Texas’ premier physician associations today announced the establishment of an organization to deliver doctors the survival tools they need to provide demonstrably better and more efficient patient care and compete in today’s health care marketplace.
“I am confident the Physician Services Organization will save local practices,” said Stephen L. Brotherton, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association (TMA). “Texas doctors are determined to make health care better and more affordable for Texans.
“To do that, we need to shift the balance of power away from the government and the large hospital systems, and back to the patients and their physicians.”
In addition to TMA, the Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS) and Harris County Medical Society (HCMS) are key members of the Physician Services Organization. The center will bring in new and existing physician groups, health plans, and technology vendors as needed to test and develop effective new care models.
“The health care landscape is changing dramatically for solo physicians to large group practices,” said DCMS President Cynthia Sherry, MD. “This new organization will help all types of physicians deal with this great change. DCMS is proud to partner with TMA to provide these essential tools to physicians. Together we will help physicians meet quality benchmarks for patient care, leverage information technology, and compete successfully in changing financial models. The real winners will be patients.”
“The Physician Services Organization will provide services to help physicians navigate the changing health care delivery system,” said HCMS President Russell W. H. Kridel. “The best use of a physician’s time is in directly taking care of the patient one on one, not in dealing with red tape, reporting measures, and compliance regulations. This is exactly what is needed to maintain the sacred patient-physician relationship. It’s very exciting to see new innovative projects like this that can help physicians spend more time with their patients.”
The organization will offer services that bolster physicians’ clinical and financial autonomy, tailored to a practice’s current level of sophistication. A key element will be providing physicians easy access to data to measure and improve their clinical performance and their financial viability.
“This is a physician-driven enterprise to improve patient care,” said TMA Board of Trustees member Dan McCoy, MD, who chaired the task force that developed the project plan. “The Physician Services Organization will use the latest technology and data analytics tools to bolster the bedrock of our profession: the patient-physician relationship.”
For example, one service might help physicians comb through their data to identify chronically ill patients who need extra help to stay as healthy as possible and stay out of the hospital. Another might align primary care physicians and specialists to better coordinate the care they provide to their common patients.
“The market is shifting rapidly. Physicians are under tremendous pressure to change what they’ve been doing. But no one is helping them do that,” Dr. Brotherton said. “This is a very high priority.”
Added Don Read, MD, of Dallas, a member of the TMA Board of Trustees, “This is the most important thing TMA has done since tort reform.”
About the Texas Medical Association:
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.
About the Dallas County Medical Society:
DCMS unites and empowers physicians to support the health of all residents in the metropolitan region. DCMS is a professional organization of approximately 6,400 local physicians, medical students, and residents dedicated to serving Dallas area patients.
About the Harris County Medical Society:
HCMS, established in 1903, is the professional society for physicians in Harris County. It is the largest county medical society in the nation, with a membership of more than 11,000 physicians and medical students. Its mission is to be the leading advocate for its member physicians, their patients, and the community, in promoting the highest standards of ethical medical practice, access to quality medical care, medical education, research, and community health.