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Patient-Physician Relationship Preserved in 2015 Legislative Session
In a 2015 legislative session marked by new state leadership, new money, and big shifts in how Texas’ major health care agencies oversee care delivery, the House of Medicine remained as steady as ever in its mission to ensure physicians can give their patients the best care possible. That resolve paid off in significant victories that largely build on Texas Medical Association’s 2013 legislative successes.
To read this story and other pertinent articles in TMA’s
Rural Health Physician
newsletter click on “read more.”
TMA's Committee on Rural Health
The Committee on Rural Health is charged to work toward the improvement of rural health in general.
In addition, the committee shall review and comment on governmental laws, regulations, and activities which have an impact on the practice of medicine in rural areas; develop concepts and proposals that will specifically address the needs of rural areas; monitor and evaluate the problems of small and rural hospitals; educate physicians and the public on the status of physicians, support facilities and support personnel in rural areas of Texas; and maintain liaison with groups having similar interests.
Rural Health Resources
Critical Access Hospital
The Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation is available to hospitals that meet certain federal and state criteria and is designed to provide an alternative model to allow small rural hospitals to remain viable. This allows for increased service and staffing flexibility and increased reimbursement from Medicare. Read
Critical Access Hospital Manua
(PDF), or contact the
Texas Department of Rural Affairs
at (512) 936-6729 for more information.
Federally Qualified Health Center
Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) include all organizations receiving grants under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, certain tribal organizations, and FQHC Look-Alikes. FQHCs qualify for enhanced reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other benefits. FQHCs must serve an underserved area or population, offer a sliding fee scale, provide comprehensive services, have an ongoing quality assurance program, and have a governing board of directors.
Underserved Areas of Texas
A Health Provider Shortage Area (HPSA) designation is defined as an area, facility, or population group with a shortage of primary care physicians, as defined by a population-to-primary care physician ratio of at least 3, 500:1 and other requirements specified in the federal designation criteria. Indicators of need for primary medical care such as the poverty rate, infant mortality rate, and fertility rate (live births per 1,000 female population) are also considered, as well as indicators of insufficient capacity to meet existing needs. The HPSA designation can qualify areas and population groups for benefits under the following programs:
Rural Health Clinic
A Rural Health Clinic (RHC) is a clinic certified to receive special Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. The purpose of the RHC program is improving access to primary care in underserved rural areas. RHCs are required to use a team approach of physicians and midlevel practitioners (nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives) to provide services. RHCs may also provide mental health services.
Starting a Rural Health Clinic - A How to Manual
Code of Federal Regulation, Title 42, Part 491, Certification of Certain Health Facilities
Licensing and Compliance
Relevant Society Links
Texas Association of Community Health Centers
National Association of Community Health Centers
Texas Association of Rural Health Clinics
National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Texas Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Family Physicians
The State Office of Rural Health
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Texas Health Care Information Council
Texas Hospital Association
Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals
Rural Health Research
University of Washington
Rural Policy Research Institute
Rural Assistance Center
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