November 16, 2011

Wal-Mart explores expansion of health care services
In a document leaked last week, mega-retailer Wal-Mart seemed to be positioning itself to “build a national, integrated, low-cost primary care health care platform” to provide a variety of preventive and chronic care services to millions of Americans. While the company has since dismissed the statement as “overwritten and incorrect,” it is still pursuing the request. more...

Member of the Month: Claudia Aguero-Vazquez, M.D.
Rio Grande Valley educator coaches residents, patients to be their best
Meet November’s Member of the Month, Claudia Aguero-Vazquez, M.D., of Harlingen. Though she began her career in private practice, she is now faculty at Valley Baptist Family Practice Residency Program. It’s here that she shines as a “remarkable leader, cheerleader, and coach,” in the words of her nominator. more...

HHSC proposes eliminating Medicaid payments of Medicare Part B coinsurance, deductible for dual-eligible patients
Submit comments on the rules before Nov. 21
The state seeks to cut costs in Medicaid by eliminating Medicaid payments of Medicare Part B coinsurance and deductibles for dual-eligible patients. In testimony to HHSC, TMA President Bruce Malone, M.D., said this action will hurt the most vulnerable patients and discourage physicians from setting up practices in underserved areas. HHSC will accept comments on the rules through Nov. 21. more...

Learn about physician employment law through free recorded webinar
TAFP partnered with the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals and the Texas Hospital Association to bring you a one-hour webinar explaining Senate Bill 894, the law that allows most rural Texas hospitals to directly employ physicians. It also explains the do’s and don’ts that you need to consider before entering into your first agreement. Originally broadcast on Oct. 25, an archive recording is available at no cost. Go to, select “Recorded Sessions” from the left-side menu, and select “Physician Employment Webinar.”

Support the AAFP Foundation with the dues check-off campaign
With one click, you can support the work of the AAFP Foundation when you renew your Academy dues. The Foundation Dues Check-Off campaign asks members to give a one-time $50 gift that will help advance the work of the philanthropic arm of the Academy. more...

HHSC seeks members for the Electronic Health Information Exchange Advisory Committee
Physicians interested in health information technology and health information exchange are encouraged to apply for one of two spots available on the Electronic Health Information Exchange Advisory Committee. Applications are due by 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, and appointments will be made before the meeting to be held on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, in Austin. more...


Make progress on your ABFM MC-FP with a TAFP SAM Group Study Workshop
The year will be over before you know it. If time has slipped by and you still have Maintenance of Certification requirements to complete before the end of the year, we can help! Join TAFP for a SAM workshop in Lubbock or San Antonio on Dec. 10. Join us for the SAM on asthma or depression and get credit for one component of your ABFM Maintenance of Certification process. Find more information and register here.