TMA’s Texas Medicine Magazine Examines These and More
and decisions impacting the health of Texas patients and their physicians’ care;
doctors considering a new “medical home” model to better serve patients; and relaxed
rules giving physicians a chance to avoid Medicare payment penalties highlight
the January, 2017 Texas Medical Association (TMA) Texas Medicine magazine.
on Success: TMA's 2017 Legislative Agenda Aims to Build on Past Achievements”
TMA is pressing a
legislative agenda this session to defend the patient-physician relationship
against the backdrop of a reduced budget and other challenges. Meanwhile, the
actions of Congress and a new administration in Washington, DC, also will affect
the future of the Affordable Care Act and health care reform in
Texas — potentially including redesigning Medicaid coverage and benefits. For
the next five months said TMA Council on Legislation Chair Ray Callas, MD, TMA
will focus on what’s best for patients, “maintaining legislation that protects
patients and allows them access to quality health care.”
“No matter what comes up
this session, our patients will always come first," Dr. Callas said.
The Medical Home Machine: More Texas
Practices Improving Care With Patient-Centered Health Care Model
practices are adopting the process to earn formal designation as a
patient-centered medical home (PCMH), but the process can be difficult. The
PCMH model, overseen by a national quality board, aims to transform primary
care formally to reflect patients’ needs and emphasize care coordination. The
initiative is growing in popularity. These medical practices follow protocols
to focus more on patients’ individual health needs, reduce hospitalizations,
and improve outcomes. More than 11,000 sites are recognized as PCMHs. Texas Medicine explores the advantages
and concerns of physicians aspiring to adopt the PCMH recognition.
Easing the Pain?
U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has answered TMA’s and
other medical groups’ concerns and granted physicians some relief from the regulations
of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). MACRA replaced the
much-maligned Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula, but ultimately brought
challenges of its own. CMS decided physicians who at least try to comply with
the new rules in 2017 will see no penalty in their payments in 2019, the first year
the penalties are set to apply.
TMA and organized
medicine won other significant improvements that create what they call a more
palatable transition period. One example is instilling a broader exemption for
small practices with few patients or little revenue in Medicare, whom doctors
say the new rules could have penalized most harshly.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation,
representing more than 50,000 physician and medical student members. It is
located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the
state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.
Contact: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org
Marcus Cooper (512)
370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336; email: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org
Enter your work in TMA’s Anson Jones, MD, Awards, by Jan. 10, 2017.
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