Archives / 2012 / October
  • Reminders for Primary Care Summit

    Tags: primary care summit, houston, dallas, membership, hotel, parking, event

    The 2012 Primary Care Summit in Dallas is upon us and we are looking forward to seeing you there! Below you will find important information to make sure everything this weekend goes smoothly for you.

    Registration Schedule

    Important – This year’s Primary Care Summit will be held in the Dallas Ballroom on the 3rd floor. To make registration easier, TAFP staff will open registration Thursday evening, Nov. 1. Registered attendees may pick up their materials on Thursday from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the TAFP Registration Desk on the 3rd floor of the Westin Galleria. Please note that you will still need to stop by the registration desk on Friday to sign in.

  • TAFP members can make a difference this legislative session

    Tags: advocacy, key contacts, physician of the day, tafppac

    Use TAFP resources to educate lawmakers on issues important to family medicine

    TAFP serves as your voice in the Texas Legislature and we have a team of advocates with strong relationships throughout the Capitol community and in state agencies working on your behalf. We continue to make strides for the specialty, but we can’t do it without your help. TAFP members can make a difference and we invite you to get involved in the fight for family medicine.

    The 83rd Texas Legislature convenes on Tuesday, Jan. 8, and getting involved is possible no matter how much time you’re able to commit. Whether taking five minutes to read one of TAFP’s Advocacy Action Item e-mails and send a message to your representative, or a few minutes to donate to TAFPPAC online, or dedicating a day to see patients at the Capitol, your involvement matters. Here are a few opportunities to consider.

  • Time to swing for the fences

    Tags: president, fiesinger, advocacy, family medicine

    An excerpt from the 2012 incoming presidential address

    By Troy Fiesinger, M.D.
    TAFP President, 2012-2013

    Whether we practice in Houston or Henderson, Wichita Falls or Weimar, El Paso or Del Rio, Alpine or Austin; we are all Texas family physicians. We bring different perspectives to the Academy based on where we live and where we’re from. I know what it’s like to work in a large integrated health care system, run a community health center, and teach our future family physicians, but I don’t know how to run your practice. I want to hear from each of you about how we can strengthen family medicine and take care of our patients.

    Our health care system is in the midst of a painful rebirth. The insurers, the government, and the hospitals are pulling us in different directions. We stand with our patients at the middle of this storm of abbreviations and acronyms: ACA, ACO, PCMH, EHR, and the Medicaid 1115 waiver.

  • Nurse practitioners are no substitute for physician-led team

    Tags: aafp, scope of practice, report

    By Roland Goertz, M.D., M.B.A.; Chair, AAFP Board of Directors

    By the year 2020, our nation is expected to face a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians. To address this shortfall, as well as rising health care costs, the nation is seeing a movement to grant independent practice to nurse practitioners.

    But, this flawed, stop-gap approach overlooks some obvious obstacles to replacing physicians with non-physicians. For example:

  • Van Winkle: It is our time to lead

    Tags: van winkle, congress of delegates

    In less than two weeks, the AAFP Congress of Delegates will elect a new slate of officers and three members to serve on the AAFP Board of Directors. TAFP has a candidate in this year’s Board of Directors race—Castroville family physician Lloyd Van Winkle, M.D.—and we’re gearing up to support him in Philadelphia.

    A quick brief on our national academy, the membership of the Congress of Delegates, AAFP’s policy-making body, consists of two delegates from each state chapter plus spots for special constituencies, family medicine residents, and medical students. During the two-and-a-half days of meetings, each of the six reference committees (Advocacy, Bylaws, Education, Health of the Public and Science, Organization and Finance, and Practice Enhancement) will hold hearings open to all AAFP members, current officers will give speeches, board members and commissions will present reports, and delegates will consider resolutions.

    The election will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with voting early in the morning and results revealed before noon.

  • Money & Medicine: Reflections on the message

    Tags: pbs, health care reform, advance directive, end-of-life, care, money, medicine

    We have known for years that the payment system for health care services provides incentives for hospitals and physicians to run more tests and perform more procedures. Debuting this week, a PBS special “Money & Medicine” examines not only runaway health care spending, but also the danger patients face from over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

    “If you add up medical errors, drug interactions, and hospital-acquired infections, medicine itself is the third leading cause of death in this country,” one expert says in the film. And another, “I’m paid more when I harm my patients; I’m paid more when I do more, even when it’s not beneficial.”

    Contributing to the estimated 30 percent of U.S. health care spending—$800 billion a year—that pays for unnecessary services, the filmmakers identify several forces at play. First, briefly, the providers:  “One person’s waste is nearly always another person’s income, and income turns into strong political defenses of areas that are classic waste.” Next, the patients: Patients’ demands are changing the behavior of providers. And particularly in end-of-life care, the family can demand “full court” care regardless of the odds.