TAFP Blog

  • House speaker introduces initiative to improve health care access for Texans

    Tags: Texas Legislature, legislative session, scope of practice, nurse practitioner, transparency, Marshall Plan

    By Jonathan Nelson

    Speaker Dade Phelan led a bipartisan group of representatives in announcing support for a number of bills to address access to health care during a press conference at the State Capitol on April 7, 2021. The Healthy Families, Healthy Texas plan marks a serious commitment to tackle some longstanding barriers to care facing Texas patients.

    “The goal of this legislative package is to make health care more affordable, more accessible, and to save lives through better health outcomes,” Phelan said.

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  • Let the Child Psychiatry Access Network help you help your patients

    Tags: CPAN, Child Psychiatry Access Network, Edith Ortiz, texas academy of family physicians, tafp

    By Edith Ortiz, MBA

    The Child Psychiatry Access Network can assist a primary care physician during a mental-health-focused assessment in the office, providing them with education and recommendations for evidence-based interventions. Studies show that families place enormous trust in you, their family doctor, and often prefer to have mental health issues managed without a referral to a specialist. Our CPAN team is there to support that process as well as help locate mental health services when the problem is severe and warrants specialty intervention.

    We are happy to take a call whether the patient is in your office or not. Call us when you get that inbox message and are not sure of the next steps. Call us when an intervention you have recommended is not effective. Call us when you want help explaining a mental health challenge to a family. You will reach a team member within five minutes of your call, and if a child psychiatry team member is needed to assist, they will call you back within 30 minutes.

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  • Mindfulness strategies to declutter your mind

    Tags: anticipate joy, partnership, counseling, support, covid-19, benefit

    By Dr. Karla Evans and Dr. Veronica Tetterton, co-founders of Anticipate Joy

    Spring is finally here! The change in season inspires motivation for a refreshing change in our environments and moods. Spring is often associated with cleaning and re-organization of our homes. But today we would like to encourage thoughtful consideration to setting aside some time to declutter your mind. By getting rid of stress, anxiety, racing thoughts, or negativity that you may be holding on to, you create a refreshing space for peace, joy, and enjoyment to settle in, and we have the perfect strategy to help. This month we would like to feature a couple of mindfulness strategies to help you gain greater perspective and peace of mind.

    So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is an integrative mind-body strategy to help manage your thoughts, feelings, and mental health. Research shows mindfulness helps relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and improve mental health. Here are a couple of easy ways to tap into mindfulness.              

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  • House committee hears bill to grant APRNs independent practice for medical acts

    Tags: nurse practitioners, aprn, scope of practice, 87th Texas Legislature

    By Jonathan Nelson

    The long-anticipated scope of practice showdown of the 87th Texas Legislature took place Wednesday, March 24, in the House Committee on Public Health. Two TAFP members — Tina Philip, DO, of Austin, and Troy Fiesinger, MD, of Sugar Land — joined a number of physicians who provided in-person testimony against this session’s attempt to grant advanced practice registered nurses the ability to conduct medical acts without a delegation agreement with a physician.

    House Bill 2029 by Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) would allow APRNs to prescribe medications, order and evaluate diagnostic testing, and prescribe durable medical equipment, all without any physician collaboration. These actions are clearly defined as the practice of medicine under Texas law, yet the text of the bill states that should HB 2029 become law, an APRN performing one of these acts “is not considered to be practicing medicine without a license.”

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  • The storm overhead

    By Larry Kravitz, MD, and Tuyet Tran

    Swirling down with the suddenness of an unheeded prophecy, a storm descends on us, threatening to strip away our comfortable manner of practicing medicine. We are losing our templates for ordinary living. Everything has shifted. The pandemic is upon us, and it is the tip of the spear for the revolution of our future medical world.

    As I record this reflection, I gaze out upon an unfamiliar landscape, a vast white blanket spreads over the fields behind my house. A polar vortex of climate change origin has descended to latitudes never before so compromised. Electric power is gone. Phone service is spotty. The Internet is dead. Water, little that there is, must be boiled. The gears and engines of my city’s infrastructure have slowed to a cold, eerie, and silent halt. The roads are impassable. I can’t get to my office. I can’t reach my patients by phone. They are hurting today. And it’s not just the homeless under the bridges. This unprecedented vulnerability will stretch its menacing fingers to the apartments of our blue-collar underclasses, and even seep into comfortable suburban mansions. This week, almost no one will escape this tide of disruption. People are going to suffer. Some will no doubt die today. Some will die alone.

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  • Registering voters at health care centers

    Tags: elizabeth kravitz, larry kravitz, texas volunteer deputy voter registrar, texas academy of family physicians, TAFP, voter registration

    By Elizabeth Kravitz and Larry Kravitz, MD

    We are two generations of primary care providers. The father, a family physician, is in his 42nd year of medical practice. The daughter, just beginning, is a fourth-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine pursuing obstetrics and gynecology. We are at opposite ends of our medical careers, but we collaborate on our health care perspectives more than we clash. Today, we share my daughter’s view of a physician’s role in promoting democracy.

     

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  • 7 national primary care organizations launch joint vision to rewire primary care financing

    Tags: seven physician organizations, financing, primary care, texas academy of family physicians, american academy of family physicians, TAFP Larry A. Green Center

    With COVID-19 as a catalyst, the organizations developed recommendations to fundamentally change the way primary care is financed, improve health equity, and boost clinicians’ ability to offer seamlessly integrated care

    By One Voice

    Seven of the nation’s largest primary care physician organizations have released recommendations on the urgent need to change the way primary care is delivered and financed. The American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Board of Family Medicine, the American Board of Internal  Medicine, the American Board of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, and the Society of General Internal Medicine represent more than 400,000 physicians and have created  a unified vision to change the conversation and modernize primary care as we know it.

    This collaborative work comes at a critical time when the health of the population has weakened and the primary care setting has been severely strained by COVID-19. Handling nearly 40% of all health care visits, primary care clinicians have made incredible adaptations to continue to provide care during the pandemic, yet they have been largely left out of national pandemic relief legislation. A series of clinician surveys conducted during the pandemic has shown widespread closures and layoffs among primary care practices despite the critical role these practices and clinicians play in pandemic recovery efforts.

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  • Let the Child Psychiatry Access Network help you help your patients

    Tags: CPAN, Child Psychiatry Access Network, Edith Ortiz, texas academy of family physicians, tafp

    By Edith Ortiz, MBA

    The Child Psychiatry Access Network can assist a primary care physician during a mental-health-focused assessment in the office, providing them with education and recommendations for evidence-based interventions. Studies show that families place enormous trust in you, their family doctor, and often prefer to have mental health issues managed without a referral to a specialist. Our CPAN team is there to support that process as well as help locate mental health services when the problem is severe and warrants specialty intervention.

    We are happy to take a call whether the patient is in your office or not. Call us when you get that inbox message and are not sure of the next steps. Call us when an intervention you have recommended is not effective. Call us when you want help explaining a mental health challenge to a family. You will reach a team member within five minutes of your call, and if a child psychiatry team member is needed to assist, they will call you back within 30 minutes.

    more
  • Cyber fraud case study: Failure to recognize phishing email

    Tags: cyber fraud, texas academy of family physicians, TMLT, texas, medical liability trust

    By Gracie Awalt, Marketing Associate
    Texas Medical Liability Trust

    A small, rural hospital contracted with an emergency medical group for emergency department coverage. The group was paid monthly by electronic funds transfer, or EFT, from the hospital’s account to the ED group’s account.

    In June, the hospital received an email invoice from the ED group with instructions to send payment to a new account. The hospital sent the $200,500 payment to the new account on July 10.

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  • Are you taking care of your emotional health?

    Tags: anticipate joy, march, mental health, TAFP

    By Anticipate Joy

    As a Texan, you may have been physically, financially, and emotionally challenged by the recent weather storm. As physicians, you likely have the added stress of the care of your patients during this challenging time. So this month we felt the need to focus on your emotional health. Are you taking care of your emotional health?

    Let’s take a short quiz to find out by honestly answering the questions below:  

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