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Healthy Vision 2020
TMA's Vision for the Future Clears Up
Healthy Vision 2020
, our strategic roadmap for TMA's state and federal advocacy initiatives for the remainder of the decade.
Caring for Patients In a Time of Change
We desperately need an unobstructed, clear view of the future of health care in Texas. Our growing population, beset by expensive acute and chronic diseases, doesn’t have enough physicians to care for them now, let alone in the future.
What Health Care Means to Texas' Fiscal Health
From the giant Texas Medical Center to a solo practitioner in a tiny Panhandle hamlet, physicians’ practices fuel the economic engines that grow Texas. The economic benefit of doctors’ offices goes beyond the hundreds of thousands of direct jobs they support, including the quite-quantifiable ripple effect of those jobs and tax dollars through the local economy. It also takes in health care’s obvious, but somewhat less tangible, contribution to Texas’ continued economic development.
Section 1: Ensure an Adequate Health Care Workforce
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.
Section 2: Protect Physicians' Independent Medical Judgment
The patient-physician relationship is unique in modern American life. Patients place their lives in their physicians’ hands. Not only must they trust in their doctors’ knowledge, experience, and skill, but they also must trust that their physician is acting in their best interest – neither motivated nor distracted by competing interests.
Section 3: Promote Efficient and Effective New Models of Care
No one worries about the spiraling cost of U.S. health care more than physicians. Our current health care delivery system does too little to coordinate care for patients with expensive-to-manage chronic conditions. We don’t make the most effective use of allied health practitioners.
Section 4: Repeal Harmful and Onerous State and Federal Regulations
After "health," the most frequently used word in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is neither “patient” nor “physician” nor “hospital” nor “insurance.”
Section 5: Invest in Prevention
Every Texan needs to have more skin in the health care game … especially those who have too much skin and fat already. We can no longer blow smoke at proven ways to stop people from smoking and exposing others to their secondhand smoke. We need a shot in the arm to stop the spread of deadly, contagious diseases.
Section 6: Protect and Promote a Fair Civil Justice System
In our generation, Texas has taken no more important step to strengthen our health care delivery system than passing the 2003 medical liability reforms.
Section 7: Provide Appropriate State and Federal Funding for Physician 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.
Section 8: Establish Fair and Transparent Insurance Markets for Patients, Employers, Taxpayers, and Physicians
Texans are spending more money on health insurance each year but have no idea how the health plan is spending their premium dollars.
Texas and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act will have lasting implications for Texas’ health care delivery system. At both the federal and state levels, all of us must work aggressively to make sure that Texas patients have access to high-quality health care services in the most appropriate setting.
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