Contents tagged with patients
By Troy Fiesinger, M.D.
TAFP President, 2012-2013
We received our monthly physician quality report cards recently. Software mines our electronic health record and generates reports to tell us if we are meeting our goals. These quality measures are defined by Medicare, our clinically integrated physicians group, and commercial payers like Blue Cross Blue Shield. While some are based on solid medical evidence, others seem arbitrary and not relevant to the day-to-day reality of seeing family medicine patients.
I prefer creating and using our own data instead of relying on the often incomplete and inaccurate claims data from insurance. Despite our efforts to be good sports, often we feel bombarded by the endless number of things we should do to show we are good doctors.more
HHSC delays Medicaid fee increase for now
Organized medicine to Washington: Don’t reverse Medicaid bonus
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has postponed the Medicaid … more
Study: Patients are very satisfied with family physicians
A new consumer study released last month by the Physicians Foundation shows that patients highly value family physicians. … more
An excerpt from Dr. Justin Bartos’ Physician of the Year acceptance speech
By Justin V. Bartos III, M.D.
Thank you for the great honor of being named the 2012 Texas Family Physician of the Year. It is a dream come true. As you work on behalf of your patients, your practice, and the specialty of family medicine, you often wonder if this effort is recognized by your colleagues. It is extremely gratifying to receive such an award.
I practice under the Medical Clinic of North Texas, which comprises more than 150 primary care physicians. I also spend a portion of my time as the medical director of the Dr. David Pillow Senior Health Clinic at HCA North Hills Hospital. This has been a very fulfilling part of my practice. David Pillow was my mentor when I started my practice 27 years ago. Using the fundamentals of the patient-centered medical home we have a very effective proactive team approach to senior care.more
By I. L. Balkcom IV, M.D.
TAFP President, 2011-2012
It’s just a small, non-descript pin. Its cash value is minimal and if found in someone’s drawer, it would be summarily thrown in the trash while other more prized items would be saved. However, this pin is a treasure to me. I will guard this pin until my time on earth has passed. While cleaning out my drawer I’m sure someone will ask why I kept this.
The middle of November found me attending a very special event for a young man of 17 years. Luke was receiving his induction as an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. I had been honored to be chosen to attend the service, as I had attended to Luke since he was a very young child. His mother and father are patients of mine also and I silently cheered for them, beaming with pride at their son’s accomplishment.more
AHRQ campaign encourages Hispanic patients to “take the reins” in health decisions
A new campaign from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare … more
By Janet Hurley, M.D.
Having been a patient not too long ago, I am convinced that doctors should be patients more often. As we continue to talk more in health care about “patient-centeredness” and the “patient experience,” I have a few thoughts on things I learned during my convalescence period after a tonsillectomy in 2009.
- My surgeon, my anesthesiologist, and the surgical center staff were GREAT. As providers, the things we do become routine to us, but to patients they are extraordinary. Taking the time to explain a procedure carefully and thoughtfully can make a big difference.
- Follow directions. Patient handouts have important information in them and the treatment team knows what they’re doing. I must remember to listen to their advice and review the patient materials when I have questions.
- Don’t be your own doctor! If you have questions about medications or symptoms, ASK SOMEONE ELSE. You may choose to be a highly educated patient, but not your own doctor.
- I am not too tough for pain medications. While I dislike the mental fogginess they create, I had to keep in mind steps I prescribe to my patients—maintain better hydration, better nutrition, and keep my throat moist—to make myself more comfortable.
- I will never even think about accessing my Electronic Medical Record from home until fully off narcotics. Impairment was obvious.
- When on narcotics, I communicate better with my fingers than my tongue. You can’t rush recovery, even when you know you have important work to do. E-mail communication with others kept me connected when my speech was slurred and my throat hurt.
- I have great clinic coverage partners. I had no worries about who would check my messages, approve refill requests, and see my patients when I was out. We must remember that good patient care during such times requires that we receive help from our colleagues.
- Don’t undervalue the significance of family and friends. I am grateful to my husband who took care of our kids and took care of me, and the friends and neighbors who looked for ways to help out during my recovery. It’s okay to lean on those closest to you in times of need!
Free patient resource on cancer available to TAFP members
Patient Resources Publishing offers TAFP members the opportunity to receive copies of the Patient Resource Cancer Guide … more
ImmTrac launches new immunization scheduler
State vaccine registry ImmTrac launched a new, improved immunization scheduler on June 30 that enhances utility, functionality, and … more
By Robert Youens, M.D., M.M.M.
TAFP President, 2008-2009
Recently in a neighboring community to mine with practicing family physicians, a hospital, surgeons, obstetrical care, ER coverage and multiple visiting specialists, two interesting developments have occurred. First, a new clinic has opened with a $1 million grant and the backing of the local community and a citizen champion. The plan is to have it qualify as a Federally Qualified Health Center “look-alike” that will allow it to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement at significantly higher levels than the locally practicing physicians. This clinic is able to see any patient: Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance or private pay. Incidentally, the guiding force behind the clinic says they currently have a nurse practitioner and a “family practice” doctor, but he wants to get a pediatrician because his primary reason for starting the clinic is to help children.
Second, with the help of local and federal politicians, a Veterans Administration clinic is to open this summer to care for veterans in the area who need their services, thus decreasing travel distances to a more remote VA clinic. This clinic was awarded on a bid contract to a company who apparently does this in other places and is to be staffed by various ancillary personnel hired for the business as well as a general practitioner from the area.more