Table of Contents -- June 2004

Texas Medicine Logo

Vol. 100 No. 6

COVER STORY

Take a Card
Medicare's new prescription drug card program kicks off this month and it's a good bet your Medicare patients will have a lot of questions. Choosing the right card is a complicated process and patients probably will lean on you for advice. Here's where you'll find the answers to many of those questions.

By Walt Borges

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

Will the Sun Set?
State agencies that license physicians and other health care professionals are undergoing sunset review before the legislature meets next year. Nothing is definite yet, but the end result could be consolidation of some boards.

By Ken Ortolon

LAW

The Stark Truth
When Congress passed the so-called Stark antikickback law a few years ago, it was so complicated most physicians threw up their hands in disgust when they tried to decipher what it means. Well, now the federal government has come out with what it calls a simplified version. Yeah, right.

By Walt Borges

MEDICAL EDUCATION

Got a Match?
A federal district judge has allowed a lawsuit seeking to end the resident match system, but an 11th-hour provision slipped into a bill by a couple of U.S. senators leaves the fate of the lawsuit in doubt. Even so, the plaintiffs' lawyers say they still may have grounds to sue.

By Ken Ortolon

PUBLIC HEALTH

Clearing the Confusion
Are you sure your patients understand what you are telling them? The results could be disastrous if they don't. Patients' health literacy is becoming an increasing concern, and organized medicine is trying to do something about it.

By Ken Ortolon

MANAGING YOUR PRACTICE

Feds to Help Defray EMTALA Costs
The federal government is making $1 billion available over the next few years to help offset the costs hospitals and physicians incur in treating uninsured patients and illegal aliens in emergency departments.

A Warning from Medicare
If you charge Medicare beneficiaries extra money for special services, make sure Medicare-covered benefits aren't on the list. Otherwise, you could be in big trouble

Don't Delegate Without Supervision
You can't apply to delegate prescriptive authority to a physician assistant without applying to supervise him or her. So don't even think about it.

What to Do If You're Not Approved
The workers' comp commission has some rules you need to follow if you're arranging follow-up care for a workers' comp patient you treat in the ER and you're not on the commission's Approved Doctor List.

When to Test for Drugs or Alcohol
A drug or alcohol test is warranted when an employee's supervisor has a "reasonable suspicion" that the employee is under the influence of alcohol or other chemical substances.

TMA ROUNDS

New President Seeks to Remind Physicians of Their Value
Texas CME Conference This Month in Austin
Do You Know Where Your NPP Is?
TMA Physician Services Offers Benchmarking for Improvement
Hard Hats Save Little Heads
Calendar Commemorates 100 Years of Texas Medicine
TMA Honors Legislators for Their Work 

JOURNAL

County Hospitals and Regional Medical Care in Texas: An Analysis of Out-of-County Costs (full article)

By Ruben Amarasingham, MD; Sue Pickens, Med; and Ron J. Anderson, MD

Risk Assessment Practices of Texas Private Practitioners for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (abstract)

By Sharon K. Melville, MD, MPH; Sonia I. Arbona, PhD; Cheryl L.E. Jablonski, MA; Lois I. Kantor, MPH; James H. Lee; Caeli Paradise; and Debra BementSeamans, MSN, RN

DEPARTMENTS

Editor's Note
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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