Table of Contents: May 2008

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Vol. 104 No. 5   



Where's the Money Going?
Skyrocketing health care costs for employees are ravaging small businesses across Texas. Most have no idea if those cost increases are justified because they don't know how much of their premium dollar the health plan spends on care for the employees. But a little-known state law allows employers to ask their health plans exactly how much of their premium dollar is spent on health care. TMA is urging business owners to ask that very question.

By Ken Ortolon 



What's Behind the Veil?
A pending lawsuit by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo may shed some light on how insurance companies determine "usual, customary, and reasonable" charges.

By Crystal Conde



Backlog Blues
TrailBlazer Health Enterprises has a huge backlog of physicians applying for new provider numbers. An increasing number of applications from new doctors attracted to Texas because of liability reform is one reason.

By Ken Ortolon



Physicians vs. Cigarettes
Doctors across Texas are leading efforts to pass antismoking ordinances in public places and worksites. They're not stopping with cities. A statewide no-smoking law likely will come up in the 2009 legislature.

By Crystal Conde



Living Her Dream
Josie R. Williams, MD, dreamed of being a doctor even when she was a child. That dream came true and now she's TMA's new president.

By Larry BeSaw 


How Do You Rate With Blue Cross?
Workers' Comp Fee Schedule Online
Good Bill, Bad Bill
Cornyn Files Medicare Reform Bill
Comptroller Revises Franchise Tax Rules
TMB: Pay the "Ticket" or Go to "Court"
CME Awarded for Practice Operations Improvements
Ask the TMA Knowledge Center
Ophthalmology: The Impossible Becomes Routine  



Overwhelmed by Overtime?
If staff overtime occurs every day in your office, you may want to identify the areas causing the extra hours and make some changes. TMA Practice Consulting can help.

Tamper-Resistant Paper Is Available
You are not exempt from the new requirement to write Medicaid prescriptions on tamper-resistant paper even if you print prescriptions from the patient's electronic medical record.

Phone Manners 101
When making appointment reminder calls to your patients, try using a more personal message to reduce missed appointment rates. 



Trends in Fall-Related Mortality Among Older Adults in Texas ( abstract )

By Carlos H. Orces, MD, MPH 




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