Stories from Texas Medicine, April 2015

Your Guide to Medicare Value-Based Care - 05/13/2016

What is value-based care? What are the various Medicare quality reporting programs? How are those programs tied to quality? This guide breaks down the what, when, why, and how behind what has become an ever-more confusing web of requirements.

Seeing the Light - 05/13/2016

TMA's Committee on Physician Distribution and Health Care Access raised concerns that medical schools and residency programs may become overly restrictive of the practice of moonlighting since the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education recently required moonlighting to count toward a resident's total work-hour cap of 80 hours per week. In response, TMA's Council on Medical Education adopted a policy put forth by the physician distribution committee that encourages medical schools and residency programs in Texas to reconsider broad limitations or even prohibitions on resident moonlighting. The policy goes before the TMA House of Delegates at its annual meeting in May.

Medical Board Wages War Over Telephone Treatment - 05/13/2016

In a case working its way through Texas courts, Teladoc argues that a face-to-face meeting is unnecessary for new patients. Teladoc provides telephone patient consultations, claiming that a phone call with a licensed physician can serve as a convenient supplement when patients don't have the time or money to see their primary care doctors. Some physicians say a phone conversation is not enough to properly diagnose and treat a patient with whom the physician is unfamiliar.

HIEs and the Gateway to Better Care - 05/13/2016

Health information exchanges (HIEs) are becoming a more widely used method for physicians to share valuable patient information. A proposed health service enterprise gateway would connect to local health information exchanges and give physicians a single place to exchange data with all state health agencies.

End-of-Life Care: The Long Conversation - 05/13/2016

California palliative care specialist, author, and consultant Ira Byock, MD, calls the issues surrounding end-of-life care "a public health crisis." But he says many of the same solutions to improving the health care system overall — shared decisionmaking, advancements in medical education, better payment and delivery structures — apply equally to this area of medical care. Dr. Byock is the General Session keynote speaker at TexMed 2015 in May.