Highlights from TAFP’s 2017 Annual Session

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Highlights from TAFP’s 2017 Annual Session

Advocating for you and your patients
The Commission on Health Care Services and Managed Care discussed the issue of measuring quality and made a recommendation that TAFP work within AAFP to encourage de-emphasizing linear models and move toward measurements that better reflect the complexity of family medicine. Richard Young, MD, demonstrated a new payment system he has designed called Sentire. An executive from Cigna discussed the company’s recent collaborative efforts to support primary care in value-based contracts.

The Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs discussed several legislative and policy topics including scope of practice, the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, the opioid crisis, telemedicine, free-standing emergency rooms, Medicaid physician payment rates, the 1115 Medicaid waiver and the likelihood of expanding Medicaid. They also discussed the current economic and political environment in Texas and what that means for the kinds of policies TAFP should pursue leading up to the 2019 Texas Legislature. TAFP will survey members on various legislative issues including acceptable trade-offs for Medicaid reforms.

TAFP’s Political Action Committee was very active during Annual Session to raise money before the 2018 election cycle. TAFPPAC is a non-partisan political action committee that supports candidates who demonstrate concern for issues important to family physicians and their patients. Board members made personal appeals to colleagues during the meeting and they secured 28 new donors — a record for TAFPPAC!

Workforce development
The Board of Directors and the Commission on Academic Affairs watched a demonstration of a new practice management e-learning curriculum the Academy is developing. The online modules will be available for Texas residency programs to use to fulfill part of their ACGME practice management requirements. TAFP plans to launch the final version of the first three modules in April during Interim Session.

The Commission on Academic Affairs discussed the Texas Family Medicine Preceptorship Program. State funding for the program was restored in 2016 for administration of the program and stipends for students. The number of preceptorships increased in the last two years 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. Generous stipends are available for students.

More than 40 students and 30 residents participated in the Resident and Student Track held on Saturday, November 11 to learn about medical malpractice, physician wellness, and caring for the underserved. Students participated in resident-lead procedure stations. TAFP also held a point-of-care ultrasound course just for residents on Friday, November 10.

Member services and resources in development
The Section on Maternity Care and Rural Physicians discussed implementation of their new scholarship program. Scholarship applications will be accepted from medical students, residents and practicing physicians interested in attending AAFP’s Family-Centered Maternity Care Live Course. There is an opportunity for one recipient in each of the three categories to receive a $2,000 scholarship to cover registration, travel and lodging for the event. Contact Jean Klewitz at jklewitz@tafp.org for more information.

The Leadership Development Committee met to review the Family Medicine Leadership Experience and shape the curriculum for the 2018 class. They also discussed ways to keep the alumni from the first two classes involved in TAFP. The new class will have their first session during TAFP’s Interim Session in April.

TAFP Member Communities launched at the 2016 Annual Session and continued to grow in 2017. Five different groups met throughout the conference and all have enough interest to continue live gatherings in 2018. The five communities were Early Career Physicians, Direct Primary Care Physicians, Hospitalist and ER Physicians, IMG Physicians, and Solo and Small Group Physicians. Look for them at the next Interim or Annual Session you attend. They provide an opportunity 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 ABFM’s Maintenance of Certification.

Public health and research
The Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs, and Research saw presentations from James Mobley, MD, on Chagas disease and Neelima Kale, MD, on teen pregnancy rates. The commission also reviewed a request to join the advisory board for STOP HCC-HCV. Rita Schindeler-Trachta, MD, spoke to the group about intimate partner violence and asked the commission to recommend that TAFP declare IPV a problem of epidemic proportion.

TAFP meetings are an opportunity to gather and participate in discussion on a variety of topics. Section meetings on maternity care, rural health and research are held during TAFP’s Interim and Annual Sessions. Section meetings are intended for any interested member to participate.

The Section on Maternity Care and Rural Physicians discussed the new AAFP Family-Centered Maternity Care Live course scholarships, the loss of fellowships, and explored ways to get more students interested in obstetrics and rural practice.

The Section on Research discussed creating a statewide primary care research network. They will continue exploring the feasibility of the project during future conference calls and section meetings. Since 2017, the section has held monthly conference calls to provide regular dialogue for research-interested physicians. 

Organizational issues
The voting representatives on the Member Assembly elected these 2017-18 leaders:

President-elect: Rebecca Hart, MD

Vice President: Amer Shakil, MD

Treasurer: Javier D. “Jake” Margo, Jr., MD

Parliamentarian: Mary S. Nguyen, MD

Delegate to AAFP: Linda Siy, MD

Alternate Delegate to AAFP: Ashok Kumar, MD

New Physician Director: Lawrence Gibbs, MD, MEd

At-large Director: Terrance Hines, MD

Special Constituencies Director: Lesca Hadley, MD

Resident Director: Samuel Mathis, MD

Medical Student Director: Jason Johnston

At the Annual Business and Awards Lunch, the membership approved bylaws amendments recommended and published in Texas Family Physician last year. These changes will alter the leadership structure of TAFP. The position of Vice President is being eliminated and the number and length of term for the At-Large Director positions will go from one elected each year for a three-year term to two elected each year for two-year terms. These changes will go into effect during the 2018 Annual Session and Primary Care Summit.

Member highlights
Several members completed terms as committee or commission chair and they were thanked for their years of service:

Lesca Hadley, MD — Commission on Membership and Member Services

Sam Wang, MD — Commission on Health Care Services and Managed Care

Katharina Hathaway, MD — Section on Research