rise to over 350 by the year 2020 in the absence of any new investment in graduate medical education.
Despite Texas being one of the few states that currently uses state tax dollars to support GME, the dollars have not kept up with the need and more importantly, a flawed funding formula has prevented this money from being used in ways that align with the health care needs of our population. Fortunately, the 84th Texas Legislature affords us a unique opportunity to reform the way GME dollars are allocated in Texas.more