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Census Undercount Could Stifle Texas’ Health Services, Doctors Say - 03/11/2020

Texas physicians are urging patients to answer the upcoming U.S. Census to ensure the state won’t lose billions of dollars’ worth of health and human services funding – a loss that could harm the patients themselves.

Rural Residencies: Texas Tech’s Rural Training Track Brings More Physicians to Small Towns - 03/26/2019

In all his dreams about becoming a doctor, Ivan Becerra, MD, never imagined he’d lead a cesarean section delivery during just his second year of residency. Yet last August, that’s exactly what he was doing at Pecos County Memorial

Help Rural Hospitals Receive State Revenue - 02/05/2019

If you understand rural health needs and have some time to help hospitals in those areas seek state funding, the State Office of Rural Health needs your help.

Rural FP Finds Rewards With Full-scope Training, Deep Roots - 01/04/2019

Texas physician acknowledges the hard work it takes to build a solo practice in a rural community.

Learn How TMA Will Work for Rural Physicians at the Capitol - 12/01/2018

Tune in to a 30-minute Virtual Meeting for Select Counties to learn about TMA’s strategies for the upcoming legislative session from TMA Vice President of Public Affairs Darren Whitehurst, and to find out more about organized medicine from John Flores, MD, chair of the TMA Council on Socioeconomics.

Crisis in the Country - 09/26/2018

Since 2010, Texas has seen more rural hospitals close than has any other state, leaving huge gaps in health care; however, the state's rural areas have options for maintaining health care facilities.

Rural Doc Hopes to Build Ties With Big Cities - 09/20/2018

Jacksonville OB-Gyn hopes rural docs and big centers can build collegiality.

Researchers Seek Your Input on Palliative Care Telementoring Program - 06/22/2018

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is creating an online mentoring program, called ECHO Palliative Care Texas, to help rural physicians care for patients who need supportive and/or palliative care as they receive cancer treatment.

Rural Texas Physician - 04/27/2018

Spring 2017 Rural Texas Physician is a quarterly electronic periodical for physicians in the many rural areas of Texas caring for patients and their communities. TMA’s grassroots membership is the strength of the association.

Reviewers Required for Rural Revenue Recipients - 02/06/2018

If you understand rural health needs and have some time to help facilities in those areas seek state funding, the State Office of Rural Health needs your help.

Improving Health in Hard-to-Reach Communities - 01/25/2018

The health impact pyramid offers a framework for considering the relative significance of socioeconomic determinants of health and for prioritizing interventions that may be effective in improving health outcomes in hard-to-reach and rural populations. Barriers to health care delivery in rural settings are outlined with examples provided. Demonstration projects in East and West Texas are reviewed. Those programs reach unique populations such as agricultural and migrant workers and those with mental illness by using innovative approaches, such as the use of specially trained community health workers and telehealth and telemedicine. Having a health impact on hard-to-reach groups and rural populations is largely a function of overcoming numerous barriers. Adopting a population health approach that engages the community in overcoming those barriers is likely to be more effective in producing improved health outcomes.

Higher Liability Caps Would Hurt Access to Care - 04/04/2017

I am concerned about the future of medical care in our community, and many, many others like it in Texas. Physicians in rural areas already work harder and make less money due to cuts in payment. I’m age 55. Our eldest physician, Rusty West, is 58. It’s always been difficult to recruit doctors to come to a rural community. But I am convinced that it will be even harder to recruit if the cap is raised and insurance premiums go back up again. There is a point when the practice of medicine in rural Texas becomes economically unsustainable. Raising the cap on damages moves us to that point as the increased cost can’t be passed on to our patients, many of whom are on Medicare and Medicaid.

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.

Tax Relief, Medicaid Primary Care Pay Bump in Sight; Scope in Crosshairs - 06/22/2016

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.

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.