Rachelle KhalafDirector, Public Relations and Communications
Houston (May 1, 2003) - Spencer R. Berthelsen, M.D., Chairman, Board of Directors, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic was recently appointed as Chairman of the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA) Council on Legislation.
“My experiences with TMA have convinced me that all of the time, effort and resources that 38,000 physician members contribute each year to TMA really do make a difference in the quality of our professional lives and the freedom to take care of our patients as we are trained to do,” Berthelsen said. “When I received the invitation to my appointment as chairman, I felt I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to contribute to the shaping of health care in Texas.”
The Council on Legislation is responsible for developing and implementing legislative policies at state and national levels. During the current Texas Legislative Session, the TMA Council on Legislation is working on six key issues: professional liability reform; ensuring that physicians receive timely and accurate reimbursement for their services; preservation and enhancement of the Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) programs; immunizations; board of medical examiners reform and restricting non-physician scope of practice.
“Tremendous efforts have been made to bring these issues to the attention of the public and the legislature,” Berthelsen said. “The TMA Council on Legislation’s goal is to see that these efforts are not in vain. My role as chairman will be to work with the Council and Legislative Affairs staff as we strive to keep the issues a priority on the legislative agenda.”
TMA President Charles W. Bailey, Jr., M.D., a Houston plastic surgeon, recently appointed Dr. Berthelsen Chairman of the Council on Legislation for a two-year term during the Texas Medical Association’s annual conference in San Antonio. The event also marked the organization’s 150th birthday celebration.
“I felt that Dr. Berthelsen would be a perfect chairman of this committee,” said TMA president Dr. Charles Bailey. “He has served on the Council on Legislation for some years and has been very active in working in conjunction with our political action committee—coordinating our legislation in many areas. In doing so, he has demonstrated expertise and knowledge of the legislative process as well as expertise in dealing with legislators and physicians in a very admirable way,” added Bailey.
Berthelsen has been a TMA member for 23 years and a member of the Council on Legislation for the past 3 years. Most recently he served as a subcommittee chairman for the Council on Legislation and has testified before legislative committees on TMA issues several times during previous legislative sessions.
As Chairman of TMA’s Council on Legislation, Dr. Berthelsen will be responsible for organizing the work of the council, presiding at meetings, preparing and presenting required reports and cooperating with the officers to achieve the Association’s purposes and long and short term goals.
In addition to his work with the Texas Medical Association, Dr. Berthelsen is also involved with the Harris County Medical Society (HCMS). He is currently on the HCMS Board of Medical Legislation and in the past has served on the Board on Socioeconomics, including Chairman of the Board on Socioeconomics in 2001.b
Kelsey-Seybold Clinic is Houston's premier multispecialty group practice, founded in 1949 by Dr. Mavis Kelsey in Houston's renowned Texas Medical Center. More than 650 physicians and allied health professionals practice at 36 locations in the Greater Houston area. Kelsey-Seybold offers quality medical care in 65 medical specialties. The organization operates the largest freestanding Ambulatory Surgery Center in the state of Texas and offers state-of-the-art Varian TrueBeam and Varian Edge radiation therapy technology at a nationally accredited Cancer Center. An accredited Sleep Center, comprehensive laboratory services, advanced imaging and diagnostics, 24 onsite Kelsey pharmacies and one specialty pharmacy, and MyKelseyOnline, a secure web portal, are part of its comprehensive offerings. Kelsey-Seybold partners with major insurers to offer value-based commercial health plans. KelseyCare Advantage, a Medicare Advantage plan offered to Houston-area beneficiaries and affiliated with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, has achieved the coveted 5-out-of-5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for seven consecutive years.
Kelsey-Seybold has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the nation’s first accredited Accountable Care Organization and a Patient-Centered Medical Home. Kelsey-Seybold has many physicians in the Greater Houston area certified for excellence in diabetes and heart and stroke care by the NCQA. In addition to these recognitions, Kelsey-Seybold is home to a nationally accredited Breast Diagnostic Center and Endoscopy Center.
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