In Texas the Lawmakers Follow Doctors’ Orders to Improve Patient Care
Posted Jun 04 2009 10:41pm
A little news on what’s happening in Texas and last I looked they have not left the union yet (grin). I cover quite a bit here too about what is happening in Texas as they have set the pace in many areas of healthcare. In the related reading below there’s some additional coverage and videos on some recent posts.
On the same line though, they are also watching out for quality of care from physicians and just recently disciplined 71 doctors. If you are a doctor and are in the situation, your name and reason for the action gets published too. You can read more here. The have also joined in the lawsuit brought against Ingenix along with the the AMA and several other states. BD
“Thanks to patients’ champions in the House and Senate, the 2009 Texas Legislature passed bills to reform health insurance, increase access to health care, preserve the patient-physician relationship, and improve the health of all Texans.
“In January, the Texas Medical Association prescribed a solid platform designed to fix Texas’ broken health care system. Physicians asked lawmakers to begin building a health care system that allows all patients to receive the care they need, when they need it. TMA’s Doctor’s Orders called on state leaders to support measures that would:
Add accountability and performance standards to health insurance,
Expand access to care for all Texans,
Enhance patient safety, and
Improve quality of care.
“Despite the economic downturn and late-session delay tactics that killed hundreds of bills, TMA’s prescription was followed. Here are just a few of the health care highlights from the 81st legislature that will improve patient care in Texas:
Preserved Texas’ landmark 2003 medical liability reforms;
Funded community-based obesity prevention program expansions;
Implemented a pilot program to help reduce childhood obesity among Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollees;
Protected the patient-physician relationship from corporate interference so that health care decisions are made based on what is right for the patient;
Required insurers to use accurate data and valid, recognized standards when ranking or tiering physicians in their networks;
Directed the state to evaluate the adequacy of insurers’ physician networks in local markets to reduce the chances of out-of-network services and unexpected out-of-pocket costs for patients;
Increased funding for graduate medical education in Texas;
Expanded the Texas physician loan repayment program;
Expanded efforts to improve the use and reliability of health information technology in Medicaid and the health care system;
Protected funding to enhance cancer prevention and research programs in Texas;
Enhanced funding for local mental health crisis intervention; and
Created a lifelong immunization registry in Texas.”
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing nearly 44,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.
This is attributed to William H. Fleming III, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association. Dr. Fleming practices neurology at Memorial Neurological Association in Houston, where he also serves as clinical assistant professor of neurology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.