Table of Contents: January 2006


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Vol. 102 No. 1   


Prop 12: A Look Back
Lower liability premiums. Fewer lawsuits. More insurance carriers writing policies in Texas. Improved patient access to care because more physicians are willing to enter high-risk specialties in areas where frivolous lawsuits were rampant. That's what has happened in Texas since 2003 when the state's medical liability system was reformed. As one doctor put it, "Texas is enjoying the fruits of good public policy changes."

By Erin Prather 


Coming Up Short
The number of people needing Medicaid services is less than expected by state legislators when they adopted the 2006-07 state budget last year. Even so, it looks like lawmakers will have to deal with a $500 million shortfall when the next regular session begins next year. Officials blame the shortfall on Hurricane Katrina and the governor's veto of a budget provision that would have covered Texas' share of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit.

By Ken Ortolon 


Cash-and-Carry Medicine
The HEB grocery chain and InterFit Health are opening walk-in clinics at five supermarkets in the Houston area, and they plan to open a few more in San Antonio and Round Rock. The clinics offer routine medical care provided by nurse practitioners. Physicians admit the clinics are convenient, but they're concerned about the quality of care patients will receive.

By Larry BeSaw 


Comfort for the Kids
Pediatricians, mental health experts, a nonprofit group, and a huge financial services firm have joined forces to advise physicians on ways they can help children traumatized by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The storms have long since passed, but some kids may need help for months to come.

By Erin Prather 


Humble Hero
El Paso orthopedic surgeon Jacob Heydemann, MD, has received Mexico's highest civilian honor for his work on behalf of poor children in northern Mexico.

By Larry BeSaw 


Keeping OSHA Happy
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard has a lot of rules to prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

TMA Physician Services Offers On-Site Coding Class With CME
A thorough understanding of coding and documentation, along with continuing medical education, is on your must-have list. TMA Physician Services now offers both.

TheRight Way to Complain
TMA has developed a sample appeal letter for services incorrectly denied.

What Triggers a Coding Audit?
Even though a staff member may aid with coding, you are the one accountable to the government and other payers.

Correct Medicare Coding
Medicare has launched the Correct Coding Initiative to make sure you code all your Medicare claims appropriately.

How to Reduce Claims Hassles
An appropriately documented medical record can reduce many of the hassles associated with processing claims for evaluation and management and other services. 


Texas Medical Association's Healthy Vision 2010: Diagnosis and Treatment  


Delegates Say, "Fix Medicare - But Not at Any Cost"
TMA Helps Katrina-Ravaged Physicians
Choosing the Right Electronic Health Record Consulting Service for Your Practice
TMA Gets Grant to Improve Patient Safety Through Technology
Texas Health Care Organizations Join National Patient Safety Campaign
TMF to Work Nationwide to Improve Case Review Activities 


Providers of Herbal Products in the Largest US-Mexico Border Community (abstract)

By Armando González-Stuart, PhD; José O. Rivera, PharmD; José C. Rodriguez,   CPhT; Harold Hughes, MD 


Editor's Note
Medical Student Report
Information for Authors
Physicians' Referral Directory

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