Healthy Vision Summit Approves 9 Recommendations on the Uninsured

In the morning session of Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision 2010 Health Care Summit II, participants addressed possible solutions to the problems posed by the fact that one-quarter of Texas’ population lacks health insurance. In a city the size of Houston, for example, that amounts to more than 1 million uninsured people.

Summiteers worked up 14 recommendations in answer to this question: “What can the State of Texas do to facilitate public-private partnerships to help small employers provide health coverage for their workers?” Based on the Summit groundrules, only those recommendations that received support of 60 percent or more of the participants will go on for further consideration at Summit III.

These nine recommendations exceded the 60-percent threshold: (more…)

Published in: on September 1, 2006 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Summit II Slide Decks Available for Download

At the request of many Summit participants, the presenters at TMA’s Healthy Vision 2010 Health Care Summit II are making their PowerPoint slide decks available.

Right-click on the presentation title below to download:

Published in: on September 1, 2006 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Healthy Vision Summit II a Big Success

Fifty-six leaders in Texas medicine, business, health care, and government gathered in Austin on Aug. 30 to advance the health care issues that grew out of Texas Medical Association’s first Healthy Vision 2010 Health Care Summit. The “summiteers” adopted 24 recommendations that will be further refined and honed at Summit III, currently scheduled for Oct. 11.

Here is the list of Summit II participants.

Look for the list of adopted recommendations and the slide presentations from the panel discussions to be posted in this space very shortly. In the meantime, here are some links to resource materials from TMA and other organizations:

Published in: on August 31, 2006 at 5:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

SanFran Thinks 80,000 Uninsured is a Lot

The city of San Francisco’s leaders have started work on a plan to offer comprehensive health care services to the city’s uninsured residents. The city by the bay enacted its “San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance” because of the pressure that 80,000 uninsured people were putting on the health care system, the economy, and their own health.

A column in today’s San Francisco Chronicle calls the ordinance sound public policy that will eventually create a model for the rest of the country.

What would San Francisco do if, like Houston, more than 1 million of its residents lacked health insurance? Better yet, what are Houston and the rest of Texas — the uninsured capital of the U.S. — doing about it? Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision 2010 recommends rapid action on a variety of fronts. And that’s one of the big topics that TMA’s Healthy Vision Health Care Summit II will tackle next month.

(more…)

Published in: on July 13, 2006 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Physician Income Drops 7% in Eight Years

U.S. physicians' net income dropped by 7 percent from 1995 through 2003 when adjusted for inflation, according to a new report from the Center for Studying Health System Change. Primary care physicians (-10.2 percent) fared the worst, although surgeons (-8.2 percent) and medical specialists (-2.1 percent) also lost real income.

The doctors' decline stands in stark contrast to the real income for other professional, specialty and technical workers, who saw a net 7-percent increase over the same period.

Even more disturbing from a public policy perspective, the center reported, "The downward trend in real incomes since the mid-1990s likely is an important reason for growing physician unwillingness to undertake pro bono work, including charity care and volunteering to serve on hospital committees."

Read the full Center for Studying Health Systems Change report.

Read the New York Times article on the report.

Published in: on June 22, 2006 at 2:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Texas Still No. 1 … in Uninsured Adults

The latest report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found Texas once again topping the list of large states with nearly 25 percent of our adult population uninsured in 2005. The national average is 16 percent.

The bright spot: Texas dropped to No. 2, behind Florida, for uninsured children with 18 percent. The national average is 10 percent. The authors attribute a national drop in uninsured children to the success of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) across the country. We note, however, that Texas' crawl from the basement doesn't take into account the huge drop in the state's CHIP enrollment at the beginning of 2006.

Read the full report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

Read the Dallas Morning News article on the report.

Published in: on June 22, 2006 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment