Table of Contents: May 2006


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Vol. 102 No. 5  


What If It Happens Here?
Texas and Texas physicians learned a hard lesson last summer from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We're in the middle of the severe weather season right now and hurricane season begins next month.  That's all the more reason for physicians to make sure they know what to do to protect their patients, their practices, and their own families.

By Erin Prather 


A Pox on Your Practice
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had a good idea when it decided to lower birth defects by keeping pregnant women from using Accutane or isotretinoin to treat their acne. But that good idea has been a nightmare for dermatologists because the FDA's iPLEDGE system is riddled with logistical problems.

By Ken Ortolon 


Too Young
An El Paso ordinance to keep teenagers from going to Mexico to drink is the latest round of an ongoing effort to reduce underage drinking in Texas. El Paso physicians played a major role in getting the ordinance passed.

By Erin Prather 


Supply Versus Demand
Texas has more doctors than it did a few years ago, and that's good news for patients' access to care. The population in Texas has seen explosive growth over the past several years, but the number of physicians in the state, particularly primary care doctors, is growing even faster. Still, many areas lack physicians, and Texas likely will need even more primary care doctors.

By Ken Ortolon 


Medicine on the Front Lines
For the past year, Manuel Rivera-Alsina, MD, of Dallas, has trained young physicians and helped run a hospital that provides the latest in medical care for a variety of conditions. It wouldn't be such an unusual job description for Dr. Rivera, except that the training and medical care took place in Kuwait and Iraq. 

2005 TMA Annual Report  


Ignoring Technology
Collection Protocols
Ask the TMA Knowledge Center
Where Did the CHIP Kids Go?
TMA Gives Perry, Abbott a Thumbs Up
Gift to TMAF Supports TMA Programs 


Medicare's Top Five Billing Errors
TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, the Texas Medicare carrier, has identified the top five billing errors for the fourth quarter of 2005.  Duplicate claims is No. 1, followed   by noncovered services, medical necessity, bundled services, and beneficiary eligibility.

How to Apply for an NPI
There are some things you need to remember when you apply for your National Provider Identifier. Listing your legacy identifiers for all payers, including Medicare, is one of them.

ESRD Calculator
Medicare's End-Stage Renal Disease Calculator lets you enter information to predict reimbursement based on various patient characteristics. It may be especially useful for facilities that are considering giving up their exception rate and want to forecast payment for the services they provide. 


Investigation of Texas Poison Center Calls Regarding a Chlorine Gas Release: Implications for Terrorist Attack Toxicosurveillance (abstract)

By Mathias B. Forrester, BS 


Medical Student Report
Information for Authors
Physicians' Referral Directory

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