Healthy Vision 2020
Follow
2.0K views | +0 today
 
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
onto Healthy Vision 2020
Scoop.it!

MedPAC chief warns of Medicare payment crisis - The Hill's Healthwatch

MedPAC chief warns of Medicare payment crisis - The Hill's Healthwatch | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Medicare could find itself in crisis unless lawmakers overhaul the program's physician payment formula, a congressional adviser warned Thursday.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Stop the Medicare Meltdown — repeal the SGR

 

Since the turn of the century, nothing has so regularly and completely vexed and frustrated physicians more than our annual game of chicken with Congress over Medicare payments.

 

Medicare patients and military families are never out of danger. Year after year, the specter of congressional action or lack of action threatens to jeopardize health care for Medicare patients. And, because TRICARE rates for military families are based on Medicare, they’re in danger, too.

 

This is because federal law requires Medicare payments to physicians to be modified annually using the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Because of flaws in how it was designed, the formula has mandated physician fee cuts every year for the past decade. Only short-term congressional fixes have stopped the cuts. In 2010 alone, Congress had to intervene five times to stop a 25-percent cut. It took emergency action in December 2011 and again in February 2012 to stop a 27.4-percent cut. That would have meant an annual loss of $1.71 billion to physicians for the care of elderly patients and Texans with disabilities.

 

Most commercial insurers pay physicians based on a percentage of the Medicare rate, which has changed little over the past decade. This double hit has meant a flat-lining of physician payment rates that threatens the viability of many physician practices and makes investment in new clinical equipment and health information technology increasingly more difficult and challenging.

 

Because Congress once again failed to repeal the SGR, the Congressional Budget Office projects that the next cut, scheduled for Jan. 1, 2013, will be approximately 30 percent. Without a permanent solution, the size of the cuts continues to grow.

 

Instead of fixing the flawed formula, Congress freezes the cut each year. In essence, Congress has put the SGR debt on our credit card. The 10-year cost of fixing the problem is now well over $300 billion.

 

Considering that Medicare currently pays, on average, at least 20 percent less than a physician’s cost to provide care, this decade-long and continued uncertainty is forcing some physicians to make the difficult decision to either opt out of Medicare, limit the number of patients they treat, or retire early. A recent TMA survey indicates that 50 percent of Texas physicians are considering opting out of the Medicare program altogether.

 

Medicare patients often can’t get in to see their physicians as quickly as needed. This forces Medicare patients to put off care until they are so sick they need to use a hospital’s ED, which is more expensive. Sending a Medicare patient to the ED is counterproductive to the goal set by Congress and the White House to keep health care costs down by encouraging all Americans to have a “medical home.”

 

We all recognize the value that hospitals, nursing homes, home health services, durable medical equipment, and other health care providers give to Medicare patients. Over the past decade, they have received annual payment increases, while physicians have not.

 

Medicare patients should feel anything but secure about the future of their health care. Physicians are the foundation of the Medicare program. Without a robust network of physicians to care for the millions of patients dependent on Medicare, the program will not work.

more...
No comment yet.

From around the web

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.
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

Implementing the ACA: Medicaid Spending & Enrollment Growth for FY 2014 and FY 2015

Implementing the ACA:  Medicaid Spending & Enrollment Growth for FY 2014 and FY 2015 | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
This report provides an overview of Medicaid financing and Medicaid spending and enrollment growth with a focus on state fiscal years 2014 and 2015 (FY 2014 and FY 2015.) Findings are based on interviews and data provided by state Medicaid directors as part of the 14th annual survey of Medicaid directors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia conducted by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) survey with Health Management Associates (HMA). Findings examine changes in
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

An hour of physical activity a day helps kids think better, study says

An hour of physical activity a day helps kids think better, study says | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Here's another reason to get your kids off the couch and make them run around instead: It will help them think better.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

TMA Says:

 

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 earn “mostly A’s.” Unfortunately, the physical health of our students has been further compromised by the Texas Legislature’s action to reduce health education requirements.

 

The obesity epidemic, and the ever-younger age groups it strikes, threatens Texas’ physical and fiscal health. Texas’ continually expanding waistline correlates with increased health care costs. 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. And over the course of a patient’s lifetime, the per-person costs of obesity appear to be the same as the costs for smoking.37

 

The rise in overweight and obesity also is affecting the bottom line of Texas employers. In 2009, the Texas Comptroller’s Office found that obesity costs 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 2030.38

 

TMA recognizes there is no single solution to preventing or addressing the negative impacts of obesity. Physicians, communities, parents, schools, and workplaces must pursue multiple, scientifically proven approaches. Each must identify potential barriers to implementing local approaches for dealing with this growing crisis. Our legislative leaders can also play an important role by creating and promoting good health care policy that improves the health of Texans. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

Footing bill for insurers’ pay methods shouldn’t fall on doctors

Footing bill for insurers’ pay methods shouldn’t fall on doctors | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
AMA Wire®: Footing bill for insurers’ pay methods shouldn’t fall on doctors
Texas Medical Association's insight:

TMA Says: 

 

Eliminate costly administrative and payment schemes on physician practices

In addition to reducing costs of existing administrative requirements, TMA wants to prevent the government from placing new burdens on physician practices, such as electronic funds transfer fees.

 

TMA became aware of certain companies that were acting as middlemen in electronic funds transfer (EFT) transactions. One company told physicians they must “act quickly” to “continue to receive payments” through EFT at a charge of 1.5 percent per claim.

 

The most scurrilous aspect of an EFT percentage fee is that the amount paid may increase greatly with no corresponding increase in the actual cost of funds transfer. For instance, at 1.5 percent, an EFT for a $200 service would cost $3, while an EFT for a $10,000 surgery would be $150. According to the U.S. Treasury, it costs the government “10.5 cents to issue an EFT payment.” To charge even $3 is an outrageous overcharge for an EFT. TMA opposes charging physicians percentage fees for using EFTs.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Texas Medical Association from Medicaid Reform for Patients and Doctors
Scoop.it!

Avoiding Medicaid expansion, lawmakers seek a ‘Texas way’

Avoiding Medicaid expansion, lawmakers seek a ‘Texas way’ | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Texas lawmakers are exploring ways the state could provide more access to health care for 1.9 million uninsured poor people without acquiescing to guidelines set under the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Texas physicians want to ensure all Texans have access to coverage and, more importantly, access to physicians and health care providers. According to the Institute of Medicine, even when uninsured patients have access to safety net services, the lack of health insurance results often results in delayed diagnoses and treatment of chronic diseases or injuries, needless suffering and even death. That’s why TMA supports allowing state leaders to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop a comprehensive solution that fits Texas’ unique health care needs. Several states have taken this step with some success, including Indiana, Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, and Pennsylvania . TMA believes the Texas Legislature too can create an ingenious solution that works for the state and helps Texans in the coverage gap get affordable and timely care.

 

Any Texas-style solution expanding access must:

Draw down all available federal dollars to expand access to health care for poor Texans;Give Texas the flexibility to change the plan as our needs and circumstances change;Clear away Medicaid’s financial, administrative, and regulatory hurdles that are driving up costs and driving Texas physicians away from the program;Relieve local Texas taxpayers and Texans with insurance from the unfair and unnecessary burden of paying the entire cost of caring for their uninsured neighbors;Provide Medicaid payments directly to physicians at least equal to those of Medicare payments; andContinue to uphold and improve due process of law for physicians in Texas as it relates to the Office of Inspector General.
more...
Texas Medical Association's curator insight, August 15, 8:38 AM

Texas physicians want to ensure all Texans have access to coverage and, more importantly, access to physicians and health care providers. According to the Institute of Medicine, even when uninsured patients have access to safety net services, the lack of health insurance results often results in delayed diagnoses and treatment of chronic diseases or injuries, needless suffering and even death. That’s why TMA supports allowing state leaders to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop a comprehensive solution that fits Texas’ unique health care needs. Several states have taken this step with some success, including Indiana, Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. TMA believes the Texas Legislature too can create an ingenious solution that works for the state and helps Texans in the coverage gap get affordable and timely care.

 

Any Texas-style solution expanding access must:

Draw down all available federal dollars to expand access to health care for poor Texans;Give Texas the flexibility to change the plan as our needs and circumstances change;Clear away Medicaid’s financial, administrative, and regulatory hurdles that are driving up costs and driving Texas physicians away from the program;Relieve local Texas taxpayers and Texans with insurance from the unfair and unnecessary burden of paying the entire cost of caring for their uninsured neighbors;Provide Medicaid payments directly to physicians at least equal to those of Medicare payments; andContinue to uphold and improve due process of law for physicians in Texas as it relates to the Office of Inspector General.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

Mental illness cases swamp criminal justice system

Mental illness cases swamp criminal justice system | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Inside a cluttered downtown apartment that she shares with a cat, the 57-year-old woman is in the midst of a near-meltdown.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

In 2009, 23 percent of the adult offenders in Texas state prisons, on parole, or on probation were current or former clients of the Texas public mental health system. A Texan with a serious mental illness is eight times more likely to be in a jail than in a hospital or treatment program, at a cost of $50,000 a year. A person in jail without a mental illness costs the state about $22,000 annually.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

This Is Our Youth - Out of Shape

This Is Our Youth - Out of Shape | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Young Americans are becoming less aerobically fit with every year, with only 42 percent of 12- to 15-year-olds in a new study making it into the “healthy fitness zone.”
Texas Medical Association's insight:

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.

 

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.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

How Meaningful Is Meaningful Use?

How Meaningful Is Meaningful Use? | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
How Meaningful Is Meaningful Use?



SUBHEAD: Government programs encouraging the use of electronic health records are out of synch with reality.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

TMA Says: 

The cost to operate a physician’s office continues to climb unabated. Unfunded mandates and hidden regulatory burdens like the ongoing hassles of annually renewing state registration to continue to prescribe needed medications for patients threaten the viability of practices and patients’ access to care. The average cost to staff and run a practice now exceeds $500,000 per physician, and that’s before the physician gets paid a dime. These excessive administrative expenses add to the escalating cost of medical care that are borne by patients, employers, and taxpayers.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

Six senators urges FDA to require stronger warning labels on electronic cigarettes

U.S. Senate

Texas Medical Association's insight:

TMA says:

 

While cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco and snuff) are the most widely used tobacco products, some new products are attracting the interest of minors. Electronic cigarettes or “e-cigarettes” are widely accessible and growing in popularity. Several states have already passed legislation to include e-cigarettes in nonsmoking laws or to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. TMA is calling on lawmakers to restrict the purchase of e-cigarettes by minors, adopt appropriate regulations for e-cigarettes, and ensure the current smoking prohibitions include e-cigarettes. Physicians are concerned that the use of e-cigarettes by minors could be a pathway to future tobacco use and nicotine addiction. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

HHS awarding $200M to fight chronic diseases

HHS awarding $200M to fight chronic diseases | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
The awards will go toward fighting obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

TMA says:

 

Texas has long been challenged to produce or recruit enough physicians to keep up with our rapidly growing population. The sheer size of the state’s population is the biggest driver of physician demand. The state’s broad expanse and varied geography and demographics, plus the great attraction for others to move to Texas, result in an ever-increasing demand for physicians and other health care professionals. Over the past two decades, Texas has led the country in population growth.

 

The convergence of a larger, increasingly aging, and increasingly obese population of Texans represents “a recipe for disaster.” In the United States, approximately 80 percent of all persons 65 and older have at least one chronic condition, and half have at least two. These patients take longer to treat, and the amount of services and care they require grows more and more complex. Diabetes, which causes excess morbidity, premature mortality, and increased health care costs, affects about 1.8 million adult Texans. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

Put the Physical in Education

Put the Physical in Education | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
A study suggests that exercise can help kids, especially those with A.D.H.D., focus in class.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Obesity and being overweight contribute to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Unfortunately, Texas has a growing obesity crisis. Thirty-seven percent of Texas adults are overweight, while 29 percent are obese  — placing Texas among the 20 states with the highest obesity rates. During the past three decades, obesity rates in children have more than tripled. Today, 32 percent of Texas children (aged 10-17) are obese. This not only increases their risk for being overweight or obese as adults, it also puts them at greater risk for chronic disease, a shorter lifespan, and other lifelong health problems. A child who is overweight at age 12 has a 75-percent chance of being overweight or obese as an adult.

 

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 earn “mostly A’s.” The physical health of our students has been further compromised with the Texas Legislature’s action to reduce the health education requirements for most Texas students. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

Big Tobacco Successfully Increasing E-Cigarette Use In Youths

Big Tobacco Successfully Increasing E-Cigarette Use In Youths | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Don't fool yourself: smoking electronic cigarettes is still smoking.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Electronic cigarettes or “e-cigarettes” are widely accessible and growing in popularity. Several states have already passed legislation to include e-cigarettes in nonsmoking laws or to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. TMA is calling on lawmakers to restrict the purchase of e-cigarettes by minors, adopt appropriate regulations for e-cigarettes, and ensure current smoking prohibitions include e-cigarettes. Physicians are concerned that the use of e-cigarettes could be a pathway to future tobacco use and nicotine addiction.


 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

Medicare physicians and providers complain of duplicative audits

[The Associated Press] MIAMI — Health care companies say they're losing millions of dollars that are tied up in appeals because of increasing numbers of Medicare audits. But the rise in the often duplicative audits has failed to reduce Medicare fraud, according to a ...
Texas Medical Association's insight:
RACs are bounty hunters. They receive a healthy commission on every claim they deny.RACs don’t have a medical license. Personnel with little to no expertise in medical care conduct the reviews, which helps to explain why “overpayment determinations” are being overturned at an alarming rate. Only physicians should be allowed to decide whether a physician service was medically necessary.RACs are not held accountable. They should be penalized for erroneous overpayment determinations and should be required to reimburse physicians for the costs incurred in defending against a recovery audit when an appeal is won. According to CMS, the RAC loses 43 percent of the time when a physician or provider appeals a recovery audit overpayment claim. Physicians should not bear the cost of legal and administrative fees to pursue appeals, especially when they win the appeal.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

Nebraska governor vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners

Nebraska governor vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
LB 916, which passed the Legislature 43-0, would have eliminated the requirement that nurse practitioners have a practice agreement with a doctor.
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.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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).

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Texas Medical Association
Scoop.it!

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?
more...
No comment yet.