Highlights from TAFP’s 2016 Annual Session and Primary Care Summit
Advocating for you and your patients
There was extensive discussion during the meeting about MACRA. The final rules were released in October 2016. The Commission on Health Care Services and others reviewed resources available for members on the AAFP and TAFP websites.
The Commission on Health Care Services heard a presentation on the implementation of the Chronic Care Management codes for Medicare patients from Innovista. They also discussed a proposal that the Board ultimately adopted to host two events with employers in metropolitan areas to spark discussion around innovative ways they can provide health benefits to their employees.
The Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs discussed issues likely to be addressed during the next legislative session including telemedicine, 1115 reauthorization and a potential Medicaid block grant, mandated use of the prescription drug monitoring program, and sunset of the Texas Medical Board. Members are encouraged to participate in the Key Contact Program, contribute to TAFPPAC, and serve as Physician of the Day.
The Commission on Academic Affairs discussed the Texas Family Medicine Preceptorship Program. Funding for the program was restored for 2016 primarily for stipends for students. The number of preceptorships increased and the commission members proposed ideas to improve the program going forward. The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for first- and second-year medical students to experience family medicine outside the academic health center. Practicing physicians are needed to volunteer to serve as preceptors and medical students are encouraged to apply for the program. Stipends are available for students. The commission also discussed ways that local chapters can help encourage medical students to seek out the various funding opportunities and scholarships available through the TAFP Foundation.
The board of directors approved two new projects for the coming year. The first is to develop a video in 2017 to encourage medical students to consider family medicine. The second is to begin developing online curriculum in practice management that can be used by residency programs to satisfy their requirements.
Member services and resources in development
The board approved a proposal that had the support of the Commission on Membership and Member Services and the Commission on Continuing Medical Education to provide one free registration for early career physicians. Active members in their first two years out of residency will be able to take advantage of a complimentary general session registration for one of TAFP’s live CME events beginning in 2017.
The Leadership Development Committee met to review the first year of the Family Medicine Leadership Experience and shape the curriculum for the 2017 class. The new class will have their first session during TAFP’s Interim Session in April.
TAFP Member Communities were launched at Annual Session. Members attending the meeting could meet and engage in discussion. The two communities were for Early Career Physicians and Solo and Small Group Physicians. They were well-received and more opportunities will be made available in the future for members to connect and learn from each other.
TAFP is an ACCME-accredited provider of continuing medical education and has maintained that status since 1996. Staff and volunteers collaborate to plan and produce education for members and ensure compliance with all requirements. At Annual Session, the Commission on Continuing Professional Development and the CME planning committee worked on future educational offerings and discussed the changes to ABFM’s Maintenance of Certification. They also discussed introducing different educational delivery mechanisms like small group discussion into TAFP CME events in the future.
Public health and research
The Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs, and Research had guest speakers on HPV immunization rates in Texas, the Healthy South Texas Initiative, and the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition.
TAFP meetings are an opportunity to gather and participate in discussion on a variety of topics. Section meetings are held at TAFP’s Interim and Annual Sessions on maternity care, rural health, and research and they are intended for any member to show up and participate. The Section on Research was just formed a few years ago and is trying to generate momentum and interest. They reviewed a portion of the TAFP.org site focused on research and made suggestions for improvements.
The Nominating Committee had a discussion that resulted in a recommendation to begin the process of modifying the board structure. The Bylaws Committee will start making the necessary changes to eliminate the vice president position and have two at-large directors elected each year for two-year terms rather than the current structure in which one director is elected each year for a three-year term. The total size of the Board of Directors will remain the same.
The voting representatives on the Member Assembly elected these 2016-17 leaders:
Janet Hurley, MD
Javier “Jake” Margo, Jr., MD
Rebecca Hart, MD
Amer Shakil, MD
Delegate to AAFP:
Douglas Curran, MD
Alternate Delegates to AAFP:
Troy Fiesinger, MD
Ashok Kumar, MD
New Physician Director:
Ike Okwuwa, MD
Emily Briggs, MD
Special Constituencies Director:
Mary Nguyen, MD
Samuel Mathis, MD
Medical Student Director:
At the Annual Business and Awards Luncheon, the membership approved bylaws amendments recommended and published in Texas Family Physician last year. These changes were meant to clarify the voting status of student members, the process for submitting resolutions to the Board of Directors, the nomination process, to consolidate the definition of the composition of the Member Assembly, and redefine the term of office for TAFP’s Delegates and Alternates to the AAFP Congress of Delegates.