The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) are launching TMA PracticeEdge to help empower a strong base of independent physicians to provide quality, cost-effective care to their patients. This first-of-its kind joint effort leverages the strengths of TMA’s statewide physician membership and BCBSTX’s resources to benefit the entire Texas health care community, including patients, hospitals, payers, and other physicians.
TMA’s membership includes more than 48,000 Texas physicians and medical students. BCBSTX serves more than 5 million members in all 254 Texas counties.
TMA PracticeEdge, LLC, will offer physicians access to enhanced patient care tools and resources so they can better provide cost-effective, patient care. Physicians working with TMA PracticeEdge will be able to take advantage of the opportunities available in the rapidly changing health care marketplace.
TMA and BCBSTX share the goals of increased quality and cost-effective care found in existing physician-led accountable care organizations (ACOs). TMA PracticeEdge similarly will provide tools to reduce physicians’ growing data-entry burden to allow them to focus on taking care of their patients. The goal is to establish a system that pays physicians and providers based on the quality of patient outcomes and patient care.
While most ACOs are constrained by a specific hospital system, TMA PracticeEdge will help connect physicians centered on the needs of their specific patients. TMA PracticeEdge will offer participating physicians the means to provide coordinated collaborative care, including prevention and management of chronic disease.
According to the 2014 TMA Survey of Texas Physicians, approximately two-thirds of Texas physicians work for themselves or in practices that are wholly owned and controlled by other physicians. Most of these independent physicians traditionally have not had access to the tools and resources needed to participate in an ACO.
“BCBSTX will work with TMA to give physicians alternatives to today’s fee-for-service system,” said TMA President Austin I. King, MD. “With today’s announcement, BCBSTX becomes the first health insurer to stand by independent Texas physicians in support of 21st century patient care.”
“This represents a significant investment in our relationship with the TMA and Texas physicians, and will benefit our members, who value their relationships with their independent physicians,” said Bert Marshall, President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.
TMA PracticeEdge will help physicians lead health care innovation in today’s evolving marketplace. PracticeEdge will offer participating physicians several services, including:
• Consultations to help reduce administrative burdens so they can spend more time focusing on patient care.
• Help for practices wishing to create care management teams to better serve patients with complex or chronic health problems.
Physicians and office managers who are interested in learning more about TMA PracticeEdge should contact TMAPracticeEdge@texmed.org by email.
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