Table of Contents — February 2005

Texas Medicine Logo

Volume 101 No. 2

COVER STORY

Showdown in Austin
The 2005 Texas Legislature could have more influence on Texas physicians and their patients than did the landmark 2003 session. Among the issues that directly impact medicine are the debate over school finance reform and property tax relief, sunset review of both the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, and shoring up a crumbling Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program. Meanwhile, physicians likely will have to battle attempts by allied health professionals to expand their scope of practice.

By Ken Ortolon  

LAW

Misery Loves Company
Everybody knows the pharmaceutical giant Merck is facing a lengthy list of lawsuits after it withdrew Vioxx from the market. But physicians need to worry about a legal strategy Merck may employ. It may try to drag physicians into the lawsuits by contending they are culpable because they are the ones who prescribed Vioxx.

By Erin Prather 

SCIENCE

Screen for Screen's Sake?
Geneticists and the March of Dimes are lobbying for expanded and standardized newborn genetic screening, even though there is disagreement over which genetic disorders should be screened. Critics, which include the Texas Medical Association, question whether a sufficient infrastructure exists to carry out the expanded screening and provide the necessary follow-up and treatment for children identified with disorders.

By Ken Ortolon  

PUBLIC HEALTH

Take Your Own Advice
Telling patients they need to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle is not enough. You have to set an example and do it yourself, or risk sending the wrong message. How you look is as important as what you say. It's a good idea to get your staff involved as well.

By Erin Prather 

MEDICAL ECONOMICS

Staying Healthy
The prescription drug benefit got most of the publicity, but the 2004 Medicare Modernization Act gives Medicare beneficiaries new benefits covering preventive services, including screening for heart disease and diabetes.

By Ken Ortolon  

MANAGING YOUR PRACTICE

Need More Time?
Ever wish there were more hours in the day? There are things you can do to make time more productive for you and your staff. TMA has a few suggestions.

" I Forgot My Checkbook"
Sometimes, well-meaning patients show up for their office visit intending to pay their bill but forget their checkbook, credit card, or cash. You can make it easy for them to pay you as soon as they get home or back to the office.

Raise Your Visibility
A little self-promotion can help boost physician referrals to your solo specialty practice.          

Legal Contracts With Physicians
The corporate practice of medicine is forbidden in Texas . A new TMA home study course shows you how to avoid problems with the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners

It Pays to Advertise
You can use a practice brochure to present your practice in its best light and at the same time give your patients routine information that can help their visit to your office go smoothly. Here's how to create an effective, professional brochure.

TMA ROUNDS

AMA Cites Liability Reform, Medicare Funding as Chief 2005 Congressional Priorities
TMA to Hold First Boot Camp for Medical Staff Officers
2005 Winter Conference Feb. 5 at Austin's Hyatt
CME Accreditor Praises TMA Education Program
TMA Endorses New Equipment Leasing Program 

JOURNAL

Rickettsia felis Infection Rate in an East Texas Population (abstract)

By Robert J. Wiggers, PhD; Miranda C. Martin, MS; Donald Bouyer, PhD 

DEPARTMENTS

Commentary
People
The AMA View
Capsules
Information for Authors
Physicians' Referral Directory
Classifieds
MedBytes

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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