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Hospitals, physicians, insurers back bill for 'medical homes' in Montana

Hospitals, physicians, insurers back bill for 'medical homes' in Montana | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
HELENA – Hospitals, physicians, health insurers and health clinics came out in force Wednesday to support a bill encouraging “patient-centered medical homes,” which are medical practices designed to offer preventive care and reduce health care costs.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Promote the patient-centered medical home for every Texan

 

Consider that the costliest 1 percent of patients in the United States account for more than 20 percent of what the nation spends on health care. They are older patients with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other serious chronic conditions. Many have multiple health problems, and their relatives might not be helping with their care. Most have private insurance and are white and female.

 

As public and private payers look for ways to lower costs, improve patient outcomes, and ease burdens to access, they are turning to models of care that both increase economic efficiencies and enhance patient care. One of these is the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. A PCMH is a primary care physician or physician-led team who ensures that patient care is accessible, coordinated, comprehensive, patient-centered, and culturally relevant. The physician or team directly provide, coordinate, or arrange health care or social support services as indicated by the patient’s individual medical needs and the best available medical evidence. The model uses a team-based approach with the patient’s primary care physician leading the overall coordination of care. Trained teams and well-constructed electronic health records (EHRs) are key to a successful PCMH.

 

TMA supports the use of the PCMH model in Medicare, Texas Medicaid, and commercial insurance plans. Public and private payers have, increasingly, been looking to this model as a way to reduce fragmented care, lower costs, avoid repetitive and costly procedures, and improve patient outcomes. Given the budget constraints that Texas faces and a growing population with unique health care needs, the PCMH offers the potential for Medicaid cost savings as well as improved patient outcomes and physician and provider satisfaction.

 

In recent years, numerous states have implemented PCMH initiatives that engage both private and public payers. While each program design was unique and each measured success differently, these initiatives showed improved outcomes and reduced costs. Below are just a few examples of PCMH successes.

 

•    In a recent Blue Cross and Blue Shield pilot in Colorado, New Hampshire, and New York, the program showed an 18-percent decrease in acute inpatient admission rates compared with an 18-percent increase in the non-medical home group. Additionally, there was a 15-percent decrease in the rate of emergency department visits, compared with a 4-percent increase in the non-PCMH group.28

•    Oklahoma saw complaints about access to same-day or next-day care decrease from 1,670 in 2007 (the year before PCMH implementation) to 13 in 2009 (the year after implementation). Oklahoma saw a decline in expenses of $29 per patient per year from 2008 to 2010.

•    Inpatient hospital admissions for aged, blind, and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries participating in Community Care of North Carolina decreased 2 percent between 2007 and the middle of fiscal year 2010. Inpatient hospital admissions for the unenrolled beneficiaries increased 31 percent over the same time period. Overall, Community Care of North Carolina saved nearly $1.5 billion in costs between 2007 and 2009.

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Healthy Vision 2020
Bringing into focus a clear and distinct view of the rest of this decade in Texas health care. Offering a sharp perception of what lies ahead and what we must change to keep us all healthy.
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NH Senate OKs Medicaid money for private coverage

The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday approved using federal Medicaid money to buy private health insurance for thousands of poor adults, with supporters emphasizing the benefits to the state’s economy and the health of its residents and opponents arguing taxpayers would be stuck with the bill when federal money drops off.
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New Rule Creates Avalanche Of Time-Wasting Paperwork For Doctors

Texas Medical Association's insight:

TMA says: Put ICD-10 on permanent hold


The ICD-10 requirement is an excellent example of a costly regulation that will disrupt practice operations. ICD-10 is a 20-year-old boondoggle of a system that will help only health care researchers. Before Secretary Sebelius delayed the new coding language for an additional year, the federal government announced that all physicians, hospitals, providers, and insurance companies must shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10 no later than Oct. 1, 2013. The punishment for noncompliance is severe: no payment for any medical services provided.

 

The number of diagnostic codes that physicians would be required to use under ICD-10 would grow from 13,500 to 69,000. The number of codes for inpatient procedures also would soar from 4,000 to 71,000. For example, the new system has 480 codes for a fractured knee cap — up from a grand total of two in ICD-9. Switching to ICD-10 will mandate extensive revision of physicians’ paper and electronic systems. Transition to the new system is expected to cost solo physicians as much as $83,000 each, and group practices of up to 10 doctors as much as $250,000.

 

The ICD-10 mandate will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care. It is a huge weight to place on physicians when they face numerous other administrative hurdles, including implementing and achieving meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs), meeting quality measures under Medicare’s PQRS and other programs, the impending creation of accountable care organizations in Medicare, and more. The timing of the transition could not be worse, as many physicians already are spending significant time and resources implementing EHRs in their practices.

 

ICD-10 is old technology developed during the 1980s and not designed to work in the current electronic world. A new version of the diagnostic and procedure codes, ICD-11, could come as early as 2015. It is being designed for use with electronic health records and the Internet, and should be more user-friendly than ICD-10. 

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The Medical Home's Impact on Cost & Quality

The Medical Home's Impact on Cost & Quality | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Texas Medical Association's insight:

TMA supports the use of the PCMH model in Medicare, Texas Medicaid, and commercial insurance plans. Public and private payers have, increasingly, been looking to this model as a way to reduce fragmented care, lower costs, avoid repetitive and costly procedures, and improve patient outcomes. Given the budget constraints that Texas faces and a growing population with unique health care needs, the PCMH offers the potential for Medicaid cost savings as well as improved patient outcomes and physician and provider satisfaction. 

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SGR proposals include rewards for medical homes

SGR proposals include rewards for medical homes | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
The proposals to scrap Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula for updating physician pay include less-noticed provisions rewarding practices that operate as a patient-centered medical home. There is a twist, however.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

As public and private payers look for ways to lower costs, improve patient outcomes, and ease burdens to access, they are turning to models of care that both increase economic efficiencies and enhance patient care. One of these is the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. A PCMH is a primary care physician or physician-led team who ensures that patient care is accessible, coordinated, comprehensive, patient-centered, and culturally relevant. The physician or team directly provide, coordinate, or arrange health care or social support services as indicated by the patient’s individual medical needs and the best available medical evidence. The model uses a team-based approach with the patient’s primary care physician leading the overall coordination of care. Trained teams and well-constructed electronic health records (EHRs) are key to a successful PCMH.

 

TMA supports the use of the PCMH model in Medicare, Texas Medicaid, and commercial insurance plans. Public and private payers have, increasingly, been looking to this model as a way to reduce fragmented care, lower costs, avoid repetitive and costly procedures, and improve patient outcomes. Given the budget constraints that Texas faces and a growing population with unique health care needs, the PCMH offers the potential for Medicaid cost savings as well as improved patient outcomes and physician and provider satisfaction. 

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Texas among states adding most new physicians - Austin Business Journal

Texas among states adding most new physicians - Austin Business Journal | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Although many experts say the Lone Star State is facing a shortage of doctors down the road, Texas is adding physicians who treat patients faster than all but one state.
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Residency Slots: A Crisis in the Making?

Residency Slots: A Crisis in the Making? | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
As the number of medical students grows without a commensurate increase in residency slots, medical schools, teaching hospitals, states, and thought leaders are working on ways to increase the number
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Study Points To “Imbalance” In Spending On Doctor Training – Capsules - The KHN Blog

Study Points To “Imbalance” In Spending On Doctor Training – Capsules - The KHN Blog | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Texas Medical Association's insight:

New York state received 20 percent of all Medicare’s graduate medical education funding while 29 states, including places struggling with a severe shortage of physicians, got less than 1 percent, the study said. Other states at the top of the heap in funding are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Connecticut, the study found. Each of these states gets more than $71 in funding per each resident compared to $14 for Florida and $11.50 for Texas. At the bottom is Montana, which gets $1.94 per resident.

The distribution is important because while some medical residents move elsewhere after training, most practice near where they train. Doctors enter medical residency typically for three or more years after they graduate from medical school.

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AMA: The administrative burden of being a physician

AMA: The administrative burden of being a physician | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
New data released by the American Medical Association (AMA) ranks major health insurers according to their administrative cost burdens.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

TMA Recommendations

•    Put ICD-10 on permanent hold until ICD-11 or another appropriate replacement for ICD-9 is ready for widespread implementation.

•    Require government agencies to consider the disruption that new regulations and penalties introduce into medical practices and refrain from introducing new hurdles. The one-year delay of ICD-10 was a step in the right direction.

•    Protect physicians who care for chronically ill or noncompliant patients from quality-of-care measures that do not account for such variances in patient populations. Stop implementation of Medicare’s “value-based purchasing” program, unless physicians who treat these populations are treated fairly.

•    Protect tax law provisions that acknowledge physicians’ unique roles in caring for all patients — this includes physicians who provide charity care.

•    Repeal legislation that limits physician ownership of hospitals.

•    Promote responsible ownership of all health care facilities, whether owned by a physician, hospital, or other provider. 

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Editorial: IPAB could get help from Mass. cost-control panel

Editorial: IPAB could get help from Mass. cost-control panel | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Amid all the anger aimed at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, no aspect of that wide-ranging statute has drawn more ire than the Independent Payment Advisory Board.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Our position: Repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board


Replacing the SGR will be meaningless unless Congress also repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Leaving both in place would create cruel and unusual double jeopardy for physicians who want to care for senior citizens and military families. The PPACA created a 15-member IPAB to recommend measures to reduce Medicare spending if costs exceed targeted growth rates set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

 

The PPACA prohibits the panel from recommending changes to eligibility, coverage, or other factors that drive utilization of health care services. This means the board will have only one option — cut payments. And through 2019, hospitals, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare prescription drug plans, and health care professionals other than physicians are exempt.This means the board will have only one option — cut Medicare payments to physicians. Cuts the board recommends will automatically take effect, unless Congress acts to suspend them.

 

As we’ve seen with the SGR, it’s obvious that cuts the IPAB enacts will devastate Medicare beneficiaries’ ability to find physicians to care for them. The issue of Medicare spending for 3.8 million Texans is too important to be left in the hands of an unaccountable board that makes decisions based solely on cost. 

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Criminally negligent physical education

Did it really take the American Medical Association to tell us this? The AMA has pronounced childhood obesity a disease — also, that boiling water scalds and wood splinters.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Invest in obesity control

 

Overweight and obesity contribute to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Texas has an easy-to-see obesity crisis. Some 66 percent of Texas adults are overweight or obese; the United States average is 63 percent. During the past three decades, obesity rates in children have more than tripled in the country. Today, 32 percent of Texas children (ages 10-17) are obese.

 

The obesity epidemic, and the ever-younger age groups that it strikes, threatens Texas’ physical and fiscal health. Texas’ continually expanding waistline correlates to our health care cost demands. Obesity is responsible for 27 percent of the growth in health care spending. Treating obese patients costs 37 percent more than treating normal-weight patients.

 

The rise in overweight and obesity is affecting the bottom line of Texas employers. The Texas Comptroller’s Office found that in 2009, obesity cost Texas businesses an estimated $9.5 billion, due to higher employee insurance costs, absenteeism, and other effects. Left unchecked, obesity could cost employers $32.5 billion annually by 2030.

 

Improved physical health in students has been linked to academic success. Conversely, children with obesity are more prone to absences and lower grades. In the United States, students who are physically active at least 60 minutes on most days, play on at least one sports team, or watch fewer than three hours of television per day consistently have “mostly A’s.”

 

A great proportion of obese adults were overweight or obese as children. This serious risk factor is found in Texas, where more than 30 percent of children in grades 4 through 11 are overweight or obese. A child who is overweight at age 12 has a 75-percent chance of being overweight as an adult.

 

There is no single solution to preventing or addressing obesity. Multiple evidence-based approaches must be pursued for physicians, communities, schools, and workplaces, and each must identify potential barriers to implementing local programs.

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This is why controlling health-care costs is almost impossible

This is why controlling health-care costs is almost impossible | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Americans aren't angry about health-care costs. They're angry about the small fraction of health-care costs they directly pay.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

"The health-care financing system is so fractured that it’s entirely possible for costs to fall overall even as they look like they’re rising to families. The cost control efforts in Obamacare — or in any serious replacement — will mean, among other things, higher deductibles, tighter networks and more aggressively managed care."

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Twitter / texmed: Vaccines Don't Cause Autism ...

Texas Medical Association's insight:

Not vaccinating your child against a disease like the measles is bad for your child and bad for those around you. Listen to some science, check out the video: http://youtu.be/aN0N5tTIFeI

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Regulation nation: Obama expands the regulatory state

Regulation nation: Obama expands the regulatory state | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
The reach of the executive branch has advanced steadily under Obama, further solidifying the power of federal bureaucrats. President Obama has overseen a dramatic expansion of the regulatory state that will outlast his time in the White House.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

After “health,” the most frequently used word in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is neither “patient” nor “physician” nor “hospital” nor “insurance.” “Secretary,” as in “the secretary of health and human services,” is mentioned more than 2,500 times in the 2,300-page bill. And more than 700 times, the PPACA says “the secretary shall.” Each of these directives is a sign of new regulations to come on physicians and health care. Unfortunately, the PPACA was not the genesis of physician regulation, nor are these busy rulemakers limited to the federal government. “An extensive regulatory framework … arose haphazardly, with little consideration of how the pieces fit together,” the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice reported in 2004. The huge numbers of state and federal regulations and their haphazard nature place tremendous burdens on physicians’ practices, most of which are still small businesses. These rules insert themselves between physicians and their patients, frequently do little to improve patient care, and divert physicians’ time and energy away from the patients in the exam room. We need to repeal, reorganize, and reprioritize if we want a functional health care delivery system.

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Corbett shifts on PA Medicaid proposal’s work search

Gov. Tom Corbett appeared ready Thursday to drop one of the most controversial conditions of his proposal to accept billions of federal Medicaid expansion dollars and extend taxpayer-subsidized insurance to hundreds of thousands of working poor in Pennsylvania.
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FDA unveils its $115 million anti-smoking campaign targeting teens

FDA unveils its $115 million anti-smoking campaign targeting teens | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
The national effort is aimed at preventing 12-to-17-year-olds from becoming “replacement customers.”
Texas Medical Association's insight:

More than 24,000 Texans die each year from smoking-related illness. Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable and premature death and illness in the world. Adults who smoke are at substantially greater risk of developing chronic diseases and conditions including multiple types of cancer, increasing their risk of diabetes complications, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to develop respiratory problems and acute illnesses. Almost every major system in your body is affected by smoking or secondhand smoke. 

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Uninsured, patients with public coverage have trouble finding doctors

Uninsured, patients with public coverage have trouble finding doctors | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Uninsured adults and those with public health coverage have a harder time finding a primary-care physician who will take them as a patient compared with people who have private insurance, government data shows.That raises questions about whether...
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Texas has a large, growing population that is growing sicker and needs more and better-coordinated health care services. Unfortunately, Texas — even more than most of the rest of the country — needs more physicians and other health care professionals. Although our 2003 liability reforms have brought an influx of new physicians, the current supply won’t be able to keep up with the demand, especially with expanded insurance coverage from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). We need more physicians and other health care professionals working in all parts of the state, especially in rural and border Texas. We need to invest more in our medical schools and graduate medical education training programs. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that allied health professionals — who haven’t gone to medical school — can fill the gap as independent practitioners. Instead, we need to work on building physician-led health care teams that can safely meet the diverse needs of the Texas population.

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Oregon health care professionals could get big help in repaying loans

Oregon health care professionals could get big help in repaying loans | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Health care providers who agree to work in Oregon where there’s a shortage of ...
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Physician shortages constitute a special problem in rural areas of the state. The continued urbanization of Texas exacerbates this longstanding problem. Approximately 12 percent of Texans live in rural counties, yet only 10 percent of primary care physicians practice there. In 2011, Texas had 52 primary care physicians per 100,000 population in rural areas versus 72 per 100,000 in urban areas. Physician shortages in rural areas not only hinder access to primary and other specialty care but also lead to potential losses in the local economy, difficulties attracting new businesses, and diminished quality of life for residents. A number of factors hurt physicians’ ability to open and sustain rural practices, including heavy concentration of Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured patients; professional isolation; and high debt after medical school.

 

Physician practices in rural Texas contribute to the local economy in three critical ways.

 

• They employ administrative and clinical staff to help care for patients. On average, a solo primary care physician in a rural area will employ three staff: a registered nurse, a medical technician or licensed vocational nurse, and a receptionist/billing clerk.

• They contribute revenue to and generate additional employment at local hospitals through inpatient admissions and outpatient services.

• They generate essential tax revenues for their communities.

 

If rural physician practices and rural economies are to thrive, physicians need incentives to practice in those areas. Medical school programs with rural-focused curricula increase the supply of primary care doctors in underserved areas as do loan forgiveness programs like the National Health Service Corps and the State Physician Education Loan Repayment Program (SPELRP).

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American Health Care: Too Much, Too Late?

American Health Care: Too Much, Too Late? | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
What if we could reduce our reliance on treatments and direct more resources to the services that improve people’s health in the first place?
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Doctor demand will grow by up to a third by 2025 - study

Doctor demand will grow by up to a third by 2025 - study | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Driven by an aging population and increased access to health insurance, the U.S.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

TMA Recommendations

• Preserve and protect state support for undergraduate medical education and the cultivation of the future generation of Texas physicians, thus ensuring stable access to health care for all Texans.

• Support and develop new graduate medical education programs in the specialties that best reflect the state’s health care needs. Support incentives for hospitals and other community-based agencies to develop residency programs in the specialties most needed.

• Direct the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to coordinate the availability of graduate medical education training positions so that Texas can retain our graduates for residency training.

• Sponsor research to identify and promote innovations in training primary care residents for practice in Texas, and to address the factors that influence why few U.S. medical school graduates select this training.

• Adjust the payment system for health care services to make primary care an attractive career option for those considering a rural practice.

• Reinstate the State Physician Education Loan Repayment Program funds that were slashed during the 2011 legislative session to encourage physicians to practice in rural and medically underserved communities.

• Strongly oppose any efforts to expand scope of practice beyond that safely permitted by nonphysician practitioners’ education, training, and skills.

• Support expansions of scope of practice laws that protect patient safety, are consistent with team care, are based on objective educational standards, and improve patient care services.

• Support legislation that strengthens the Texas Medical Board’s regulatory oversight of nonphysician licensees who, by objective educational improvements, are granted authority to perform acts traditionally reserved for and defined as the practice of medicine.

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Accuracy of coding in ICD-10 pilot varies, report says |
Modern Healthcare

Accuracy of coding in ICD-10 pilot varies, report says | <br/>Modern Healthcare | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Medical coders participating in an ICD-10 coding pilot produced accurate coding using the complex new system less than two-thirds of the time, according to a report by two healthcare IT industry groups.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

See full report: http://www.himss.org/files/HIMSSorg/Content/files/ICD-10_NPP_Outcomes_Report.pdf

 

TMA's position:

 

Put ICD-10 on permanent hold

 

The ICD-10 requirement is an excellent example of a costly regulation that will disrupt practice operations. ICD-10 is a 20-year-old boondoggle of a system that will help only health care researchers. All physicians, hospitals, providers, and insurance companies must shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10 no later than Oct. 1, 2014. The punishment for noncompliance is severe: no payment for any medical services provided.

 

The number of diagnostic codes that physicians would be required to use under ICD-10 would grow from 13,500 to 69,000. The number of codes for inpatient procedures also would soar from 4,000 to 71,000. For example, the new system has 480 codes for a fractured knee cap — up from a grand total of two in ICD-9. Switching to ICD-10 will mandate extensive revision of physicians’ paper and electronic systems. Transition to the new system is expected to cost solo physicians as much as $83,000 each, and group practices of up to 10 doctors as much as $250,000.

 

The ICD-10 mandate will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care. It is a huge weight to place on physicians when they face numerous other administrative hurdles, including implementing and achieving meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs), meeting quality measures under Medicare’s PQRS and other programs, the impending creation of accountable care organizations in Medicare, and more. The timing of the transition could not be worse, as many physicians already are spending significant time and resources implementing EHRs in their practices.

 

ICD-10 is old technology developed during the 1980s and not designed to work in the current electronic world. A new version of the diagnostic and procedure codes, ICD-11, could come as early as 2015. It is being designed for use with electronic health records and the Internet, and should be more user-friendly than ICD-10. 

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Student loan forgiveness to keep doctors in N.J? It could happen

Student loan forgiveness to keep doctors in N.J? It could happen | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
The bill is based on a recommendation in a report issued by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals that said loan forgiveness is one of the top factors that medical residents look for in determining a practice.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Improve rural access to care

 

Physician shortages constitute a special problem in rural areas of the state. The continued urbanization of Texas exacerbates this longstanding problem. Approximately 12 percent of Texans live in rural counties, yet only 10 percent of primary care physicians practice there. In 2011, Texas had 52 primary care physicians per 100,000 population in rural areas versus 72 per 100,000 in urban areas. Physician shortages in rural areas not only hinder access to primary and other specialty care but also lead to potential losses in the local economy, difficulties attracting new businesses, and diminished quality of life for residents. A number of factors hurt physicians’ ability to open and sustain rural practices, including heavy concentration of Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured patients; professional isolation; and high debt after medical school.

 

Physician practices in rural Texas contribute to the local economy in three critical ways.

 

• They employ administrative and clinical staff to help care for patients. On average, a solo primary care physician in a rural area will employ three staff: a registered nurse, a medical technician or licensed vocational nurse, and a receptionist/billing clerk.

• They contribute revenue to and generate additional employment at local hospitals through inpatient admissions and outpatient services.

• They generate essential tax revenues for their communities.

 

If rural physician practices and rural economies are to thrive, physicians need incentives to practice in those areas. Medical school programs with rural-focused curricula increase the supply of primary care doctors in underserved areas as do loan forgiveness programs like the National Health Service Corps and the State Physician Education Loan Repayment Program (SPELRP).

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The medical home requires building a better team

The medical home requires building a better team | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
How do we get the many disparate members of our healthcare team together to provide better care in a patient-centered medical home?
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Right Care, Right Person, Right Time, Right Place

 

No one worries about the spiraling cost of U.S. health care more than physicians. Our current health care delivery system does too little to coordinate care for patients with expensive-to-manage chronic conditions. We don’t make the most effective use of allied health practitioners. We are requiring physicians to invest in high-dollar health information technology (HIT) systems without ensuring that the investment translates into better patient care. We are responding to calls to measure a physician’s effectiveness and efficiency but are concerned that the measures are not focusing on the right metrics. The way to save money in health care is not through ill-advised, random rationing of care, but rather through systems that ensure the right professional provides the right care, at the right place, and at the right time.

 

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Report: NPs, PAs won't solve primary care shortage

Report: NPs, PAs won't solve primary care shortage | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
The industry still needs policies to solve the primary care shortage since more nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are choosing subspecialty careers, according to new research from the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Texas has a large, growing population that is growing sicker and needs more and better-coordinated health care services. Unfortunately, Texas — even more than most of the rest of the country — needs more physicians and other health care professionals. Although our 2003 liability reforms have brought an influx of new physicians, the current supply won’t be able to keep up with the demand, especially with expanded insurance coverage from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). We need more physicians and other health care professionals working in all parts of the state, especially in rural and border Texas. We need to invest more in our medical schools and graduate medical education training programs. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that allied health professionals — who haven’t gone to medical school — can fill the gap as independent practitioners. Instead, we need to work on building physician-led health care teams that can safely meet the diverse needs of the Texas population.

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Primary Care Doctor Shortage Set To Get Worse, USA

Primary Care Doctor Shortage Set To Get Worse, USA | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Too few newly qualified doctors are choosing primary care, resulting in a serious shortage of primary care physicians in America. Federal funding needs to be changed.
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Jim Landers: Texas and Mexico both face obesity and diabetes emergencies

Jim Landers: Texas and Mexico both face obesity and diabetes emergencies | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Good news on obesity and diabetes in Texas? Not entirely. Bad news in Mexico? Definitely.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Encourage Texans to take personal responsibility for their own health

 

Texas needs to support our citizens in taking more responsibility for their health and health care decisions.

 

The key to maintaining health lies in helping patients assume responsibility for their own health with regular support from their physicians. Competent, compassionate medical care, delivered with professionalism, state-of-the-art clinical knowledge, and patient respect are critical components of this responsibility. Conversely, patients have a responsibility to make informed, healthy decisions.

 

Physicians must continue to emphasize the importance and power of personal responsibility in patients’ health outcomes. Over the past century, public health interventions have effectively reduced and, in some cases, eliminated illness and death. We must use education and preventive medicine measures to go further — to curb the need for the complex treatment required once a preventable condition develops. Each occurrence of preventable chronic disease is costly to Texas’ government and businesses, to our economy, and to our people.

 

Personal health and wellness depend on the behavioral decisions we make as well as the social and environmental factors to which we are exposed throughout a lifetime. Four out of 10 Texas adults report at least one factor — high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, or a smoking habit — that puts them at high risk of developing a chronic disease. Many adults have more than one risk factor and can develop multiple chronic conditions.

 

These chronic diseases are killers that strike down Texans before their time. Tobacco, for instance, is directly responsible for the death of 24,000 Texans each year. This is more than homicide, HIV, suicide, influenza and pneumonia, accidents, and diabetes — combined.

 

Patients and their families trust their physicians to guide and influence decisions made to protect the patient’s health. However, with the massive information and misinformation in today’s super technology-driven environment, each patient and family needs the truth. Health literacy — patients’ education and ability to read, follow instructions, and communicate verbally — also affects their health. Nine out of 10 adults struggle with fully understanding basic health information as seen in advertisements, stores, the news, and in their communities.

 

All physicians and health care providers need to educate themselves on the cross-cultural dynamics that can impact a patient’s understanding and compliance with treatment. So, too, must the government’s education efforts evolve to accommodate the diverse cultures among poorer populations to ensure materials and programs connect with our population.

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