Table of Contents: April 2006

Texas Medicine Logo

Vol. 102 No. 4  

COVER STORY

Fee Frenzy
Pathologists in three of the state's largest cities revolted last summer when Blue Cross and Blue Shield offered them fees they just couldn't live with. But thanks to intervention by the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Department of Insurance, and a willingness to work with them by Blue Cross, things are beginning to look up.

By Ken Ortolon 

PUBLIC HEALTH

Family Funding Fight
A legislative directive to move money from family planning clinics to federally qualified health centers has family planning advocates across the state concerned it will deny low-income access to needed services.

By Erin Prather 

SCIENCE

Clip, Don't Nick
TMA and others have joined the 100,000 Lives Campaign to reduce the number of patient deaths and injuries in hospitals. Part of the effort is reducing the risk of infection by using clippers instead of razors to shave patients before surgery.

By Ken Ortolon 

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

Under the Gun
Texas legislators are expected to be called into special session this month to reform the state's school finance system. A huge fight over taxes is expected. The Texas Supreme Court has given the legislature until June 1 to find a solution.

By Ken Ortolon 

LAW

Keep Your Guard Up
You really need to keep a close eye on the HMOs that settled the antiracketeering lawsuits to make sure they comply with the settlement.

By Erin Prather 

TRUSTED LEADER

Pitfalls and Joy: My Life as a Doctor
Thirty years of practicing medicine included a lot of ups and downs for one Lubbock physician. The ups included seeing his patients get better. The downs involved money, women, and alcohol.

By Glen Stanbaugh, MD 

TMA ROUNDS

TexMed 2006 Comes to Houston Next Month
Balance Billing Battle to Be Fought Again in 2007
History of Medicine Exhibit Opens
How to Minimize Embezzlement
Ask the TMA Knowledge Center 

MANAGING YOUR PRACTICE

Good Reasons to Go Electronic
There are some darn good reasons why you should go electronic when it comes to filing Medicare claims. First and foremost is that filing claims electronically allows you to submit them faster and be paid faster, and it is cheaper than paper or manual transactions.

Squeak and Shine for Better Reimbursement
When it comes to billing and collections in the medical office, effective policies and procedures are just part of the picture. The December 2000 Physician ' s News Digest  has some tips.

Feds Make Voluntary Reporting Easier
If you're planning to participate in the Medicare Physician Voluntary Reporting Program, you'll be pleased to know the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has reduced the number of quality measures it wants you to collect from 36 to 16.  

Nuclear Medicine Added to Self-Referral Prohibition
Beginning next January, Medicare will include diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine services and supplies under the radiology services it classifies as "designated health services," making them subject to physician self-referral restrictions. 

JOURNAL

High School Athletic Departments as Sentinel Surveillance Sites for Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcal Infections (abstract)

By Beth Barr, MPH; Marilyn Felkner, DrPH; and Pamela M. Diamond, PhD 

DEPARTMENTS

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