TAFP Blog

  • Your Academy in 2019 and beyond

    Tags: tafp, strategic plan, 2019 and beyond, tafp mission, tafp vision

    By Jonathan Nelson

    TAFP’s new strategic plan focuses on helping members care for patients

    Last fall, the TAFP Board of Directors approved a new strategic plan for the Academy designed to strengthen the organization and ensure it works to help members do what they do best: take care of their patients and their communities. The plan is the culmination of a yearlong process led by TAFP’s elected leaders and a select group of other leaders. It will help guide Academy actions and endeavors for the next three to five years.

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  • The aging physician model

    By Larry Kravitz, MD

    I had a retirement role model once. A secret role model, who didn’t retire. In the moment, I never told him of my admiration. I was just passing through his clinic, 40 years ago, and never knew how long his impact would remain within me.

    As a fourth-year medical student at George Washington University, I had signed up for a tropical medicine elective at the Gorgas Institute in Panama, one of the top infectious disease research institutes in the Western Hemisphere. Gorgas was created in 1921, named for Dr. William Crawford Gorgas, who eradicated yellow fever in Panama, thus facilitating the construction of the Panama Canal. Interspersed with the daily lectures, we rounded in the hospitals and saw florid cases of tetanus, measles, and typhoid. We went on field trips including visiting a leper colony, a living museum of medical history.

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  • President's Letter

    Tags: rebecca hart, presidents letter, strong medicine

    Strong family physicians, strong medicine, strong patients
    An excerpt from the inaugural speech of the new TAFP President

    By Rebecca Hart, MD
    TAFP President

    I am so humbled, joyful and happy to begin work as your new president. Thank you for electing me and giving me this opportunity to serve you. I hope you join me this year in working harder than ever to keep our profession strong, our physicians inspired, and our workforce increasing.

    When I began my career as a resident in Family Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine Residency Program in 1988, I was naïve. I knew nothing of the big issues that would face me in my future as a family physician. I knew nothing of CMS, preauthorization, payment reform, physician shortages, mid-levels, MACRA, EHRs, quality incentive programs, or Medicare Advantage plans. Heck, most of these things didn’t even exist back then! I knew only that I loved every rotation back in medical school, so family medicine was right for me. I wanted to be a full-scope family doctor, deliver babies, and work in a small town in Texas to make a difference in people’s lives.

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  • FPs testify before appropriations committees

    Tags: Physician Education Loan Repayment Program, Elliott, Curran, 86 legislature, appropriations

    By Jonathan Nelson

    In yet another week of important committee meetings at the State Capitol, two family physicians provided testimony on some of TAFP’s top legislative priorities for the 86th Texas Legislature. On Monday, February 11, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II convened to hear testimony from agencies and the public. Article II of the state budget contains funding for all agencies and programs that fall under Texas Health and Human Services, including Medicaid, CHIP, Healthy Texas Women, the Family Planning Program, services for the aging and those with disabilities, and much more.

    TMA President and former TAFP President Doug Curran, MD, of Athens, told the committee that while Texas is indeed booming with a strong economy and lots of opportunity, many of the state’s health care statistics rank well below the national average.

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  • Family doctors tell Senate Committee to expand access to women's health services, raise Medicaid payment rates

    Tags: Emily Briggs, Medicaid, Medicare, Antonio Falcon, Thomas Mueller, CHIP, Healthy Texas Women, the Family Planning Program

    By Jonathan Nelson

    The Texas Legislature approached full stride this week as some of its most powerful committees began hearing testimony from state agencies and the public. The Senate Finance Committee took up Article II of the state budget, which contains funding for all agencies and programs that fall under Texas Health and Human Services. That includes Medicaid, CHIP, Healthy Texas Women, the Family Planning Program, services for the aging and those with disabilities, and much more. At roughly $80 billion for the biennium, Article II accounts for more than a third of total state expenditures.

    Antonio Falcon, MD, of Rio Grande City, was the first TAFP member to address the committee on Wednesday morning, February 6, advocating for one of organized medicine’s top legislative priorities, the allocation of funding to ensure competitive and appropriate Medicaid payments. Those payment rates have not been increased in a meaningful or enduring manner in nearly two decades. Yet physician practice costs have increased by about 3 percent each year.

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  • Restoring funding to family medicine residency programs a top priority for TAFP in the 86th Lege

    Tags: 86 lege, family practice residency program, Kelsey-Seybold Family Medicine Residency Program, TAFP, Jonathan Nelson

    By Jonathan Nelson

    We’re well into the third week of the Texas Legislature and now that the opening ceremonies are out of the way, lawmakers are beginning to get down to business. Both the House and the Senate have released their proposed budgets for the coming biennium, and both have announced committee assignments. Now the real work begins.

    This session TAFP aims to fight for the restoration of funding for our family medicine residency programs to help address the increasing shortage of primary care physicians practicing in the state.

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  • Support the AAFP Foundation with the dues check-off campaign

    Tags: dues check-off, foundation, pay your dues, aafp dues, tafp dues, donation, Foundation Dues Check-Off campaign

    When you renew your annual AAFP/TAFP membership this fall, consider supporting the AAFP Foundation by making a $50 check-off donation on your dues form. Your contribution will ensure that the important work of the Foundation continues at the state and national levels.
    Go to the AAFP website to pay your dues.

    Your dollars will fund grants for chapter-level programs through the Family Medicine Philanthropic Consortium as well as AAFP Foundation humanitarian, educational, and research initiatives. All programs are designed to advance the values of family medicine and improve the health of all people.

    The dues check-off is the easiest and fastest way to support your state and national Foundation. Your $50 gift:

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  • Funded delegate spots and scholarships available for NCCL and ACLF

    Tags: aclf, nccl, funded delegate spots, scholarships, special constituencies

    Each year, AAFP holds the National Conference of Constituency Leaders and Annual Chapter Leader Forum together in Kansas City, Missouri. NCCL representatives and ACLF attendees from across the nation gather to discuss various issues, suggest policies and programs to AAFP, and receive leadership training. In 2019, the conferences will be held April 25-27 and TAFP is looking for members to serve on the delegation or apply for scholarships to attend.

    TAFP opportunities for NCCL
    Spots are available for 10 TAFP members to represent each of the five constituencies: new physicians (physicians who have been out of residency for seven years or fewer), women, minorities, international medical graduates, and LGBT. TAFP reimburses up to $1,200 for expenses for each of the five delegatee and five alternate delegates. In addition, TAFP offers two other opportunities to attend NCCL with funding. These scholarships will be awarded to one third-year resident and one minority physician.

    If you are interested in being considered for one of the delegate or alternate positions, please send a current curriculum vitae and a statement of intent to Jonathan Nelson at jnelson@tafp.org by Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Be sure to let him know which constituency or constituencies you would like to represent.

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  • Add AAFP Virtual Care to your family medicine practice

    Tags: AAFP Virtual Care, Robert Patterson, telemedicine, Zipnosis

    Boost access, increase revenue with telemedicine

    By Sheri Porter

    The AAFP has launched a new telemedicine software platform designed specifically for family physicians working in small and medium-sized practices with fewer than 20 physicians. Called AAFP Virtual Care, the platform is powered by the virtual care technology company Zipnosis and aims to provide physicians and their patients with an easy way to connect.

    This new member resource comes at a most opportune time, according to Steven Waldren, MD, director of AAFP’s Alliance for eHealth Innovation.

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