TAFP to HHSC: Address insufficient payment for COVID-19 testing
By Jonathan Nelson
TAFP joined five other physician associations last week in calling on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to ensure adequate reimbursement for COVID-19 testing. The organizations sent a letter to HHSC Executive Commissioner Cecile Young on Feb. 16, bringing attention to a problem Texas physicians face: payments by some Medicaid managed care organizations for COVID-19 tests often do not even cover the cost of the tests.
A recent New York Times article quoted a Texas pediatrician who said he offered rapid coronavirus tests that cost $37 each, but the Medicaid MCOs covering his patients paid only $15 to $19. The article stated that because of the low payments, some doctors are deciding to stop testing, which hinders the nation’s effort to control the pandemic.more
Let the Child Psychiatry Access Network help you help your patients
By Edith Ortiz, MBA
The Child Psychiatry Access Network can assist a primary care physician during a mental-health-focused assessment in the office, providing them with education and recommendations for evidence-based interventions. Studies show that families place enormous trust in you, their family doctor, and often prefer to have mental health issues managed without a referral to a specialist. Our CPAN team is there to support that process as well as help locate mental health services when the problem is severe and warrants specialty intervention.
We are happy to take a call whether the patient is in your office or not. Call us when you get that inbox message and are not sure of the next steps. Call us when an intervention you have recommended is not effective. Call us when you want help explaining a mental health challenge to a family. You will reach a team member within five minutes of your call, and if a child psychiatry team member is needed to assist, they will call you back within 30 minutes.more
TAFP asserts that physicians should be allowed to administer excess vaccine from opened vials according to their best judgment
AUSTIN, TX, Feb. 22, 2021 — The Texas Academy of Family Physicians issued a statement asserting that well-intentioned physicians and other health care providers should be allowed to use their professional judgement when administering COVID-19 vaccinations to avoid wasting vaccine in a punctured vial. Physicians should not be charged with a criminal offense for using the vaccine remaining in a partially used vial once all scheduled or available patients meeting the requirements of the current CDC vaccine priority groups have received their dose.