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Monday, September 15, 2014


The fields of engagement — the Texas Legislature, U.S. Congress, courts, state and federal bureaucracies — are many. The issues are all-encompassing. But TMA’s approach, as outlined in the new second edition of our Healthy Vision 2020 document, is clear. As TMA President Austin King, MD, writes in his welcome message, “Our government must make it easier — not more difficult — for us to care for our patients.” I encourage you to study the document, and share our healthy vision with lawmakers, business leaders, and your colleagues. You can order print copies from the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955. Here’s our Top Ten List:
  1. Reverse recent cuts in physicians’ Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program payments, particularly those that hurt access to care.
  2. Devise and enact a system for providing health care to low-income Texans with realistic payment to physicians, less stifling state bureaucracy, and no fraud-and-abuse witch hunts.
  3. Repeal the broken Sustainable Growth Rate formula. Enact a rational Medicare physician payment system that works and is backed by a fair, stable funding formula.
  4.  Increase funding for graduate medical education.
  5. Protect Texas’ landmark medical liability reforms.
  6. Stop any efforts to expand scope of practice beyond that safely permitted by nonphysician practitioners’ education, training, and skills.
  7. Standardize Medicaid managed care administrative processes.
  8. Ensure criteria used to measure physicians’ performance are evidence-based, fair and accurate, and truly evaluate quality and efficient care, not just cost.
  9. Stop Recovery Audit Program (RAC) bounty hunters. Eliminate adoption of the ICD-10-coding system.

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