Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Texas Physicians Standing Up for Border Patients

Physicians representing the Border Health Caucus met with members of Congress in Washington, D.C., to discuss obstacles that interfere with health care delivery.

Dr. Acosta, left, and TMA Board of Trustee member Dr. Cardenas,
 right, meet with Rep. Henry Cuellar of Laredo, center
Texas’ border region tops the nation’s charts for its high rates of people living in poverty or who are uninsured, obese, or diabetic. The demand for health care is great. Yet the region has one of the lowest rates of physicians per capita available to care for its poor and sick and to promote healthy behaviors and disease prevention.

For the past seven years, Texas physicians have traveled annually to the nation's capital to discuss how Congress' decisions or lack of decisions affects doctors' ability to care for their patients. Top of mind is the flawed payment formula Medicare uses to pay physicians. If Congress doesn’t act soon, physicians face a pay cut of almost 30 percent Jan. 1, 2013, which will further jeopardize border Texans' access to a doctor. They also discussed with the Texas Congressional delegation the good elements of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, what’s missing in the law and what’s broken.

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