Archives / 2021 / April
  • CMS decision to rescind Texas’ Medicaid waiver extension rekindles bipartisan effort for coverage expansion

    Tags: Texas Legislature, 1115 waiver, Medicaid expansion, Medicaid

    By Jonathan Nelson

    After the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would pull out of an agreement to extend the Texas Medicaid 1115 Transformation Waiver for 10 years, a bipartisan group of Texas House members joined health care organizations including TAFP, employers, and advocacy groups to push for a plan that would increase coverage for Texans.

    The 1115 waiver allows hospitals to draw down federal funds to cover uncompensated care costs incurred when uninsured patients can’t pay for their care. While CMS subsidizes those costs for hospitals, community physicians are not covered by the waiver. The state’s current waiver remains in effect until Sept. 30, 2022, but this recent decision by CMS throws into question the stability of Texas’ health care safety net programs after that date.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.