Table of Contents -- January 2001

Texas Medicine Logo(1)

Vol. 97 No. 1  

Cover Story  

Politics versus policies
Medical records privacy, prompt payment of claims, the cost of prescription drugs, and mandated health insurance benefits will be a few of the entrees Texas legislators will have on their plates when they convene in Austin this month. But many observers are worried that partisan politics fueled by the once-a-decade fight over redrawing legislative and congressional districts may interfere with progress on these issues.

By Ken Ortolon

Medical Economics  

Analyzing the IRO process
More than 1,000 patients and physicians have taken health insurers' decisions through the independent review process since it was created three years ago. A Texas Medicine analysis of the results of those reviews shows that the process appears to be working as intended.

By Walt Borges

Medical Economics  

Clean claims revisited
It seemed like a good idea at the time in 1999 when lawmakers passed legislation requiring insurers to pay clean claims within 45 days. But it appears the law has done little to speed up payments, so the Texas Medical Association and several county medical societies are planning to go back to the legislature to put some teeth in the law.

By Walt Borges

Public Health  

Healthy kids
Television, computers, and video games, as well as decreased emphasis on physical education in the schools, are helping to create a generation of overweight Texas children. TMA's Project WATCH and a coalition of health groups are undertaking an initiative to improve nutrition, help kids lose weight, and head off serious health problems down the road.

By Laurie Stoneham

Medical Education  

Saving country doctors
There's no question that physicians who practice in rural areas are vital to their communities. Often, they're so vital they can't get away for an educational conference or even a vacation. That's why TMA is part of a program being pushed by the Center for Rural Health Initiatives to give rural physicians a break and maybe recruit some new rural doctors in the process.

By Laurie Stoneham

The Journal  

Physician assistants in Texas
By P. Eugene Jones, PhD, PA-C; Roderick S. Hooker, PhD, PA

Texas Medicine Rounds  

Zamora case settled * Paying for retaliation * Winter conference preview * In Case You Missed It * Houston, we have a meeting * Foundation benefit * TMA in the Trenches * MedBytes * Common credentials * Avoiding conflicts * Contract Clause of the Month * Heart-healthy hospitals * Spitting out tobacco * Cancer symposium


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