Healthy Vision 2020
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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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Mixed results seen on Blues medical-home project - Modern Physician

Mixed results seen on Blues medical-home project - Modern Physician | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
Patient centered medical homes will need a lot of experimentation in lots of locales to find the right formulae for success.
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Medical liability costs seen as a drain on innovation - amednews.com

But private sector health leaders tell a Senate panel that new care delivery reforms could reduce defensive medicine.

 

One more good reason why we must protect Texas’ existing medical liability reform laws, including caps on noneconomic damages and protections for emergency services 

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Don’t Count on SGR Reform This Year

Don’t Count on SGR Reform This Year | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

While the U.S.House Ways and Means Committee is seeking input from physician groups about ideas for the controversial sustainable growth rate formula...

 

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over in expectation of a different result. We've been calling on Congress to do away with the flawed Medicare payment formula for more than a decade. They always say they should. Then they run us up against a cliff and "kick the can down the road" again. This should have been taken care of in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Call us crazy -- we're pushing for SGR repeal, again. 

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Physicians Ask Congress for SGR Alternatives

Physicians Ask Congress for SGR Alternatives | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Doctors’ advocates are asking Congress to scrap Medicare’s widely reviled sustainable growth rate payment scheme and replace it with fle...

 

For decades, physicians have given away their services for free to patients who could not afford to pay. However, today’s health care market makes this very difficult. Medicare and Medicaid, which now cover 35 percent of health care in America,  often pay physicians less than it costs them to provide their services. Commercial insurance companies’ payment rates, computed largely as a percentage of Medicare, have followed the government-run programs into the basement. The nation’s 50 million uninsured, including 6.2 million Texans,  can rarely pay the costs of their health care. The squeeze leaves many physicians struggling to keep their practices open, let alone provide charity care. State and federal leaders must realize that cutting physicians’ payments is not an effective tool for controlling health care costs, and often exacerbates the cost of care. They also must realize that without physicians, no health care delivery system can be effective 

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CMS to evaluate advanced primary-care demo - Modern Physician

CMS to evaluate advanced primary-care demo - Modern Physician | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

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.

 

TMA supports the use of the patient-centered medical home (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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Docs win most liability suits, but road is long

"Liability claims against U.S. doctors are often dismissed, and when they go to trial, the verdict is usually in the doctor's favor, according to a new study."

 

Texas' 2003 health care liability reforms have worked. They’ve lived up to their promise. Sick and injured Texans have more physicians to deliver the care they need, particularly in high-risk specialties like emergency medicine, obstetrics, neurosurgery, and pediatric intensive care. Physicians also have benefited from much lower liability insurance rates and fewer non-meritorious lawsuit filings.

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Are Vaccines Safe? A Major Media Outlet's Specious Story Fans the Debate

Are Vaccines Safe? A Major Media Outlet's Specious Story Fans the Debate | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Can vaccines cause the disease they're supposed to prevent? Do they lead to autism? Every leading medical organization says no — and supports immunization — yet parents are growing increasingly skeptical.

 

Every time one of these sham stories runs, more children lose out on important vaccinations. We're already seeing a whooping cough epidemic in Washington state.

 

 

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Medical ink for #DNR?

Medical ink for #DNR? | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

We certainly can't endorse the idea of doing it by tatoo -- but it is very important that people of all ages share their end-of-life wishes with their loved ones during a time of relatively good health.

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Legislators Grappling with State-Wide Shortage of Healthcare Workers

Legislators Grappling with State-Wide Shortage of Healthcare Workers | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
A Texas Legislative Committee met this week in Houston to discuss urgent health problems facing the state. Among them, the shortage of primary care doctors and the role nurses may play in filling the gap.
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Too few doctors for a growing population

“It doesn't matter how many physicians we train and how many physicians we retain if the population grows faster,” Giuseppe Colasurdo, interim president of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, told members of the House Public...

 

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 if the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) withstands constitutional scrutiny. 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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TMA Wants ICD-10 Canned

TMA Wants ICD-10 Canned | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
TMA is glad the federal government postponed adoption of the ICD-10 coding system until 2014 but believes it should completely scrap ICD-10 for a more up to date coding system. If officials don' t do that, then they should delay ICD-10 even longer.
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Me and My Doctor: Fighting the Obesity Epidemic

Me and My Doctor: Fighting the Obesity Epidemic | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Physician leader Kimberly Avila Edwards, MD, discusses strategies physicians are implementing to help tackle Texas' obesity problem, from the individual patient to the community; now and into the future.

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The ABCs of Beating Obesity

The ABCs of Beating Obesity | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Obesity is so entrenched in the U.S. that it will take an intense push by schools, employers, doctors and others to reverse an epidemic that accounts for billions of dollars in annual health-care costs.

 

Among our recommendations:

- Increase funding for improving access to healthy foods; increase access to parks and recreational facilities; and promote worksite wellness policies.

- Improve the health of Texas students by increasing physical activity and reducing barriers to student participation in safe school sport activities. 

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Lots to Lose: How America's Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future | Bipartisan Policy Center

Lots to Lose: How America's Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future | Bipartisan Policy Center | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

"Our nation is in the midst of a public health crisis so profound that is it undermining our national well-being, our economic competitiveness and even our long-term national security."

 

TMA's Healthy Vision 2020 recommendations:

Increase funding for improving access to healthy foods; increase access to parks and recreational facilities; and promote worksite wellness policies. Improve the health of Texas students by increasing physical activity and reducing barriers to student participation in safe school sport activities.
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Are Obese Employees Killing Your Company? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Are Obese Employees Killing Your Company? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Obese employees cost American companies a lot of money. This infographic breaks down how, and offers some prevention tips.

 

The leading causes of death and disability in Texas and the United States today are preventable because they are closely associated with personal lifestyle decisions. Texans’ personal behaviors contribute to more than 60 percent of all deaths in our state every year The leading causes of death and disability in Texas and the United States today are preventable because they are closely associated with personal lifestyle decisions. Texans’ personal behaviors contribute to more than 60 percent of all deaths in our state every year 

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A population health approach to wellness

A population health approach to wellness | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Population health encompasses the distribution of health outcomes within a population.

 

Personal accountability plus team-based preventive care will keep us healthier -- and save us money. 

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Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Programs Skyrocketing

While there were only 20 programs offering doctor of nursing practice degrees in 2006,  the number grew to 184 last year.

 

If they want to be doctors, they should go to medical school. 

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Most doctors headed for penalty over Medicare quality reporting - amednews.com

Most doctors headed for penalty over Medicare quality reporting - amednews.com | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Growing numbers of physicians are earning reporting bonuses, but hundreds of thousands still have not participated in a program that turns punitive in 2013.

 

Eliminate costs and hassles that don’t contribute to or add value to patient care

 

New compliance requirements are bombarding physician practices seemingly every day.  

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Medicare and Medicaid: When Two Is Not Better Than One

Medicare and Medicaid: When Two Is Not Better Than One | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

The complexities that arise when programs overlap make it harder to control costs.

 

It sure seems easier for Texas to control costs by just cutting the payments for dual-eligible patients. This cut must be reversed. 

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Measuring the success of a patient-centered medical home ...

A patient-centered medical home, or PCMH, is a collaborative, team-based model of care led by a personal physician who ...

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.
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Medical boards' actions against docs up 6.8% in 2011 - Modern Healthcare

Is it better for these issues to be handled by a fair and strong medical board than by a jackpot-justice-seeking trial lawyer?
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Health, United States, 2011

Health, United States, 2011 | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Health, United States presents national trends in health statistics on such topics as birth and death rates, infant mortality, life expectancy, morbidity and health status, risk factors, use of ambulatory and inpatient care, health personnel and...

 

Stats, stats, stats -- dig deep and enjoy

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CDC panel calls for team approach on blood pressure - Modern Physician

CDC panel calls for team approach on blood pressure - Modern Physician | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

An expert panel is advising a team-based approach to controlling high blood  pressure, a condition that affects 68 million American adults and costs the U.S.  health care system more than $130 billion annually.

 

Good example of health care team -- physician with nurse, dietician, pharmacist, and other professionals -- using their skills and education for the patients' best benefit.

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Health insurance expansion looming, primary care turf battle heats up

Health insurance expansion looming, primary care turf battle heats up | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

With health insurance set to expand, medical professions look to be the go-to caregivers.

 

Headline calls this a "primary care turf battle." Wrong. Every member of the health care team needs to contribute what he or she has been trained to do.

 

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Texas Women’s Clinics Retreat as Finances Are Cut

Texas Women’s Clinics Retreat as Finances Are Cut | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

The cuts, which have left many low-income women with inconvenient or costly options for treatment, grew out of a plan to eliminate state support for Planned Parenthood.

 

TMA recommends full funding for the Texas Women’s Health Program. 

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