Table of Contents -- October 2004

Texas Medicine Logo

Vol. 100 No. 10

COVER STORY

The Silent Victims
You may not know it, but chances are you've treated a survivor of sexual assault. A survey funded by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and the attorney general's office estimates that one in five women and one in 20 men have been sexually assaulted. Advocates for sexual assault victims say physicians should play a greater role in seeing that victims get medical care and other services they may need by screening all of their patients for sexual violence.

By Ken Ortolon

LAW

Relief in Sight
The tort reform measures TMA helped pass last year appear to be paying off. An e-mail survey of physicians conducted this summer by TMA shows the health care access crisis prompted by professional liability lawsuits is begging to ease. Physicians have slowed the cutback on services and some have begun to reinstate services, the survey shows.

PUBLIC HEALTH

Vaccinate Yourself
The flu season is almost here and public health officials are recommending that a wide variety of people get shots to protect themselves against the potential killer. Among them are physicians and other health care professionals. Only 37 percent of health care workers were immunized against the flu last year. That, says the chair of TMA's Council on Public Health, is "abysmal." He's right.

By Ken Ortolon

MEDICAL ECONOMICS

Easing the Burden
Texas physicians and hospitals that provide emergency services to undocumented residents stand to receive almost $50 million in federal funds to ease the financial burden on physicians, hospitals, and ambulance services that comply with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 (EMTALA) and the Medicare bill's border health provisions.

By Walt Borges

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

Dueling with Diabetes
Diabetes is exploding across Texas, and children as young as 6 are getting it. It's threatening to blow a huge hole in the state budget if the trend isn't reversed. State leaders and public health officials say kids must be encouraged to lead healthier lifestyles.

By Ken Ortolon

MANAGING YOUR PRACTICE

Medicare Changes the Overpayment Rules
Thanks to a change in the way administrators calculate the interest physicians owe when Medicare overpays them, Medicare no longer considers partial periods as full periods.

Financial Disclosure Required
You must give the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission the identity of any health care provider in which you, your immediate family, or the health care provider that employs you has a financial interest before you can be on the Approved Doctor List.

Understanding Medicare
Resources to help your patients understand what the Medicare Modernization Act means to them are now on the AMA Web site.

What to Do Before the Movers Arrive
You must follow a lot of rules when you close your practice to move to another state. One involves the requirements of maintaining medical records.

Mammogram Codes Clarified
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has clarified the reporting of codes 76082 and 76083 for diagnostic and screening mammograms.

TMA ROUNDS

Be Wise - Immunize Takes Flight
Science Teaching Award Nominations Sought
TMA Arranges Discount to Help Recover CIGNA Claims
POEP Funding Continues

JOURNAL

Motorcycle-Related Injuries: The High Cost of Riding (abstract)

By Mark C. Race, MD, and  Mary C. Carlile, MD

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Texas Medicine is available to TMA members and presents timely information on public health, medicolegal issues, medical economics, science, medical education, and legislative affairs affecting Texas physicians and their patients.


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