Healthy Vision 2020, Second Edition

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    TMA's Vision for the Future Clears Up

    Healthy Vision 2020, Second Edition, our strategic roadmap for TMA's state and federal advocacy initiatives for the remainder of the decade. 

    If you don’t know where you’re going, the old saying goes, you don’t need a map. Any road will take you there. But if you have a crystal clear vision of your destination, you need an equally detailed roadmap.

    Healthy Vision 2020, Second Edition, is also available in PDF

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Our Healthy Vision: Caring for Patients in a Time of Change

  • Section 1
    Ensure an Adequate Health Care WorkforceTexas has a large, diverse, and growing population that is growing less healthy and more ethnically diverse, and needs more and better-coordinated health care services. Unfortunately, Texas — compared to other parts of the country — has significant shortages in most physician specialties and other health care professionals.
  • Section 2
    Preserve Physicians' Independent Medical JudgmentThe 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 Models of CareCMS announced today that the Open Payments system is once again available for physicians and teaching hospitals to register, review and, as needed, dispute financial payment information received from health care manufacturers. The system was taken offline on August 3 to resolve a technical issue. To account for system down time, CMS is extending the time for physicians and teaching hospitals to review their records to September 8, 2014. The public website will be available on September 30, 2014.
  • Section 4
    Promote Government Efficiency and Accountability by Reducing Medicaid Red TapeTexas physicians strongly support Medicaid. Without it, nearly 4 million poor and low-income Texans would lack health insurance, jeopardizing their health and well-being. Physicians want to take care of these patients, and they do so throughout the state. Unfortunately, red tape and bureaucratic hassles coupled with low pay are forcing many physicians to limit the number of new Medicaid patients they take — or to not take any at all.
  • Section 5
    Repeal Harmful Federal RegulationsAdministrative costs in the U.S. private and public health care system amount to around $361 billion annually — 14 percent of all health care expenditures. Insurers and government health programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, require physicians and their patients to follow too many complex, nonsensical, and redundant policies, rules, and procedures. In fact, physicians and health care providers employ more billing and posting clerks than any other industry.
  • Section 6
    Use Health Information Technology WiselyAs in nearly every other sphere of modern life, technology has delivered enormous improvements in medicine. Once-unimaginable diagnostic tools and treatments are now commonplace. Health information technology (HIT), properly implemented, has tremendous potential to advance quality of care, prevent certain types of medical errors, and streamline health care delivery. Recognizing this potential, the government and employers are pushing physicians and providers to adopt HIT quickly so they can better measure the “value” they receive for their health care dollar.
  • Section 7
    Establish Fair and Transparent InsuranceFrom the giant Texas Medical Center to a solo practitioner in a tiny Panhandle crossroads, 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 8
    Provide Appropriate Funding for Physician ServicesFor 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 36 percent of all health care spending in the United States, 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.
  • Section 9
    Promote Good Health; Save Taxpayers' DollarsOne of the keys to maintaining health lies in physicians helping patients take responsibility for their own health. Competent, compassionate medical care — delivered with professionalism, state-of-the-art clinical knowledge, and patient respect — helps patients assume responsibility. Conversely, patients have a duty to make informed, healthy decisions and share in the consequences of their decisions.
  • Section 10
    Protect and Promote a Fair Civil Justice SystemIn our generation, Texas has taken no more important step to strengthen our health care delivery system than passing the 2003 medical liability reforms. The 2003 law swiftly ended an epidemic of lawsuit abuse, brought thousands of sorely needed new physicians to Texas, and encouraged the state’s shell-shocked physicians to return to caring for patients with high-risk diseases and injuries.

Texas Legislature

First Tuesdays

Join the white coat invasion in Austin and be a lobbyist for a day! First Tuesdays dates in 2015: Feb. 3, March 3, April 7, and May 5. Read More