Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TMA Stands Up for Seniors

Peggy Russell, DO, an Austin geriatric specialist, testified for the Texas Medical Association at the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging. Dr. Russell explained how Texas needs to improve access to care for seniors, especially those who depend on Medicare and Medicaid coverage.

“Seniors must have the ability to receive timely care when they need care,” said Dr. Russell. “When cuts are made to [Medicare and Medicaid], or when new regulations divert us from patient care and add to the cost of running our practices, it jeopardizes our ability to care for elderly patients.”

Dr. Russell pointed out the need for graduate medical education and geriatric fellowships, noting that many young doctors don’t go into geriatric care because of low Medicaid and Medicare payments.

“It’s hard for physicians to pay off their school debt because of the gross disparities in payment for this population,” said Dr. Russell.

She told committee members that one of TMA’s top priorities is to reverse the payment cut for care physicians provide to Texas’ many elderly and vulnerable citizens.

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