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Congress works to repeal SGR as 24 percent Medicare rate cut looms
A bipartisan, bicameral proposal to repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate is being considered in two powerful congressional committees, meaning an end to the flawed formula used to set physician fees in the program is closer than ever. The proposal would avoid a 24.4 percent cut in physician fees scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2014. AAFP submitted comments and recommendations on Nov. 12, 2013. Read about the proposal and what AAFP had to say.

ACTION ALERT: Please take this quick 4-question survey
With plans in the federally facilitated health insurance marketplace scheduled to begin providing coverage on Jan. 1, 2014, we’d like to know how many members have been approached by plans in the marketplace and how many of you have signed on to participate. We really appreciate your response. Take the survey!

New law makes changes to prescriptive authority
A bill passed during the 83rd Texas Legislature implemented some changes to prescriptive authority that took effect earlier this month. Read more about the changes in this TAFP news story.

Pay your AAFP/TAFP dues online for 2014
Log on to www.aafp.org/checkmydues to maintain your membership. You can sign up for installment payments or pay the whole amount by credit card or check. If you have any questions, call AAFP at (800) 274-2237 or call TAFP membership coordinator Juleah Williams at (512) 329-8666 ext 35.

Sen. Nelson given TAFP Patient Advocacy Award
TAFP doctors presented the 2013 Patient Advocacy Award to Sen. Jane Nelson for her advocacy on behalf of Texas physicians and patients. Read more about Sen. Nelson in this TAFP news story.

November Member of the Month: Domingo Caparas, Jr., M.D.
International medical graduate wants to serve home and adopted countries

Caparas, whose undergrad and medical degrees were awarded in the Philippines, is currently the chief resident for the family medicine residency program at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at the Permian Basin. Read more about Dr. Caparas in his Member of the Month profile found here.

EDUCATION UPDATE

Register for December SAM workshops
Still need a SAM or two before the end of the year? You’re in luck – TAFP is holding two standalone SAM Group Study Workshops this December. Register now for the SAM Workshop on Hypertension held in Dallas on Dec. 7, or for the SAM Workshop on Coronary Artery Disease held in San Marcos on Dec. 14. Go to www.tafp.org/professional-development to see more about the SAMs and register.



NPI heading to Texas in January
The National Procedures Institute is hosting 2014’s first conference right here in Fort Worth, Texas. The conference is Jan. 16-19 at the Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel & Spa and includes popular courses like Dermatologic Procedures, ICD-10 Essentials, Hospitalist Procedures, and nine others. Register by Dec. 17 for an early bird discount!