Texas' premier physician associations have established an organization to deliver doctors the survival tools they need to provide demonstrably better and more efficient patient care and compete in today's health care marketplace.
"I am confident the Physician Services Organization will save local practices," said Texas Medical Association President Stephen L. Brotherton, MD. "Texas doctors are determined to make health care better and more affordable for Texans. To do that, we need to shift the balance of power away from the government and the large hospital systems, and back to the patients and their physicians."
Besides TMA, the Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS) and the Harris County Medical Society (HCMS) are key members of the organization. It will bring in new and existing physician groups, health plans, and technology vendors as needed to test and develop effective new care models.
The Physician Services Organization will offer services that bolster physicians' clinical and financial autonomy, tailored to a practice's current level of sophistication. A key element will be giving physicians easy access to data to measure and improve their clinical performance and financial viability.
"The health care landscape is changing dramatically for solo physicians to large group practices," said DCMS President Cynthia Sherry, MD. "This new organization will help all types of physicians deal with this great change. DCMS is proud to partner with TMA to provide these essential tools to physicians. Together we will help physicians meet quality benchmarks for patient care, leverage information technology, and compete successfully in changing financial models. The real winners will be patients."
HCMS President Russell W.H. Kridel, MD, said the new organization "will provide services to help physicians navigate the changing health care delivery system. The best use of a physician's time is in directly taking care of the patient one on one, not in dealing with red tape, reporting measures, and compliance regulations. This is exactly what is needed to maintain the sacred patient-physician relationship. It's very exciting to see new innovative projects like this that can help physicians spend more time with their patients."
"This is a physician-driven enterprise to improve patient care," said TMA Board of Trustees member Dan McCoy, MD, who chaired the task force that developed the project plan. He said it will "use the latest technology and data-analytics tools to bolster the bedrock of our profession: the patient-physician relationship."
For example, one service might help physicians comb through their data to identify chronically ill patients who need extra help to stay as healthy as possible and stay out of the hospital. Another might align primary care physicians and specialists to better coordinate the care they provide to their common patients.
"The market is shifting rapidly. Physicians are under tremendous pressure to change what they've been doing. But no one is helping them do that," Dr. Brotherton said. "This is a very high priority."
Added TMA trustee Don Read, MD, of Dallas, "This is the most important thing TMA has done since tort reform."
Specific pilot projects in various geographic areas of the state will be announced in coming weeks.
For more information, email Kim Harmon, director of special projects for TMA.
Action, June 3, 2013