Table of Contents: March 2007


Texas Medicine Logo(1)


Vol. 103 No. 3  


Running Out of Doctors
Texas will not have enough physicians to treat the growing and aging population over the next few decades unless the exodus of medical school graduates to other states with more residency slots is halted. That's why TMA and medical educators believe Texas must increase medical school enrollment and create more residency slots for graduates. The schools have agreed on a set of priorities they hope will convince lawmakers to fund medical school enrollment expansion and create more graduate medical education programs.

By Ken Ortolon 


Frew v. Hawkins
In a victory for the plaintiffs, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied the state's petition to again review an 11-year-old lawsuit that contends Texas is not providing adequate care for children on Medicaid. The case has been kicked back to a district judge who will hold a hearing in April to make the state comply with the law.

By Erin Prather Stafford 


Spoiling for a Rematch
TMA is squaring off against the business lobby again this legislative session over the issue of balance billing and network adequacy. The association managed to head off an attempt to ban balance billing in 2005. A Senate committee opposes a ban but does want patients to get more information.

By Ken Ortolon 


Going Online
More physicians are using the Internet to communicate with their patients and conduct online consultations. The patients generally pay for the service themselves, but insurers may soon start covering it. A company called RelayHealth is helping make that happen.

By Ken Ortolon 


New DSHS Commissioner Takes Over
The state's new health commissioner has wanted to be a physician since he was in the third grade. Not only has he reached that goal, but also he now commands the Texas Department of State Health Services, one of the largest state agencies, with a staff of 11,500 employees and an annual budget of $2.5 billion.    

By Erin Prather Stafford 


TDI Changes Standardized Credentialing Application
TexMed 2007 Is Next Month in Dallas
Be Prepared: Order Your Flu Vaccine Now
The Quest Offer: What's It Worth to You?
New TMA Course Explains Workers' Compensation Changes
American Journal of Ophthalmology  and Urology Available Online Through TMA
Ask the TMA Knowledge Center
Downcode Your Level of Service - Downsize Your Reimbursement
Self-Study Course Focuses on Infection Prevention 


This Just In …
Breaking medical news reports may cause patients to flood your office with panicked phone calls, increasing the load on your staff and taking away from direct patient time.

Legal Immunization Exemptions
There are four kinds of immunization exemptions for children in Texas.

HIV Tests for Patients
Texas law allows you to test a patient for HIV before performing a procedure on that patient under certain conditions.

Are Lockboxes for You?
Learn the pros and cons in using a bank's lockbox service.

ERISA Third-Party Administration
The prompt pay laws and clean claims rules enforced by TDI do not apply to valid employer-sponsored, self-funded plans. They are subject to the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and U.S. Department of Labor regulations.           

Telephone Consultation Coding
The CPT codes for telephone call consultations are 99371-99373, ranging from a simple/brief consultation to a complex/lengthy one. Medicare does not reimburse for this series of codes, nor do most commercial carriers. 


Diabetes Risk Factors and Testing in a Texas Family Medicine Clinic (abstract)

By Florence J. Dallo, PhD, MPH; Susan C. Weller, PhD; and Alvah R. Cass, MD, SM 


CKS601 Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) Module 1:  Infection Prevention 


Medical Student Report
Information for Authors

Texas Medicine Main Page
Texas Medicine Back Issues