Table of Contents: March 2006

Texas Medicine Logo

Vol. 102 No. 3  

COVER STORY

Understanding Your Patients
Patients are like snowflakes. No two are alike. But some are more different than others. They may come from a culture radically different than your own and hold beliefs you cannot understand. But increasing your cultural competency will help you provide the care they need and help them understand where you are coming from.

By Erin Prather 

MEDICAL ECONOMICS      

Slow Pay, Big Fine
UnitedHealthcare is $4 million poorer after it agreed to Texas Department of Insurance sanctions for violating the state's prompt payment law. It could be worse if the company doesn't start following the law.

New Medicare Policy Could Impact Consultation Billing
Specialists who routinely bill initital visits with patients referred by other physicians as consultations likely will need to alter their billing practices under a new CMS policy intended to clarify Medicare rules over when to bill for a consultation versus an office or hospital visit under a referral.

By Ken Ortolon 

LAW

"Hello, doctor?"
TelaDoc, a Dallas company that offers telephone consultations for patients for a fee is making some people wonder if it's really good medicine. The central issue is what constitutes a proper patient-physician relationship.

By Erin Prather 

MEDICAL EDUCATION

Leaving Campus
Medical educators say changes in the way health care is delivered is making it hard for them to come up with the right mix of patients in teaching hospitals to give medical students and residents the breadth of experience they need.

By Ken Ortolon 

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

Looking for Change
The Texas Legislature could look a lot different after the elections this year. Experts say several lawmakers have decided to retire, and voters are unhappy over failure to reform the school finance system.

By Ken Ortolon 

TRUSTED LEADER

A Surgeon's Tale: Back to West Africa
A Temple surgeon's mission to treat desperately ill people in Nigeria reminds him why he is a doctor.

By Brian Camazine, MD 

MANAGING YOUR PRACTICE

Controlled Substances and You
Be careful when you decide who can phone in prescriptions for controlled substances.

Free CCI Codes
Looking for a list of the procedure codes in Medicare's Correct Coding Initiative? Check out the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Web site.

FDA Restricts Accutane
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a new risk management program restricting the use of Accutane.

Five Part D Resources You Can't Do Without
The Medicare Part D Resource Center on the TMA Web site can help answer Medicare Part D questions.

How to Keep HHS Happy
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) warns it is illegal for individuals or organizations to misuse HHS departmental words, symbols, or emblems to market their services.

Be Careful With Records Templates
Templates can save you a lot of time in creating medical records. But some caution is necessary. One size does not fit all. 

TMA ROUNDS

TexMed 2006 Draws on the Art of Medicine
We Have a Winner!
Preventing Head Injury One Helmet at a Time
Order Flu Vaccine for Next Year
Ask the TMA Knowledge Center 

JOURNAL

Hepatitis C Virus Seroprevalence: Selected Health Care Settings in Texas (abstract)

By Sharon K. Melville, MD, MPH; Gary Heseltine, MD, MPH; Elizabeth Delamater, PhD; Zunera Gilani, MPH; Kate Hendricks, MD, MPH, TM; and Lucina Suarez, PhD 

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