Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Me&My Doc’s Top 10 Posts of 2014

From the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance marketplace and the veteran health care debacle to the Central American immigrant crisis and Ebola and pertussis outbreaks, 2014 was a year for health stories. Here are Me&My Doctor’s top 10 posts of 2014:

  1. The Truth About Ebola. Myths and fear dominated the social media conversation when a Liberian man died from Ebola at a Dallas hospital. After two nurses who cared for him became infected, all eyes were on the Texas medical community. TMA stepped up, and Ed Dominguez, MD, addressed the public’s concerns with a fact-based article on the science behind the disease.

  2. Speak Your Mind Texas to Help Youth Suffering From Mental Illness. The Texas Department of State Health Services is starting up a conversation about mental health with “Speak Your Mind Texas.” The campaign focuses on teens and young adults who may be struggling with mental illness or substance abuse, and teaches them and their loved ones how to notice the signs and where to seek help.

  3. Immunization Registries Protect Texans. TMA physician Donald Murphey, MD, testified in support of a more complete immunization registry for children and adults so physicians and public health officials can use the information to support vaccination outreach and manage infectious disease outbreaks proactively in Texas communities.

  4. Video: Medicare Can’t Work Without Doctors. Another year, another Medicare payment cut loomed for physicians who care for seniors. TMA’s animated video illustrates how this yearly uncertainty causes many doctors to retire, close their practice, or stop taking new Medicare patients, making it harder for seniors to find a doctor.

  5. A Calling to Help. For medical student Jason Wu, becoming a doctor is about more than caring for patients in a clinical setting. Mr. Wu learned firsthand that his “calling to help” included stepping up in emergency situations to use his knowledge and expertise after fellow travelers fell ill.

  6. What the Medicare Numbers Reveal ― and What They Don’t. In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released information detailing how the $77 billion Medicare spent to pay physicians was distributed among the country’s 880,000 providers. This caused a small uproar in the media about how much certain physicians were paid in that year. However, it quickly became clear there were a lot of misconceptions about what the numbers really mean.

  7. Texas Baby Dies of Pertussis. The first Texas victim of pertussis in 2014 was a 27-day old baby too young to be vaccinated against the deadly disease. TMA physicians urge everyone who is in contact with infants to prevent another tragedy like this one and get a pertussis vaccine.

  8. ACA Now Covers Breast Cancer Prevention. To help the fight against cancer, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services clarified that under the ACA, most health insurance companies and employer plans must cover certain cancer-preventing medicines without copays or other out-of-pocket expenses for women at increased risk for breast cancer.

  9. You’ve Got ACA Marketplace Questions ― “Hey, Doc” Has Answers. If you’ve signed up for the ACA’s marketplace, it’s likely you may have questions about your shiny new health insurance. TMA’s “Hey, Doc” education campaign answers these questions and more in a weekly segment.

  10. Dying Peace. TMA’s Johnson Wu, DO, writes about the difficult decisions patients face when diagnosed with a terminal cancer: “My hope is to see every person treated with respect, dignity, and without suffering at the end of life. We can do this only if we as a society are open and willing to accept comfort care and quality of life over aggressive treatment. Death is inevitable, but patients should be able to die in peace.”

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