Table of Contents: December 2008

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Vol. 104, Issue No. 12 - December 2008  



COVER STORY(pages 14-24)  

Primary Care Crisis
Medicine is in trouble. A national Physicians' Foundation survey reveals that primary care practice conditions and professional morale are in distress. The survey paints a grim picture of physicians at the breaking point, disheartened by an eroded patient-physician relationship, government regulation, medical liability concerns, and reimbursement hassles. By Crystal Conde   


Pulling Back the Oz Curtain
TMA will back legislation to force insurers to reveal how they manipulate premiums, medical loss ratios, coverage decisions, and other market actions affecting premiums. By Ken Ortolon   

LAW(pages 31-35)  

Fines, Fines, Fines
State insurance statistics show health care payment plans have a hard time abiding by the prompt payment law. Several have been fined for not paying physicians' claims on time. By Crystal Conde   

PUBLIC HEALTH (pages 37-41)  

First Line of Defense
Physicians often are the first line of defense against infectious diseases; thus, they need to report them to health officials. Health departments can't investigate infectious diseases unless they know something is amiss. By Crystal Conde   

MEDICAL EDUCATION(pages 43-46)  

3+3=Family Physicians
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine officials want to start an accelerated residency program that would allow top medical students to combine their fourth year of medical school with the first year of residency. By Ken Ortolon   

MEDICAL ECONOMICS(pages 49-53)  

Getting Started
If you need help starting a practice, TMA Practice Consulting is at your service. It offers a turnkey practice setup service to help physicians open a new practice. By Ken Ortolon   

ROUNDS(pages 9-12)  

Apply Now for TMA's Ike Relief Fund
UTMB Students Need Help, Too
Stakeholders Discuss Rx for E-Prescribing Success
It's Time to Learn About Improving Quality
PBF Helps Us Take Care of Our Own
CME Helps You Help Patients Kick the Habit 


Stop Embezzlement Before It Starts
Embezzlement occurs in medical practices more often than you might think. TMA Practice Consulting suggests ways to help reduce the potential for cash embezzlement in your practice.

Wanted: Your Online Classifieds
TMA's Web site experiences nearly 320,000 visitor sessions each month. With this kind of activity, you can't afford not to advertise in TMA's online classified ads section.

Ten Ways to Avoid EMR Liability
The Texas Medical Liability Trust offers 10 tips for avoiding documentation pitfalls related to electronic medical records. 

JOURNAL(pages 55-36)  

Spatial Distribution of Orofacial Cleft Defect Births in Harris County, Texas, and Radium in the Public Water Supplies: A Persistent Association? ( abstract ) ( full text )

By Irina Cech, PhD; Ashweeta Patnaik, MPH; Keith D. Burau, PhD; and Michael H. Smolensky, PhD   


Commentary (page 3)
People (page 7)
Information for Authors (page 54)
MedBytes (page 64)  



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