Table of Contents -- February 2003

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Vol. 99 No. 2  


Eye of the Storm
Liability reform. Prompt pay. Medicaid funding. Childhood immunizations. Competency testing. A huge budget deficit. A new political reality. Those are just a few of the thunderbolts raging in the "perfect storm" that we've been warned about for the past year. The storm blew into Austin last month and is buffeting the Capitol.How the legislature deals with these issues will have a dramatic impact on all patients' access to care and on the strength of the health care delivery safety net for the poor and underserved.

By Ken Ortolon


Measuring Clinical Skills
Medical students aren't one bit happy about plans by the National Board of Medical Examiners to impose a new clinical skills assessment test in 2004. They say the exam is unproven, expensive, and duplicates tests that already are part of most medical school curricula. Supporters, however, say the test is necessary because too many physicians are leaving medical school without the communication and clinical skills they need to be good doctors.

By Ken Ortolon


Quid Pro Quo or Not?
Part of the strategy to secure passage of liability reform in the current session of the legislature is a deal to cap noneconomic damages in return for physicians carrying higher liability coverage. Caps work in California, but the question that has to be answered in Texas is whether the deal is fair and, more importantly, will it pass constitutional muster?

By Walt Borges


Smallpox, Big Decision
Health care workers in Texas have begun receiving smallpox vaccinations as part of a national plan to be prepared in the event terrorists unleash a smallpox attack against an unsuspecting public. However, the inoculations are risky, and some health professionals have opted not to be vaccinated. A few say they'll get the shots if something actually happens.

By Ken Ortolon


Descriptive Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Tarrant County, Texas, From 1998 Through 2000

By Christine McGrath, MPH; Antonio René, PhD, MPH; Bobby Jones, DVM, MPH; and Raghbir Sandhu, MD, DTM&H, DrPH

Problem-Based Learning in a Managed Care Seminar for All New Residents at an Academic Medical Center

By Amr E. Abouleish, MD, MBA; Alma Golden, MD; Alice Anne O'Donell, MD; Patricia S. Beach, MD; Kirk A. Calhoun, MD; Thomas A. Blackwell, MD; Patricia J. Gallaway, RN; Lenore Teske, MS, RN; Suzanne M. Wilson, RN; Esther M. Koleng; and Alvin L. LeBlanc, MD


TexMed 2003 Preview * AMA Wrap-up * HIPAA Update * HeartCare Partnership Awards * Medicare QIO


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