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Monday, February 1, 2010

PERRY RAILS AGAINST WASHINGTON INTERFERENCE IN HEALTH CARE

Speaking to a packed house at TMA’s 2010 Winter Conference, Gov. Rick Perry denounced congressional health system reform efforts. “Has there ever been a time in your 150-year history that you all have faced a greater threat than you face today?” the governor said. “If they would take the time to talk to Texas doctors about how to reform the system our country would be better off. … I hope they will listen to the membership of the Texas Medical Association. You understand what it’s like to have the life of a patient in your hands.” Watch a video of the governor’s speech.

In other highlights from the Winter Conference general session:
  • American Medical Association President Jim Rohack, MD, and National Medical Association President Willarda Edwards, MD, engaged the audience in a lively discussion of health care disparities. They presented strong evidence of how minorities in the U.S. receive poorer quality of care regardless of whether they’re insured. Watch a video of their presentations.
  • Stanford University Professor Chip Heath, PhD, coauthor of the about-to-be released book Switch, offered some practical and humorous advice on how physicians can respond to – and direct – change. If you want to know what it means for the Rider to trick the Elephant into following the right Path, look for our upcoming announcement on how you can buy Switch at a discount and receive continuing medical education credits for reading it.
  • Governor Perry invited all Texas physicians who are interested in volunteering to provide care to Haiti’s earthquake victims to e-mail him at haiti@governor.state.tx.us.The American Medical Association and AARP, meanwhile, launched a television ad campaign urging Congress to rewrite Medicare’s broken Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula before 21-percent cuts in physicians’ Medicare payments begin on March 1. “The Congressional Record is replete with statements by Senators from both sides of the aisle calling for permanent Medicare physician payment reform,” AMA and AARP wrote to House and Senate leaders. “What is missing, however, is action. As the nation’s largest organizations representing physicians and older Americans, we urge you to support passage of legislation to permanently repeal the SGR.” Physicians have until March 17 to make their Medicare participation decisions for 2010. To help you decide, TMA has developed a new Webinar that outlines your choices — and their consequences — and an interactive tool to help you estimate the financial impact of Medicare’s payment changes on your practice.

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