Stories from Texas Medicine, April 2014

Turning the Tables on Health - 05/13/2016

Modern health care has become a monstrous system filled with baggage and regulations, but physicians can turn the tide by experimenting with new models of care that put the focus back on the patient-physician relationship. That's the crux of the message Zubin Damania, MD, will spread when he headlines the General Session at TexMed 2014 in Fort Worth May 2.


The ACA Marketplace - 05/13/2016

Physicians find themselves in a land of confusion months after the debut of the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace. Pervasive problems with the exchange rollout, including enrollment delays and questionable health plan networks, disrupt physicians' office operations and affect patients' access to care.


Team Effort - 05/13/2016

Physicians are concerned about the impact patient noncompliance could have on how payers purport to grade and ultimately pay physicians based on their patients' health. An informal TMA survey shows private health plan policies vary in how they address patient noncompliance and whether they factor it into emerging pay-for-performance programs. TMA continues to advocate for protections for physicians from quality-of-care measures in Medicare and commercial programs that don't account for variances in patient populations, including chronically ill or noncompliant patients.


So Appy Together - 05/13/2016

DocbookMD is a secure, HIPAA-compliant, Texas Medical Association-endorsed communication app that allows physicians and their care teams to share real-time messages and images such as electrocardiograms and x-rays, resulting in more efficient care coordination. Physicians can send text messages and images to one another while meeting HIPAA encryption and security requirements. The app is available free to TMA and county medical society members. A paid version of the app is also available for hospitals and large groups.


Breaking Down Barriers - 05/13/2016

Physicians face major hurdles in administering a vaccine that protects against human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers. Cervical, genital, and head and neck cancers are preventable, but physicians say the stigma surrounding the vaccine, its high cost, and its voluntary status are keeping vaccination rates in Texas low.