Table of Contents: September 2008

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Vol. 104, Issue No. 9 - September 2008  



RACI Rescinded (pages 18-25)
Thanks to work by TMA physician leaders and its willingness to listen to doctors' complaints, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has stopped using the risk-adjusted cost index (RACI) - the tool that measured physician performance. RACI angered physicians, who argued that Blue Cross shouldn't use claims data to measure quality. By Crystal Conde  



Disaster Averted, For Now (pages 27-30)
It took a lot of effort, a family squabble, and a rare rebuke of a president, but Congress finally passed legislation that stopped a planned 10.6-percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians. The work now turns to a long-term fix to end the annual Medicare meltdown. By Ken Ortolon  



Toxin Tamers (pages 33-36)
A partnership of business, law, and medical professionals is collaborating on a plan to form sound policy that ensures clean air and energy sufficiency while at the same time stimulating economic growth from clean energy industries. The partnership is concerned over mounting evidence linking air pollution to disease. By Crystal Conde  



Partners in Politics (pages 41-44)
Thirty years ago, the TMA Alliance didn't have the reputation as a powerful force in politics that it has now. That changed when an alliance member named June Bratcher decided to get involved in local San Antonio politics. By Ken Ortolon  



Group Working on Relief Plan (pages 49-51)
Wichita County Medical Alliance Medical Missions Director Bob Horth was so disturbed by the horrifying images coming out of Myanmar in May that he was moved to action. It's not the first time the alliance has come to the aid of others. By Jessica Langdon, Wichita Falls Times Record News  


ROUNDS(pages 13-16)  

Texas Needs More Physicians, TMA Tells Legislators
Physicians Champion Helmet Safety
Art in the Practice of Medicine  



Medicaid Streamlines Radiology Preauthorization Process
Medicaid has streamlined its prior authorization and request process for radiology services.

Medicare to Change Audiology Services "Incident To"
Beginning Oct. 1, all audiologists who provide diagnostic test services to Medicare patients must be enrolled in Medicare.

Learn the Basics of Accounting online
The Houston Community College School and the Gulf Coast Medical Group Management Association have developed a course that teaches accounting methods and practices.

Destroy Medical Records Securely
When medical records are eligible for destruction, they can be shredded or burned.

Assessing Your Billing and Collections Processes
TMA Practice Consulting can perform a billing and collections assessment for your practice.

Employee Hepatitis B Vaccination
OSHA requires employers to offer hepatitis B vaccination to any employee expected to be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials.


JOURNAL(pages 59-63)  

Outcomes of a Texas Family Medicine Residency Rural Training Track: 2000 Through 2007 (abstract)

By Lisa R. Nash, DO; Michael M. Olson, PhD, LMFT; Juanita W. Caskey, MA; and Barbara L. Thompson, MD




Tribute (pages 8-9)
Commentary (pages 55-56)
Deaths (page 57)
Information for Authors (page 58)
MedBytes (page 64)  



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