Table of Contents — March 2005

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Vol. 101 No. 3  


The New Texas
The face of Texas is changing, and if current trends continue, those of us still around 35 years from now likely will see a state far different than it is now. State demographer Steve Murdock, PhD, projects a state whose population is older, sicker, and more ethnically diverse by the time 2040 rolls around. The changes will have a dramatic impact on health care in Texas.

By Erin Prather


The Killer Flu
Twenty million people, 675,000 of them in the United States alone, died in 1918 when an outbreak of flu that apparently started in a Kansas Army camp swept across the globe. Now, a new book, The Great Influenza , by John Barry, provides a gripping account of the outbreak and its effects.

By Hugh Lamensdorf, MD


Where's the Guarantee?
Many Texas physicians are not using the payment verification provision of the state's prompt payment law. There appear to be several reasons, including confusion and a lack of awareness. And insurance companies, with the exception of one, aren't making it easy for doctors to take advantage of the process.

By Ken Ortolon


Controlling Medicaid Dollars
The state wants to scrap the PCCM model for its Medicaid managed care program, but TMA is not giving up without a fight because it believes PCCMs deliver the highest quality care. The association is prepared to take its case to the Texas Legislature.

By Ken Ortolon


Foreign Exchange Medicine
It almost was abolished, but the J-1 visa program has been successful in providing physicians for underserved areas in Texas and other states. The problem in Texas, though, is that the demand is greater than the supply.

By Ken Ortolon


Are You Being Robbed?
Just because your office is staffed by trusted employees doesn't mean you can't be the victim of embezzlement.

Another HIPAA Deadline Approaching
April 21 is the deadline for physician offices to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act security policies and procedures.

When the Diagnosis Changes
If a patient's diagnosis changes after you get authorization from an insurer, make sure you request a new authorization for the correct diagnosis.

New Medicare Bonuses
Medicare is now automatically sending bonus payments to physicians who treat Medicare patients in physician scarcity areas and health professional shortage areas.

How to Respond to Claim Denials
There are proven ways to respond successfully to claim denials and requests for medical documentation from insurance companies. TMA's Office of the General Counsel has some advice.

Medicare Pays for Vaccine Counseling
New CPT codes recognize the counseling work involved in administering injectable immunizations.


TMA Report Outlines Healthy Vision of Health Care in Texas
Two More First Tuesdays Left
Legislative Hotline Sizzles With Information
Helmet Giveaway Program Stresses Prevention
Saddle Up for A Lone Star TexMed 2005
Cancer Help in the Palm of Your Hand
HHSC Proceeds With PCCM Expansion
TMA Endorsee Finds a CURE
TMA Physician Services Offers Tips for Improving Collections


Weight Changes in Teens on Psychotropic Medication Combinations at Austin State Hospital (abstract)

By Emilie Attwell Becker, MD; Alan Shafer, PhD; and Rhonda Anderson, MD


Editor's Note
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Texas Medicine is available to TMA members and presents timely information on public health, medicolegal issues, medical economics, science, medical education, and legislative affairs affecting Texas physicians and their patients.

Larry BeSaw, Editor

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