Texas Medical Foundation Solicits Applications for Award for Best Coloring Book by Michael Gorback MD


Although there is at least as much need for evidence-based legislation as there is for evidence-based medicine, American Medicine continues to be subjected to any damn fool idea that some lamebrain politician or bureaucrat can cook up. While a doctor can’t administer sulfuric acid enemas just because it sounds good bureaucrats, in their never-ending quest to justify their job positions and expand their budgets, they can do the same thing to hundreds of thousands of doctors with a swipe of a pen.

“Don’t be silly”, you are thinking to yourself, “You must be kidding. There is a process whereby victims stakeholders can have input to these decisions.” Absolutely right: There must be a comment period in which proposals written in dense bureaucratese is responded to with equally dense objections, resulting in an impenetrable discussion after which the bureaucrats, having carefully considered the fact that none of the parties have any idea what it all means, do exactly as they please. After all, it’s not like you can vote them out of office. Indeed, a careful and pain-staking search to find the perpetrators will find that the trail ends in a thick inter- and intra-departmental fog.

While U.S. physicians struggle to deal with the ever-growing financial and clinical costs presented by questionable mandates such as EHR, PQRS, MOC, and all the other programs that proliferate at a rate that makes rabbits envious, the Texas Medical Foundation is busily searching for those doctors who have been the most successful at coloring inside the lines. They are soliciting applications from Texas medical practices that can document their mastery of the “bend over and spread ’em” approach to over-reaching government.

Without further ado, please consider the TMF’s “2013 – 2014 Dubious Achievement Texas Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award”.

Applicants for the award are judged in four general categories. Here are the categories in the TMF’s own words:

• Exemplary performance on nationally recognized clinical outcome measures

• Regular use of population care management methods

• Participation in a data reporting quality initiative

• Implementation of tools and processes to promote patient engagement and improve the patient’s experience”

The full list of criteria can be found at http://award.tmf.org/Portals/0/Documents/PhysicianAward/2013-2014_TexasPhysicianQIAwardCriteria.pdf


Briefly, the criteria are the usual alphabet soup of busy work that has come to replace thinking the U.S. medical system: PQRS, NQF, MU CQM, CG-CAHPS, CAP, CDSS, NCQA and so on, as well as the questionably-named programs like Choosing Wisely and Bridges to Excellence.

In other words, how well did you jump through all the hoops of bureaucratic check-box medicine?

The winners of this award are too busy working on their coloring books to be practicing medicine.