Table of Contents -- April 2004

Texas Medicine Logo

Vol. 100 No. 4

COVER STORY

Shelter From the Storm
If you don't do your homework and ask the right questions when you buy medical liability insurance, you could be in a lot of trouble. You have many choices; thus finding the right insurer to provide the right coverage at the right price is critical. We provide 11 questions you need to ask and answers you need to know.

By Walt Borges

LAW

"You're Fired."
There are many reasons a physician might want to terminate his or her relationship with a patient. Not following the doctor's advice is one of them. But whatever the reason for firing a patient, a doctor has a strong legal and ethical duty to act in the patient's best interest.

By Walt Borges

SCIENCE

Raising Expectations
TMA is sponsoring a new program designed to dramatically improve health outcomes for patients with diabetes and heart failure, including substantial reductions in lower extremity amputations, hospitalizations, and repeat heart failure incidents. At the same time, it expects to save money for Medicare.

By Ken Ortolon

PUBLIC HEALTH

Changing Old Habits
It's no secret that obesity can lead to many health problems, such as diabetes, and poor nutrition is a major reason people get fat. Hispanics are especially hard hit. A new research center in the Rio Grande Valley is the nation's first facility dedicated exclusively to studying the relationship between nutrition and health among Hispanic Americans.

By Ken Ortolon

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

Putting a Price on Fat
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in Texas, and the cost is staggering. State policymakers hope to make a difference in the health of Texas children and adults, and save public and private payers of health care from an enormous bill in the future.

By Ken Ortolon

MANAGING YOUR PRACTICE

Fast-Tracking Appeals
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) now requires skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and outpatient rehabilitation centers to give their patients at least two days notice before terminating coverage.

Keeping Records
The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners has a new rule that tells medical practices how they should retain medical records.

New Elements for HIPAA Medicare Claims
When you file Medicare claims that comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you'll encounter required data elements you didn't have to supply under the old National Standard Format for Medicare Part B claims.

Medicare Is Watching
Medicare is checking the validity of diagnosis codes that physicians list in Item 21 of the CMS-1500 claim form or electronic equivalent.

www.texmed.org: TMA Online

ROUNDS

Governor Says Liability Reforms Have Profoundly Impacted Texas
TMAF Board Gains New Members
TexMed 2004 Coming to Austin in May
Hard Hats Program Generates Goodwill
Charles W. Bailey Sr., MD, Dies

JOURNAL

Attitudes of Primary Care Physicians and Specialists About Cancer Clinical Trials: A Survey of Texas Physicians ( abstract )

By Armin D. Weinberg, PhD; H. Paul Cooper, MA; Nicte I. Mejia, MD; Cynthia A. Spiker, MPH

DEPARTMENTS

Commentary
People
The AMA View
2003 Annual Report
Information for Authors
Physician's 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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