TAFP Blog

  • 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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  • TAFP to HHSC: Address insufficient payment for COVID-19 testing

    Tags: COVID-19 testing, HHSC, 87th Texas Legislature

    By Jonathan Nelson

    TAFP joined five other physician associations last week in calling on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to ensure adequate reimbursement for COVID-19 testing. The organizations sent a letter to HHSC Executive Commissioner Cecile Young on Feb. 16, bringing attention to a problem Texas physicians face: payments by some Medicaid managed care organizations for COVID-19 tests often do not even cover the cost of the tests.

    A recent New York Times article quoted a Texas pediatrician who said he offered rapid coronavirus tests that cost $37 each, but the Medicaid MCOs covering his patients paid only $15 to $19. The article stated that because of the low payments, some doctors are deciding to stop testing, which hinders the nation’s effort to control the pandemic.

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

    Tags: pediatric mental health, CPAN, Child Psychiatry Access Network

    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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  • TAFP asserts that physicians should be allowed to administer excess vaccine from opened vials according to their best judgment

    AUSTIN, TX, Feb. 22, 2021 — The Texas Academy of Family Physicians issued a statement asserting that well-intentioned physicians and other health care providers should be allowed to use their professional judgement when administering COVID-19 vaccinations to avoid wasting vaccine in a punctured vial. Physicians should not be charged with a criminal offense for using the vaccine remaining in a partially used vial once all scheduled or available patients meeting the requirements of the current CDC vaccine priority groups have received their dose.

     

     

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  • Reconnecting to your "why"

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

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

    Has your love for your career waned a bit? Are you struggling to connect to your “why”? Indeed, you have been through a lot in the past year. With COVID and the overwhelming demands on you physically, emotionally, and psychologically, it’s not uncommon to lose touch with your purpose and the joy for your career. 

    We want you to know that you are not alone. You are among others who feel the same. Since we began our partnership with TAFP, one of the common reasons family physicians have sought treatment is due to work overload, stress, and a need to reconnect to the joy of their job and family. 

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  • This year, resolve to reach out when you need help

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

    By Anticipate Joy

    There is no doubt you have experienced extreme stressors in 2020, and now is a great time to determine where you want to be in the new year. Discussing New Year’s resolutions can feel somewhat cliche but can absolutely have benefits. 

    It’s a common practice for physicians to “cope alone.” Your schedules are chaotic, your expectations are near unreachable, and looking forward to retirement is sometimes your only effective strategy for coping with the turmoil. 

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  • Texas Immunization Registry webinar series for reporting COVID-19

    Tags: DSHS, ImmTrac, COVID-19 vaccine

    By the Texas Department of State Health Services

    The Texas Immunization Registry will host a series of live webinars to help providers identify data quality issues and how to resolve them using registry resources for accurate reporting. The webinar is for organizations reporting COVID-19 immunizations via data exchange.

    The registry is offering multiple sessions to allow for flexible attendance. Each session will cover the same content. A recording of the webinar will be made available at a future date on the DSHS Registry webpage under “User Training.” Each webinar session has a maximum capacity of 900 attendees, and you should register for only one session. If all sessions are full, we recommend referring to the DSHS Registry web page later for the posted recording.

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  • TAFP calls for all physicians, residents, and medical students be prioritized to receive COVID-19 vaccine

    Tags: COVID-19, vaccination, priority

    The Texas Academy of Family Physicians echoes the Texas Medical Association and Texas Hospital Association’s call for all physicians, medical students, and residents to be included in the priority group for COVID-19 vaccines.

    Our independent, community-based family medicine physicians constitute the foundation of our health care system. These physicians put themselves at risk every day and we depend on them to serve on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 — screening, testing, and managing the vast majority of patients outside of the hospital. These independent practices and their staff cannot afford to contract COVID-19 and close up shop. People will continue to get sick. Patients with chronic disease still need ongoing care, and many more will seek mental health counseling than ever before as a result of isolation, job loss, and financial insecurities. We cannot afford to lose our primary care workforce.

    As more COVID-19 vaccines become available, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that all physicians — including those physicians who are not employed by or affiliated with a hospital or health system — are prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination.

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  • President's Letter

    Tags: president's letter; amer shakil, december 2020, TAFP president, covid-19, new governance structure, UT southwestern

    Blessings, hopes, and new beginnings in difficult times
    Inaugural address of the newly installed TAFP President

    By Amer Shakil, MD
    TAFP President

    I feel incredibly blessed and honored to be elected as president of Texas Academy of Family Physicians. I recall my first TAFP meeting in the winter of 1998 after I had moved to Dallas and joined the St. Paul Residency Faculty. The following year, I joined the Commission on Academic Affairs and since then, I have hardly missed any TAFP meetings. A year later I also joined the Dallas Chapter of TAFP, where I still serve on the board.

    The reason I have been so regular in my attendance to these meetings is none other than the welcoming, supporting, and nurturing environment of TAFP, exemplified by its visionary leadership and staff year after year and meeting after meeting. I was lucky to find great mentors like Linda Siy and Doug Curran, colleagues like Jake Margo and Ashok Kumar, and of course all of our TAFP staff members.

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  • TAFP 2.0 — Introducing a new organizational structure to enhance member engagement

    Tags: new governance structure, get involved, member engagement

    By Jonathan Nelson and Kathy McCarthy

    For many years, a core group of dedicated family physicians have congregated twice each year at TAFP’s annual and interim meetings to sit on committees and conduct the business of the Academy. A frequent topic of discussion has always been how to attract more members to volunteer to serve in this capacity.

    As it turns out, there are a finite number of family doctors you can fit around a table in a hotel conference room for a three-hour committee meeting. And there are only so many physicians who can make a three-year commitment to break away from their practices for a few days two times a year to attend those meetings.

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