Table of Contents: January 2008

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Vol. 104 No. 1  



Tag, You're It
TMA has done its job. It convinced the last session of the Texas Legislature to approve historic increases in Medicaid fees for physicians - an average of 25 percent for treating children and roughly 10 percent for adults. Now it's up to you. Show lawmakers you will do your part and return to the Medicaid program, or increase the number of Medicaid patients you are willing to see.

By Ken Ortolon



Worse Than the BCS
TMA has some very significant problems with the rating system Blue Cross and Blue Shield uses to determine which physicians will be in its network. But unlike the Washington State Medical Association, TMA has been able to use negotiations to force Blue Cross to make changes without having to resort to a lawsuit. Yet.

By Crystal Conde



Spread Too Thin
Even though the vast baby-boom generation is rapidly aging, there simply aren't enough geriatric specialists to treat them. Low reimbursement is a major factor. What's only a problem now could become a crisis in the next 25 years if things don't change.

By Ken Ortolon



Beyond 15
Now that Texas voters have approved Proposition 15 to establish the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the work begins. Physicians, medical schools, and research institutions, as well as patients and Texas residents in general, should benefit immediately from increased access to screening services.

By Crystal Conde



Top Heart Surgeons Cooley and DeBakey Put Their Decades-Old Feud to Rest
Two Texans who became world famous heart surgeons have ended their feud. It happened in October when Denton Cooley, MD, presented Michael DeBakey, MD, with a lifetime achievement award at a meeting of Dr. Cooley's Cardiovascular Surgical Society.

By Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle  

" You Just Have to Try "  

By Mavis P. Kelsey Sr., MD



AMA House Ponders Medicare Meltdown
Hard Hats Protects 4,000 Little Heads
Coding Means Correct Revenue



New Year's Resolution
January is an ideal time to review and update your practice codes and fee schedule.

Dealing With UniCare
TMA's payment advocacy staff has two tips for physicians who bill UniCare for their services.

How to Contest Unemployment Claims
Reluctant to fire a problem employee because he or she might file for unemployment insurance compensation and cause your unemployment tax rate to rise? The Texas Medical Group Management Association says you can contest, and win, unemployment insurance claims.

EMRs and You        
An electronic medical record system can decrease your practice costs.

Destroying Medical Records
You can have medical records shredded, burned, or recycled when they are eligible for destruction, but you should follow certain rules.

Billing for Accident Victims
When treating auto accident victims, remember that both personal injury protection and medical payments coverage under Texas personal auto policies contain assignment of benefits provisions.



Simulation Training in a Pediatric Residency Program ( abstract )

By Tasha Burwinkle, PhD; Jeremy Gibson, MD; Jose Pliego, MD; Lori Wick, MD; Neil Coker, BS, EMT-P; and John Pohl, MD



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