Table of Contents: September 2006


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Vol. 102 No. 9  


Stretching Medicaid
Texas legislators and physicians are looking for ways to keep the ever-growing Medicaid budget under control while at the same time covering as many patients as possible. Medicaid is one of TMA's top priorities for the 2007 legislature. Texas is looking at what several other states are doing to see if their ideas will work here.

By Ken Ortolon 


Careful Consideration
There's no doubt that 2003's tort reforms have improved the liability insurance market for Texas physicians. More insurers are competing for your business. Make sure you do your due diligence and buy a policy from a company that is not likely to go belly up.

By Erin Prather 


Standardized Chaos
Creation of a standardized form was supposed to make it a lot easier for physicians to be credentialed by managed care plans and hospitals. Things were fine until the Texas Department of Insurance decided to revise the form. Credentialing has gone downhill ever since, prompting TMA to get involved.

By Ken Ortolon 


The Art of Listening
Can listening to Mozart make you a better doctor? The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston thinks so. It's using an innovative course to turn medical students into discerning listeners. Instructors hope to give the students better tools to listen for problems such as irregular heart rhythms and to listen more carefully to what their patients tell them.

By Ken Ortolon 


Dr. Politician
Physicians across Texas are serving a dual role as healers and local public officials on schools boards and city councils. Their reasons for serving vary, but they agree that physicians make excellent public officials.

By Larry BeSaw 


2006 TMA Fall Conference Sets the Stage for 2007 Legislative Session
Texas Senators Join Call for Medicare Rate Hike
Physicians to Get Priority for Some Flu Vaccine Doses
JCAHO to Require Flu Shots for Health Care Workers
TMA Joy of Medicine Community Strives to Balance Physicians' Lives
UT Southwestern Selected for Cardiac Study
What Is Your Measure of Success?
Ask the TMA Knowledge Center 


Questions? Check Out TMA's Web Site 
TMA has a collection of practice management frequently asked questions (FAQs) on its Web site, along with other categories of FAQs such as legal and continuing medical education.

Tail Coverage a Must
Make sure you have runoff, or tail, insurance coverage with a sound insurer whenever you're nearing retirement or leaving your practice. This type of coverage allows you to continue reporting claims under a claims-made policy, as long as the claim occurred during the policy period.

Keeping Track of Sample Medications
State law requires you to keep a copy of each signed request form for sample dangerous drugs for two years after they are acquired. You don't necessarily need to keep them locked up, but store them in areas accessible only to you and your clinical staff to prevent theft. 


Physician Staffing in Emergency Departments: Results of aTexas Survey (abstract)

By Join Y. Luh, MD; Tandace L. McDill, RN, MA; Bernard M. Karnath, MD; Daniel H. Freeman, PhD; Debbie L. Speegle, BA, MPAS, PA-C; Susan E. Keeney, MD

Commentary: Emergency Medicine inTexas  

By David L. Morgan, MD 


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