Healthy Vision 2020
Follow
2.1K views | +0 today
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!

Disruptive Remedies for the Physician Shortage

Disruptive Remedies for the Physician Shortage | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Extended roles for non-physicians is a direction toward which many hospitals and health systems are moving.

 

TMA says: 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. 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!

The Independent Payment Advisory Board and Access to Care

"

The ACA is an enormous reform, of which IPAB is only one part. However, its structural defects make it a potentially damaging policy toward the future of health care in the United States. Inevitably, IPAB will be driven to implement reimbursement cuts, and consistent with the history of price controls, the result will be reduced access to care and diminished investment in medical innovation.

"

 

 TMA's View:  Repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Keep Congress accountable for the Medicare system. If decisions are made to limit funding for health care services, priorities will have to be set. It should not be left, however, to an unelected and unaccountable IPAB

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

There may be way more medical school graduates than residency positions by 2015

There may be way more medical school graduates than residency positions by 2015 | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

While medical schools have increased their medical school positions by about 30%, residency slots have increased at only 8%. Future doctors may have to pay for their residency if these numbers don't balance out.

 

Texas continues to be overly dependent on other states and countries for supplying new physicians. Last year, nearly 75 percent of newly licensed physicians graduated from medical schools outside of Texas.[i] We are thus subject to the vagaries of external forces that influence the numbers of physicians we can recruit. To meet future physician demands, Texas needs a stable, high-quality medical education system to produce homegrown physicians. Similarly, we must provide a reasonable opportunity for Texas medical school graduates to obtain their residency training in the state without being forced to leave home. Multiple studies confirm that physicians who complete both medical school and residency training in the state are three times more likely to practice here.


[i] Texas Medical Board. 2011. Available at http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/. ; Accessed April 2012.

 

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

Legislative Interference with the Patient–Physician Relationship — NEJM

Legislative Interference with the Patient–Physician Relationship — NEJM | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Sounding Board from The New England Journal of Medicine — Legislative Interference with the Patient–Physician Relationship...

 

TMA's view: The ability of physicians to act in their patients’ best interests must not be compromised by outside – and sometimes competing – economic, political, and social pressures. Yet lawmakers and other nonphysicians progressively are inclined to delineate the details of the interaction between physicians and patients. Physicians will increasingly face nonphysicians’ attempts to mandate what tests, procedures, and treatments they must – or must not –provide to their patients.

 

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

Judge hopes Houston mental health court will cut arrests

Judge hopes Houston mental health court will cut arrests | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

The county is following the lead of scores of other counties across the United States that have created mental health courts with the hope of decreasing the number of mentally ill coming through the criminal justice system.

 

TMA Says:

Mental illness and substance abuse hurt the Texas economy through lost earning potential, treatment of coexisting conditions, disability payments, homelessness, and incarceration.

 

Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in the United States. About 13 million adults have a debilitating mental illness each year, and almost half of all adults will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime. Five percent of adults have a serious mental illness.[i] About one in five children are affected by a mental health disorder with severe impairment in their lifetime.[ii]

 

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.[i] 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.[ii]


[i] Texas Department of State Health Services.  Decision Support Unit. Another Look at Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Involvement in Texas: Correlates and Costs. 2010. Available from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dshs.state.tx.us%2Fmhsa%2Freports%2Fcriminaljusticecorrelates_2010%2F&ei=-m-MT__FIKWi2QX-pqHcCg&usg=AFQjCNFUzvME_MbpMu6CxK2gtFdiaYok4g&sig2=NQpeYzDyldwd_Oiw-P9v2Q. Access April 2012.

[ii] National Alliance on Mental Illness of Texas. Helping Texas Families and Saving Taxpayer Dollars. Available at

http://www.namitexas.org/homecontent/Help_Families_Save_Tax_Dollars_v2.pdf. Accessed April 2012.


[i] National Institute of Mental Health. Any disorder among adults. Available from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1ANYDIS_Adult.shtml. Access April 2012.

[ii] Merikangas KR, He J, et al., Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Study, supplement (NCS-A), Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2010 Oct;49(10):980-9.

 

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

Nurses Seek Expanded Role

Nurses Seek Expanded Role | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

A federal agency is weighing whether to reimburse a specialized type of nurse for giving chronic-pain treatments, a move opposed by some doctors and one that critics say could complicate the battle against prescription painkiller abuse.

 

The physician is the highest-trained team member. It therefore falls to the physician – as both provider of care and manager of services delivered by others on the team – to supervise, implement science-driven and objective treatment protocols, coordinate the services of other professionals as well as medical specialists, and ultimately remain accountable for each patient’s care.

 

Integrating the talents of a diverse medical team under physician leadership will be one of the key challenges in the coming decade. Without physician direction, supervision, and management (or if the system evolves to accommodate teams led by practitioners with lesser training), medical care will trend toward even more fractured care, higher-than-necessary utilization, and creeping inefficiencies. This will lead to even higher costs, duplications of services, and lower-quality patient care. These inefficiencies in turn will hamper efforts to improve access to care.

 

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

Texas Women Ponder Next Steps as Law Cuts Health Options

Texas Women Ponder Next Steps as Law Cuts Health Options | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Losing access to a Fort Worth, Texas, health-care clinic affiliated with Planned Parenthood has Alexis Lohse worried.

 

The Women’s Health Program, which does not provide abortions, delivers cost-effective basic health care screenings — such as for cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes — as well as birth control. This is the only source of such preventive care for many low-income women in Texas.

 

More than 70 percent of pregnancies among single young women in Texas are unplanned. Increasing the number of women who enroll in the Women’s Health Program after a Medicaid delivery is especially important. Women who have had a Medicaid-funded delivery are at particularly high risk for subsequent pregnancy, often so soon that risks of prematurity and low birth weight are elevated. Babies born too soon or too small often have significant health problems, such as respiratory or developmental delays, contributing to higher medical costs at birth and as the child ages. In 2007, unplanned Medicaid births cost the state more than $1.2 billion.

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

How colonoscopies are like airline tickets

How colonoscopies are like airline tickets | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

One would think that a physician who earns his living billing patients would be conversant with the prices of his services.

 

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.

 

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

Health Information Exchange: Metrics to Address Quality of Care and Return on Investment

Health Information Exchange: Metrics to Address Quality of Care and Return on Investment | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

The purpose of this study was to find out how many health information exchanges (HIEs) are using metrics to gauge their impact and to gather examples of metrics being used by HIEs. We administered a web-based survey to a list of functioning HIEs. "A major concern is the lack of preparedness of established HIEs to measure and document improvements in quality and to show the value of the exchange of health information

"

TMA says: Health information exchanges (HIE) are designed to help physicians and providers share patient information securely. To promote the electronic exchange of medical information, patients and physicians must be assured that patient data are adequately protected by those who operate the HIE.

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

Our View: Politics is putting health care for indigent women in jeopardy

Abortion has always been a controversial issue and will always be one. Whenever the political live wire of abortion is thrust into the political arena for any reason, it should be considered only on its own merits.

 

The Women’s Health Program, which does not provide abortions, delivers cost-effective basic health care screenings — such as for cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes — as well as birth control. This is the only source of such preventive care for many low-income women in Texas.

 

More than 70 percent of pregnancies among single young women in Texas are unplanned. Increasing the number of women who enroll in the Women’s Health Program after a Medicaid delivery is especially important. Women who have had a Medicaid-funded delivery are at particularly high risk for subsequent pregnancy, often so soon that risks of prematurity and low birth weight are elevated. Babies born too soon or too small often have significant health problems, such as respiratory or developmental delays, contributing to higher medical costs at birth and as the child ages. In 2007, unplanned Medicaid births cost the state more than $1.2 billion.

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

Medical Liability Climate Hurts Patients and Ob-Gyns

 

The medical liability climate continues to force ob-gyns across the US to reduce gynecologic surgeries, drop obstetrics, move their practice out of state, or abandon private practice to become hospital employees, according to the latest survey data released by The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Survey results show that the near-universal fear of lawsuits coupled with the high cost of liability insurance not only negatively affects ob-gyns, but also harms patients and adversely impacts the entire health care system.

 

For decades, even before Texas passed our landmark medical liability reforms in 2003, medicine has pushed the U.S. Congress to enact national liability reforms based on the Texas and California models. This is a highly partisan issue. Over the years, a number of bills have passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives only to die in the Senate, where personal injury trial lawyers have heavy influence.

 

TMA supports the enactment of fair, federal medical liability reforms because we know the very positive effect of the 2003 Texas reforms: better access to care because of the growing number of physicians relocating to Texas.

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

Primary Care for the 21st Century: Ensuring a Quality, Physician-led Team for Every Patient -- Primary Care for the 21st Century: Ensuring a Quality, Physician-led Team for Every Patient -- America...

Primary Care for the 21st Century: Ensuring a Quality, Physician-led Team for Every Patient -- Primary Care for the 21st Century: Ensuring a Quality, Physician-led Team for Every Patient -- America... | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

The United States can solve the primary care physician shortage by fully implementing physician-led patient-centered medical homes.

 

Texas has a fast-growing population and needs to work toward a 21st century health care workforce. More than ever, caring for larger panels of patients – particularly in primary care medical homes – will involve the skills of many different practitioners. Central to this concept is that these physician-led teams will utilize a number of health care professionals, each bringing important skill sets and training to patient care. Physicians will continue to provide patient care services, but they also will be called upon to manage the team’s care for larger populations, out of necessity and for essential coordination.

 

Team care will require cooperation and collaboration among all professionals, with a focus on quality, measureable outcomes, and efficient utilization of resources. It will be essential that the patient receive the right care, at the right time, by the right professional, in the right venue.

 

The physician is the highest-trained team member. It therefore falls to the physician – as both provider of care and manager of services delivered by others on the team – to supervise, implement science-driven and objective treatment protocols, coordinate the services of other professionals as well as medical specialists, and ultimately remain accountable for each patient’s care.

 

Integrating the talents of a diverse medical team under physician leadership will be one of the key challenges in the coming decade. Without physician direction, supervision, and management (or if the system evolves to accommodate teams led by practitioners with lesser training), medical care will trend toward even more fractured care, higher-than-necessary utilization, and creeping inefficiencies. This will lead to even higher costs, duplications of services, and lower-quality patient care. These inefficiencies in turn will hamper efforts to improve access to care.

 

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

Outcome of 2012 Election Will Likely Affect Medicaid Far More Than Medicare

Outcome of 2012 Election Will Likely Affect Medicaid Far More Than Medicare | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

The last month or so, the Presidential campaign has often felt like a war over Medicare. Republicans have claimed that the Democrats have robbed the trust fund to pay for a...

 

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.

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

In U.S., Obesity Up in Nearly All Age Groups Since 2008

In U.S., Obesity Up in Nearly All Age Groups Since 2008 | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Nearly every age group in America today is more likely to be obese than the same age groups were four years ago. Obesity is up the most among older adults -- 14.4% of those aged 84 to 87 years are obese today, up from 12.2% in 2008.

 

TMA Says:

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.

 

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

Burning

Burning | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Insightful cartoon from the Houston Chronicle.

 

TMA Says: The Women’s Health Program, which does not provide abortions, delivers cost-effective basic health care screenings — such as for cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes — as well as birth control. This is the only source of such preventive care for many low-income women in Texas.

 

Our recommendation: Continue full funding for the Texas Women’s Health Program.

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

RI first state to adopt regs to require flu shots for healthcare workers

RI first state to adopt regs to require flu shots for healthcare workers - Human resources News on AIDS and Disease...

 

With legislation passed in 2011, Texas is set to lead the nation in ensuring health care workers are properly vaccinated and do not spread preventable diseases to patients.

 

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

Medicare IPAB: Rational or rationing? - amednews.com

Medicare IPAB: Rational or rationing? - amednews.com | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

The Independent Payment Advisory Board is designed to control runaway Medicare costs without cutting benefits, but physicians warn of unintended effects of cutting patient access.

 

Our view: 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.[i] 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 a

n unaccountable board that makes decisions based solely on cost.

[i] Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Focus on Health Reform: Summary of Key Changes to Medicare in 2010 Health Reform Law. Available at http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/7948-02.pdf. Accessed April 2012.

 

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

Romney: Obama board will rule on patient care - The Hill's Healthwatch

Romney: Obama board will rule on patient care - The Hill's Healthwatch | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Mitt Romney contended six times Wednesday night that a panel established by President Obama's health law will decide patients' medical care.

 

TMA's 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.[i] 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.


[i] Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Focus on Health Reform: Summary of Key Changes to Medicare in 2010 Health Reform Law. Available at http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/7948-02.pdf. Accessed April 2012.

 

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

HIEs Essential in Fee-for-Value Era

Though preliminary results indicate health information exchanges can help healthcare organizations save money, there’s still reluctance by some...

 

Health information exchanges (HIE) are designed to help physicians and providers share patient information securely. To promote the electronic exchange of medical information, patients and physicians must be assured that patient data are adequately protected by those who operate the HIE. 

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

A Looming U.S. Doctor Shortage

A Looming U.S. Doctor Shortage | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Teaching hospitals say they need $9 billion, or Obamacare will fail...

 

The United States is in the midst of a medical education building campaign. Texas is among the leaders, with plans to increase enrollments to the nationally recommended 30-percent growth level by 2015. Texas is setting records in the number of medical school graduates, reaching 1,458 in 2011, a net gain of 80 (6 percent) from the preceding year. The number of graduates is forecasted to peak at more than 1,700 this decade.

 

Texas needs continued and stable state support for both critical parts of a physician’s education and training to help cultivate future generations of Texas physicians, ensuring stable access to health care for all Texans.

 

In 2011, almost half (48 percent) of Texas medical school graduates left the state for residency training.Texas invests almost $200,000 in a medical student’s four years of education. Texas physicians are concerned about the state’s ability to protect that growing investment with enough graduate medical education (GME) positions to meet demand. For 2011, the annual National Resident Matching Program offered 1,476 entry-level GME positions in Texas. By comparison, 1,445 students graduated from Texas medical schools in 2011. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recommends a ratio of 1.1 entry-level GME positions for each Texas medical school graduate. To meet this goal, Texas would have needed 1,590 entry-level training positions in 2011, or 114 additional positions.


 

 

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

Flu vaccination rate hits 66% for healthcare workers - Modern Physician

Flu vaccination rate hits 66% for healthcare workers - Modern Physician | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

"

A significantly higher percentage of physicians and nurses compared with other  healthcare workers received flu vaccines in the last flu season, the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention reports.
"

 

With legislation passed in 2011, Texas is set to lead the nation in ensuring health care workers are properly vaccinated and do not spread preventable diseases to patients.

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

PAs and FPs join together to increase the primary care workforce - Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants

PAs and FPs join together to increase the primary care workforce - Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

"Will the existing primary care workforce be able to care for the extra 50 million people who will gain access to health care..."

 

Texas has a fast-growing population and needs to work toward a 21st century health care workforce. More than ever, caring for larger panels of patients – particularly in primary care medical homes – will involve the skills of many different practitioners. Central to this concept is that these physician-led teams will utilize a number of health care professionals, each bringing important skill sets and training to patient care. Physicians will continue to provide patient care services, but they also will be called upon to manage the team’s care for larger populations, out of necessity and for essential coordination.

 

Team care will require cooperation and collaboration among all professionals, with a focus on quality, measureable outcomes, and efficient utilization of resources. It will be essential that the patient receive the right care, at the right time, by the right professional, in the right venue.

 

The physician is the highest-trained team member. It therefore falls to the physician – as both provider of care and manager of services delivered by others on the team – to supervise, implement science-driven and objective treatment protocols, coordinate the services of other professionals as well as medical specialists, and ultimately remain accountable for each patient’s care.

 

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

Texas legislators to weigh programs to help county jails deal with homeless, mentally ill

As budgets are trimmed, the jails are filling, and treatment programs are seen as a more effective solution.

 

FromTMA's Healthy Vision 2020:

Mental illness and substance abuse hurt the Texas economy through lost earning potential, treatment of coexisting conditions, disability payments, homelessness, and incarceration.

 

Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in the United States. About 13 million adults have a debilitating mental illness each year, and almost half of all adults will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime. Five percent of adults have a serious mental illness. About one in five children are affected by a mental health disorder with severe impairment in their lifetime.

 

More than 8 percent of Texas adults report current depression, and 5.2 percent report serious psychological distress. In 2011, almost 30 percent of Texas high school students reported they felt sad or hopeless almost every day for at least two weeks. Suicide is a leading cause of death among Texans under 35 years.

 

More than 66,000 Texans were cared for in state-funded substance abuse treatment programs in 2010. Substance use is common in Texas students (grades 7-12), with 62 percent reporting they had used alcohol and 17.2 reporting inhalant abuse. Despite significant legislation to curtail drinking and driving, almost 40 percent of Texas driving fatalities are still associated with alcohol use.

 

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.

 

Mental illness is also strongly associated with high-risk behaviors such as alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use, and results in conditions such as obesity. U.S. mental health costs were estimated to be $57.5 billion in 2006 including the cost of mental health care and the indirect costs of disability caused by mental illness.[xii] One recent study estimates that Texas state dollars spent on mental health exceed $13 billion each year.[xiii]

Mental health treatment costs in the United States totaled almost $9 billion in children in 2006; Medicaid covered more than one-third of these costs.

 

Proper care for persons with mental illnesses saves costs associated with the cycle of incarceration, homelessness, and so forth. Assessing the return on investment connected with mental health and substance abuse care is complex because there are many different diagnoses, and the disability caused by each and the treatment plans vary greatly. In 2003, depression cost U.S. employers $44 billion in lost productivity alone. One employee assistance program in California showed a return on investment of $5.17 to $6.47 for every dollar spent on employee assistance for a mental health problem.

 

While Texas has recently made significant investments in community mental health services, we still rank 50th in state public mental health funding per capita.

 

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

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012 - Trust for America's Health

The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state in the country over the next 20 years, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012, a report released by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). 

 

“This study shows us two futures for America’s health,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, RWJF president and CEO. “At every level of government, we must pursue policies that preserve health, prevent disease and reduce health care costs. Nothing less is acceptable.”

 

For Texas, report estimates adult obesity rate could reach 57.2 percent by 2030. Related health care costs could climb by 17.4 percent.

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

Houston-area school districts adopt new take on sex ed

Houston-area school districts adopt new take on sex ed | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

Some Houston-area school districts are shifting away from traditional abstinence-only sex education classes this school year, part of a statewide trend that has prompted concern among some parents that kids are learning too much, too soon about sex.

 

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. 

more...
No comment yet.