Stories from Texas Medicine, March 2014

Public Health Crusade - 04/26/2018

In the crusade to improve immunization rates, reduce obesity's health burden, prevent HIV, and tackle a whole host of crucial public health concerns, research shows certain evidence-based strategies can make a big impact in a short time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refers to such areas of public health as "winnable battles." Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner David Lakey, MD, named other public health priorities that don't match the CDC's winnable battles. They include the DSHS Expanded Primary Health Care Program, birth outcomes, mental health, and substance use disorders.

Survey Says … - 04/19/2018

Texas Medical Association leaders say physicians should take the time now to understand the impact of patient satisfaction and evaluate themselves before payers or others do it for them. Already Medicare ties a portion of hospital pay to patient satisfaction measures, and similar mandates are beginning to hit physicians.

A Bitter Pill - 12/15/2017

When insurance companies make business decisions that could have negative implications for Medicare patients' access to care and treatment continuity, it's a bitter pill for physicians. Thousands of Texas physicians discovered last fall they'd been terminated from UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plans.

Turning Data Into Success - 05/13/2016

In today's health care climate, physicians realize it's critical they be involved in the financial management of their medical practice and gain a basic understanding of the business side of medicine. Physicians say collaborating with an expert is key to long-term viability and profitability.

Problem Pile-Up - 05/13/2016

Novitas Solutions Inc. took over from TrailBlazer Enterprises as Texas' Medicare carrier more than a year ago. But ongoing frustrations with customer service shortfalls, enrollment delays, and heavy auditing practices, among other complaints, have Texas physicians giving the contractor a shabby report card. They say the bad grades still add up to too many hassles and payment problems and not enough answers.