Tax Relief, Medicaid Primary Care Pay Bump in Sight; Scope in Crosshairs - 01/14/2021

As hearings get under way and lawmakers scramble to fashion a budget at the halfway mark of the 2015 legislative session, graduate medical education funding and tax relief remain a focal point for the legislature, and the House of Medicine has made early progress on both fronts. Lawmakers also heard TMA's call to reinstate the Medicaid-Medicare parity payments for primary care.

Texas Suffers in GME Redistribution - 06/22/2016

Texas was one of the biggest losers in the federal government's August 2011 redistribution of unused graduate medical education positions eligible for Medicare GME funding, a TMA analysis found. The state lost 50.08 direct graduate medical education slots and 39.8 indirect medical education positions from 21 hospitals.

Improve Funding for GME - 06/22/2016

We continue to have a serious physician shortage. Those shortages touch the majority of specialties and they impede access to care. The new expansion grant programs authorized by the last legislature are a big step toward expanding our GME capacity and we are grateful for the legislative commitment toward building our physician workforce. Having the additional $14.25 million is good for the state.  The $65,000 per-resident amount authorized for these programs is significant.  These programs also acknowledge the partnership between medical schools and teaching hospitals in training a resident.

Be a Preceptor; Help Shape the Next Generation of Medicine(1) - 06/22/2016

The Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians is seeking physician mentors for the summer 2016 General Internal Medicine Statewide Preceptorship Program.

2015 Legislative Wins: Psychiatrists - 06/22/2016

2015 Legislative Wins: Psychiatrists

GME Gamble - 06/02/2016

A new Institute of Medicine report that recommends sweeping changes to graduate medical education (GME) has challenged organized medicine's calls for increased Medicare GME funding to address looming physician shortages, setting off a firestorm of debate over the future of the U.S. physician workforce. The Texas Medical Association is evaluating the potential impact of the recommendations, which call for a variety of changes in how existing funds are allocated and leave a number of unknowns for Texas institutions.

A New Path to Primary Care - 05/25/2016

The University of North Texas Health Science Center and the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine are partnering with Midland College and Midland Memorial Hospital to keep their own crop of future doctors in the area. The Primary Care Pathway identifies interested, high-achieving community college students likely to be successful in medical school and guarantees them an accelerated pathway to a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree, focusing earlier and more intensely on primary care.

Bill Aims to Attract Mental Health Professionals - 05/20/2016

It's no surprise Texas is lacking in mental health professionals. A statewide survey sheds light on just how dire the situation is: 185 of Texas' 254 counties are without a psychiatrist. Overall, the state is home to just 4.1 psychiatrists per 1,000 patients, only slightly better than Nevada, Mississippi, and Idaho, nationally. Legislative efforts are in the works to try to attract more psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to underserved Texas communities.

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.

Room to Grow - 05/13/2016

Graduate medical education (GME) expansion is the top priority for medicine this legislative session, and thanks to years of advocacy coming to fruition, the issue is top of mind for lawmakers, too. As this story went to press, more GME money made its way into budget proposals, and a handful of bills build on the momentum started last session to grow the physician workforce in Texas with the creation of additional GME grant and physician education loan repayment programs.

Match-makers - 05/13/2016

Despite the success of this year's Resident Match Day, medical school deans in Texas and across the country remain concerned about a growing number of students who have difficulty matching to a residency training program. They say those numbers could add up to missed opportunities in the form of physicians and medical education dollars that do not immediately end up in a workforce hurting for doctors of every discipline. Medical education leaders also point to an increasingly competitive match climate as part of the problem, as they search for ways to better counsel students to maximize their opportunities early and often throughout their medical education.

Feeding the Physician Pipeline - 05/13/2016

After the 2013 Texas Legislature answered the Texas Medical Association's call for more funding for graduate medical education, TMA wasted no time making sure the money gets put into action. In late August, the medical association joined the Texas Hospital Association and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to host a forum to help nonteaching hospitals, medical schools, and other entities take advantage of the nearly $2 million in planning grants that lawmakers authorized for new, first-year medical residency positions.