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Texas doc associations unite to share 'survival tools'


By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: May 23, 2013 - 1:45 pm ET
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Promising to “bolster physicians' clinical and financial autonomy,” three Texas physician associations have teamed up to form the Physician Services Organization for Patient Care, which will work with physician groups, health plans and vendors to test and develop new care models and “deliver doctors the survival tools” they need to remain unaffiliated while moving toward value-based business practices.

The effort is being launched by the Texas Medical Association, which has 47,000 members and is the nation's largest state medical society; the Harris County Medical Society, which has 11,000 members and is reported to be the largest county medical society in the U.S.; and the Dallas County Medical Society, which has 6,400 members. Members for all three groups include physicians and medical students.

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The formation of the organization was approved by the TMA board of trustees.

“We need to shift the balance of power away from the government and the large hospital systems, and back to the patients and their physicians,” Dr. Stephen Brotherton, TMA president, said in a news release. Brotherton added that he was confident this effort “will save local practices.”

TMA Trustee Dr. Dan McCoy said in an interview that the organization will help with general office functions such as billing, electronic health-record selection and efficiency improvement. It will also help with “clinical change management” aimed at allowing doctors “to deliver value-based care in an unaffiliated physician environment.”

“As these models evolve, the TMA is positioning itself to be a medical service organization,” said McCoy, a Dallas-based dermatologist. “The TMA plans on developing comprehensive services to help with everything from core business needs—such as billing—all the way up to and including technology and the integration of unaffiliated practices to allow them to aggregate themselves in a community ACO environment.”

Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks


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