Vol. 97 No. 10
Shoring up Medicaid
It took a crisis that threatened a health care disaster for patients and financial ruin for physicians, but Medicaid fees are going up and the system is being reformed. The crisis spurred a lobbying effort by a coalition of physicians along the Texas-Mexico border, the Texas Medical Association, and other organized medical groups in the state. The result was the largest increase in Medicaid fees in a decade, despite problems with the state budget.
By Ken Ortolon
Bankruptcy filings by independent practice associations (IPAs) in Fort Worth and San Antonio, plus the closing of Corpus Christi's last IPA, have left physicians wondering if they are going to be paid for services rendered. The financial problems also are prompting fears that Texas may be about to see the wave of bankruptcies that have plagued California.
By Walt Borges
Caring for Immigrants
What started out as a well-meaning attempt to help undocumented immigrants gain access to preventive care has mushroomed into a political, social, and legal war over whether public hospitals can or should provide preventive care services to people who are living in this state illegally. This controversy has involved some of the largest public hospital districts in the state.
By Laurie Stoneham
Paying off loans
Young physicians across Texas who were counting on a state program to help them pay off their medical school student loans have been left out in the cold because all the money is tied up. An attempt to fix the program in the last session of the legislature got caught in the traffic jam of last-minute bills.
By Laurie Stoneham
Observation or inpatient?
Having trouble determining whether a Medicare patient should be admitted for observation or inpatient status? Although the quality of care is the same, your decision will have an impact on the patient's cost. The Texas Medical Foundation and TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, LLC, have developed guidelines to assist physicians in determining the most appropriate treatment setting for Medicare patients and to reduce payment errors.
By Thomas E. Redlinger, PhD; Kathleen O'Rourke, PhD, RN; Jorge Magana, MD; and Andrea Steege, MPH
Shots not across Texas * Vaccination vacation * Lab Corp. suit * Cell phone dangers * Child IDs * Diabetes video * MedBytes * High blood pressure * Foundation grants * Workers' comp manual * Contract Clause of the Month * Hotlines * In Case You Missed It