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• Asked Congress to “develop a fiscally responsible alternative” to automatic budget sequestration cuts to gradu- ate medical education, public health, food and drug safety, and military health care programs;


• Voted to oppose cuts, diversions, or other uses of money PPACA stipulat- ed should go to the Prevention and Public Health Fund;


• Called on AMA to oppose recovery audit contractor audits of physicians’ use of evaluation and management codes for Medicare patients;


• Shot down a recommendation that AMA support allowing physician as- sistants or nurse practitioners to order care for Medicare patients in long- term care facilities;


• Strengthened AMA policy to ensure U.S. medical school students have first priority for clinical clerkship slots;


• Voted to support free, mandatory flu shots every year for long-term health care workers who have direct patient contact;


• Asked AMA to lobby CMS and other payers to pay physicians who use bill- ing code 99080 for filling out forms at a patient’s request;


• Opposed the use of legacy status in medical school applications — but not in the rest of the admissions pro- cess;


• Demanded that CMS require all states to develop the necessary forms and processes for Medicare-Medicaid du- al-eligible patients to opt out of man- aged care plans; and


• Adopted guidelines on the structure and function of physician-led inter- professional health care teams.


Distinguished indeed! AMA honors Dr. Kubala


Former TMA President Mark Kubala, MD, received the American Medical Associa- tion’s 2012 Distinguished Service Award for Meritorious Service in the Art and Science of Medicine. “His passion for neurosurgery and the care of his patients is boundless,” AMA


Former TMA President Mark Kubala, MD, received the 2012 American Medical Association Distinguished Service Award at the AMA meeting in November. AMA honored the Beaumont neurosurgeon for his efforts on behalf of his patients and colleagues.


President Jeremy Lazarus, MD, said when presenting the award to Dr. Kubala at the AMA House of Delegates meeting in Honolulu. “His generosity of spirit is demonstrated by the many hours he spends volunteering his time and en- ergy to his professional and community endeavors. His efforts on behalf of his patients and his colleagues have taken him to the highest levels of organized medicine.” The Beaumont neurosurgeon has


been active in the family of medicine since his days as a Texas medical stu- dent in 1968. He has served in the AMA house since 1994. “I’ve long felt that what we accom-


plish here is not only the fruits of our labor but also the work of people who have gone before us,” Dr. Kubala told the delegates. “We inherited this house of medicine. As such, we’re renters, tem- porary occupiers of this house, and it’s our duty to be good stewards of it, to maintain it, to improve it, and pass it on to the generations to come.” True to his selfless nature and long-


standing support of the TMA Foundation, Dr. Kubala urged his colleagues to give back to their communities.


“Polls show that doctors individually


are well-liked, but as a group we some- times don’t have that same image,” he said. “When we do public initiatives, our image and public beneficence come through. So I encourage you to continue that spirit of foundation, particularly supporting our AMA Foundation and our state foundations.” TMA and the American Association of


Neurological Surgeons celebrated the oc- casion with a Texas-style luau.


Physicians Foundation report maps health care highway


Today’s U.S. health care system is a windy and bumpy road. Its surface is marred by ancient potholes. Patients, physicians, insurers, and policymakers encounter traffic snarled by apparently random construction zones whose num- bers have swelled since passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Travelers are lost; maps are woefully out-of-date. The Physicians Foundation’s The U.S.


January 2013 TEXAS MEDICINE 13


TED GRUDZINSKI


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