Table of Contents -- July 2004

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Vol. 100 No. 7  


Barton Takes Over
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton has assumed the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, putting the Ennis Republican in charge of a committee with jurisdiction over 80 percent of the legislation filed in the House. His ascension to power makes the Aggie engineer a major player in health care, energy, and telecommunications legislation. Representative Barton's experience in health care is limited, but politicos say he's been a good friend to medicine nonetheless.

By Ken Ortolon  


Quality Versus Cost
Economic profiling of physicians to keep "expensive" doctors out of health insurers' networks may appeal to employers who want to keep costs down, but what impact does it have on the quality of care patients receive? A bad one, TMA fears.

By Walt Borges


Workers' Comp Broadside
A special TMA committee has given the state's Sunset Advisory Commission some recommendations for repairing the broken workers' compensation system, including shoring up an inadequate fee structure. The commission's staff also is critical of how the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission conducts its business.

By Walt Borges


Hope or Horror?
Opinions on stem cell research are divided. Some see it as having great potential to give doctors new weapons in fighting disease. But others fear it will lead to humans created solely for their stem cells and the prospect of "designer babies." The TMA House of Delegates has come down on the side of science, endorsing stem cell research, but it drew the line at cloning to produce a child.

By Ken Ortolon


The SARS Time Bomb
There hasn't been much talk about SARS lately, but scientists warn that it's only a matter of time until we see another outbreak. Physicians and other health care workers had best be prepared.

By Ken Ortolon  


Review Your RVUs
If you know how to use relative value units, better known as RVUs, properly, then you will have some idea how much your medical practice will earn under a contract with a health insurer.

Billing for Nursing Home Care
You need to know the rules for billing Medicare for treating patients in nursing homes. Medicare says a lot of mistakes are being made. The rules are on the TrailBlazer Health Enterprises Web site.

Medicare Paybacks
Unless you're operating as a sole proprietorship, you have to submit an amortization schedule when applying to Medicare for an extended repayment plan. Practices may submit written requests for an extension if repaying a Medicare overpayment will cause financial hardship for the practice.

DEA Form Online
The Drug Enforcement Administration has put the form you need to renew your federal narcotics license under the Diversion Control Program for controlled substances online as a fully interactive form.  


Put Up or Shut Up
Delegates Back Stem Cell Research, Medical Marijuana
Dr. BerryReceives Distinguished Service Award
TMA Awards Four Minority Scholarships
TexMed CME: Something for Everyone
"No profession more noble"



Sunburn Risk Factors at Galveston Beaches (abstract)

By Adrienne B. Shoss-Glaich, MD; Tatsuo Uchida MS ; and Richard F. Wagner, MD


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