Archives / 2012 / January
  • Celebrating a year in the blogosphere

    Tags: membership, social media, communications, family physician

    Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Texas Family Docs blog (give or take a few days), gives us the opportunity to reflect on how we’re doing and give you, our members, a preview of what’s to come.

    We launched on Jan. 10, 2011, with a goal to increase our connection with you and to encourage more interaction in the “post-health-reform era of rapid changes to the practice of medicine.” And we promised to share insights beyond our traditional news coverage on the issues you care about the most.

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  • Clinical integration: The case for getting involved now

    Tags: clinical integration, health care costs, autonomy, hospital, physician

    By Daniel J. Marino

    What is your reaction to the concept of clinical integration? If you are like most physicians I talk to, you are interested in the idea but wary of the many uncertainties that surround it. You may also have some reservations about getting involved with the local hospital. If you become clinically integrated, will you be able to maintain control of your own practice?

    One thing is clear: Doing nothing is not an option. Unsustainable health care cost trends are creating pressure that is simply not going away. All payers are pushing to reduce costs, and there is broad and deep agreement that greater coordination of care is the solution. Physicians who stick to the clinical models developed under fee-for-service reimbursement are going to suffer from steady fee schedule reductions.

  • Patient relationships are the treasures of family medicine

    Tags: texas family physician, president, balkcom, physician, patients, relationship

    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.

  • 2011 Year in Review

    Tags: texas family physician, 2011, year in review, advocacy, communications, education, tafp foundation, members, leadership

    2011 was a year of new ideas, initiatives, and projects, and your Academy approached all with the same goal: to unite the family physicians of Texas, equip them with the tools to navigate a changing practice environment, and proactively advance the specialty of family medicine.

    By Kate Alfano

    From the start of the legislative session in January to the 10th ABFM SAM Group Study Workshop in December (and all events in between), TAFP members and staff stayed engaged in their mission. Read on for a review of happenings over the past year.

    Advocacy: Just two weeks after the start of the new year, the 82nd Texas Legislature convened, sending TAFP’s leaders, lobby team, and staff into high gear to advocate on behalf of family medicine’s top concerns: graduate medical education, scope of practice, and physician workforce. Compounding the session was a $4 billion deficit in the 2010-2011 biennium and a $23 billion shortfall for 2012-2013, which threatened all state-funded programs and any proposal containing a fiscal note.