Jim Bob Brame, MD, a family physician in Eldorado, turns 85 this year. Dr. Brame is a former TMA president who still cares deeply about organized medicine. In a recent speech to the Concho Valley County Medical Society, he gave his colleagues 10 years' worth of reasons for belonging to TMA:
- 2003 — Passed strong liability reform and a prompt pay law that are working.
- 2005 — Generated $1 billion-plus in relief for physicians through national class action suits against for-profit insurance companies.
- 2006 — Prevented onerous taxes on medical practices.
- 2007 — Won 25-percent increase in Texas Medicaid payments for physicians.
- 2008 — Convinced Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas to rescind a plan to rate physicians on how cheaply we care for our patients.
- 2009 — Won passage of a bill defining fair rating plans for physicians.
- 2010 — Opposed passage of President Obama's Affordable Care Act (which doesn't seem to be working very well).
- 2011 — Defended physicians' clinical autonomy by protecting the ban on the corporate practice of medicine, and outlawed anonymous complaints to the Texas Medical Board.
- 2012 — Restored state payment of the Medicare Part B deductible for patients covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.
- 2013 — Won passage of a bill defining physician-led, team-based care, stopping nurse practitioners' drive for independent practice.
For 2014, the association is preparing to launch the TMA Physician Services Organization, which will provide products and services to help physicians survive against the big-money hospitals and insurance companies that want to gobble us up.
If you like this list, share it with nonmembers and ask them to join TMA and their county society.
And if you haven't paid your 2014 dues yet, it's past time. Please renew today.
Action, Feb. 3, 2014