By Perdita Henry
You may have noticed a few emails encouraging you to complete the 2018 Member Survey. This isn’t just any survey. Your responses will guide TAFP leadership and staff during the upcoming strategic planning meeting.
Every few years, TAFP begins the process of preparing for what’s next and asks its members to share in-depth information about themselves and the future as they see it. Those answers drive an immersive meeting where TAFP leadership will begin charting the course for the Academy’s next few years. The last time we sent out a survey of this nature was a few years ago and so much has changed since then.more
By Tasaduq Hussain Mir, MD, FAAFP
It has been almost a year now since I read the powerful book, “When Breath Becomes Air,” a neurosurgical scholar’s account of his losing battle with cancer. Dr. Paul Kalanithi died at a very young age of 36 due to lung cancer that had spread from his lungs to his brain.
“When Breath Becomes Air” is about a journey toward an imminent death. This book is a doctor’s account as a patient and the reciprocal relationship between him and his doctor. It is about an uncomfortable sense of vulnerability when it comes to physicians being on the other side of the table as patients. It is also about our gratitude for what we have in our hands and how to reconcile with what is beyond our reach. It is about our appreciation for each and every blessing that comes our way without us realizing it.more
By Melissa Benavides, MD
There is tremendous need across the state of Texas for increased access to women’s health services. As a physician representing the TAFP on the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, I would like to remind my colleagues that family physicians are well positioned to fill this void. Even some of the smaller, more remote towns throughout our state are served by dedicated family physicians who have equipped themselves to provide convenient, wide-ranging women’s health services. As many patients prefer and trust their family physician, we are well-positioned to make positive impacts on the health status of women and children throughout Texas.
I would like to address two major steps we can take as family physicians to improve the availability and convenience of women’s health services in our state.more
The 2018 C. Frank Webber Lectureship and Interim Session Family Medicine Resident and Student Track drew students and residents from all over the state. Participants received a warm welcome from TAFP President, Janet Hurley, MD, explored the frontier of telemedicine, got an in-depth lesson on family medicine finances from past president of TAFP and president-elect of TMA, Doug Curran, MD, and much more.
In addition to timely discussions and presentations, the Section on Resident Physicians and the Section on Medical Students held elections for various officer positions. Officer candidates had the chance to talk to their colleagues about their professional passions and how they would represent resident and student TAFP members within the Academy.
TAFP Resident Section Officersmore
By Perdita Henry
Texas’ best and brightest family physicians gathered in Austin, April 13-14, to learn the latest in CME, determine the direction of the Academy, and reconnect with colleagues from across the state during the annual C. Frank Webber Lectureship and Interim Session.
More than 400 physicians, residents, medical students, and other health care professionals took part in the yearly event, featuring an energetic exhibit hall, vibrant committee meetings, and special learning opportunities and activities beyond the CME lecture hall. CME attendees had the opportunity to earn up 17 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits.more
Your patients have a lifetime of vaccines ahead of them. The easiest way to keep them organized is ImmTrac2, the Texas Immunization Registry. The Texas Department of State Health Services provides this registry. It is secure and confidential, and safely consolidates and stores Texans’ immunization records in one place.
ImmTrac2 replaces the ImmTrac system launched in 1996, and now offers expanded capabilities including immunization history, forecasts, reminders, instant reports, easy edit/delete functions, and resettable passwords.
With more than 164 million vaccine records, the registry is a major component of DSHS’s initiative to increase immunization coverage across Texas.more
By ABFM staff
PRIME Registry is a practice and population data tool developed by the ABFM that safely extracts patient data* from your electronic health records and turns it into actionable measures, presented in an easy-to-use, personalized dashboard, maintaining its full confidentiality. PRIME not only simplifies quality reporting for payment programs such as MIPS and CPC+, but also allows you to better evaluate aspects of your practice, patient groups, and individual patients, illuminating gaps or successes in patient care.
Another bonus for ABFM Diplomates is the integrated Performance Improvement activity tool. This allows Diplomates to easily use EHR data to complete PI activities and earn points toward the ABFM continuous certification requirements.more
By Alyssa Molina, MD
When it comes to residents transitioning into practice, there are a few things I would stress. Know where you would like to be on the job continuum between autonomy and security. You could have a completely autonomous position. You own your own practice, you decide when you’re opened, when you are closed, and what you do. While you’ll have complete autonomy, you won’t have security. If you are sick and you don’t come to work, you don’t get paid. At the other end of the spectrum, you have the security of being employed by a practice. In that practice, they decide how many patients you see, how many vacation days you get, and so on. There’s very little autonomy, but you have job security. You always get a paycheck, and it doesn’t matter how many patients you see. Most jobs are somewhere in the middle so, it’s important that you figure out for yourself, and your family, where you are comfortable on the spectrum.
Where I’m currently employed, I have a lot of autonomy. If I choose to take off, I just make sure I’m not on call and that someone’s covering the clinic. I’m paid based on my productivity so there isn’t a certain number of days I have off each year. If I’m willing to take a smaller paycheck, I could take off more days and still have a job when I get back. Where I am on the continuum provides me with a base. They do all the billing for me, so I don’t have to worry about that.more
By Janet Hurley, MD
Changes in health care have been fast and furious in the last several years. The advent of MACRA created the need to prepare for MIPS and APMs, and more robustly report on quality and cost. There is an ongoing desire for interoperability and EMR modifications requiring more “clicks” than we would like. Many physicians have added new types of team members to their practices, such as social workers, nurse navigators, or care coordinators to reach out to patients in new creative ways.
Some of this has been good for patients, and some of it possibly not. Some days it feels like physicians are chewing a big fat wad of gum, and feeling choked.more
By Jonathan Nelson
Want some extra cash and a chance to help refine and validate a Medicare quality measure? Check out this email we recently received from Shari Glickman, a program analyst with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.