Stories from Texas Medicine, June 2014

Hard Evidence - 04/19/2018

The Texas Medical Association is collaborating with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Effective Health Care Program to put free, evidence-based resources directly into physicians' and patients' hands. TMA is a member of the program's National Partnership Network, and the tools are the latest in a suite of quality improvement resources the association's Council on Health Care Quality has developed or collaborated on with other organizations.

Medicare Meltdown: Another Lost Opportunity - 04/17/2018

Congress once again let physicians down by failing to fix the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula and defaulting to a temporary patch for the 17th time. Because Congress came closer than ever to solving the problem with bipartisan legislation, medicine is eager to get back to the negotiating table and capitalize on the progress made this session.

Costs of the Residency Match for Fourth-Year Medical Students - 06/02/2016

A vital step in the career of a physician is applying and interviewing for a position in a residency program. Unfortunately, the costs associated with this process are often not anticipated by fourth-year medical students. The authors collected data on these costs from fourth-year medical students in Texas (N=274) during 2012-2013. Results suggested that the average cost of this process was significant (M=$4783). The costs varied greatly, depending on the medical specialty for which the fourth-year medical student applied, with a range exceeding $12,000. Most students (60%) paid for these costs with personal savings. The authors suggest that documentation of the average cost of applying and interviewing for residency would allow future fourth-year medical students to make more accurate financial plans, provide evidence for increased financial need during the final year of medical school, and initiate an evaluation of the current residency match process for cost-saving strategies to dec...

A Lost Art - 06/02/2016

Cesarean births can be lifesaving for a mother and her baby during a difficult delivery. But new data indicate overuse of the procedure, often putting mothers at risk of excessive blood loss and long recovery times. Medical groups are now urging physicians to allow longer labor times to cut down on the country's high cesarean section rate and to improve patient safety.

Out in the Open - 05/13/2016

In February, Medicare for the first time added quality data to Physician Compare with the goal of helping patients make informed health care choices. The addition comes at a time of heightened interest in transparency, and this year the website includes quality information for certain large group practices and accountable care organizations. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services plans to phase in more measures and make quality data public for all Medicare physicians in the coming years.

Medicare Data Go Public - 05/13/2016

On April 9, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released extensive information about the payments it made to physicians and other providers of Part B Medicare services. The public release includes every person or organization that billed for those services in 2012, more than 880,000 providers.