Table of Contents: June 2007

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Vol. 103 No. 6  

COVER STORY

Eating Ourselves to Death
Obesity isn't just killing us. It's driving us to the poorhouse as well. State Comptroller Susan Combs has issued a frightening report on the worsening obesity crisis in Texas, its costs for employers, and its effect on children. Among its findings:   Nearly two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and Texas businesses spent an estimated $3.3 billion in 2005 on costs related to obesity.

By Crystal Conde 

PUBLIC HEALTH

Wellness, Not Sickness
A growing number of businesses and other organizations are finding that wellness programs not only produce healthy employees, but they also generate a healthy bottom line. Programs like those at financial giant USAA in San Antonio and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston are producing positive results.

By Crystal Conde 

MEDICAL ECONOMICS

Economic Survival
The increasing popularity of health savings accounts and other types of consumer-directed health plans poses challenges and opportunities for physicians. Practices that plan properly may be able to reduce their overhead costs. But physicians also will have to learn how to deal with potentially confusing multiple new payment schemes and will likely get into a price war with other doctors.

By Ken Ortolon 

TRUSTED LEADER           

Touching 14 Million Hearts
Houston heart surgeon Rafael Espada, MD, has decided to run for political office, but not on the local level. He's returned to his native Guatemala and is running for vice president as the running mate of presidential candidate Alvaro Colom on the center-left Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza party ticket. They're ahead in the polls and are considered a good bet to win.

By Ken Ortolon 

ROUNDS

Frew  Settlement Would Raise Some Physicians' Medicaid Reimbursements
Fraudulent Expert Testimony Harms Medicine, Physician Survey Finds
Liability Study: Juries Sympathize More With Doctors
TEXPAC, AMPAC at Odds Over Contributions
CMS Enforcement Delay No Excuse for No NPI
As the TMA Knowledge Center
TMA Helps Physicians Navigate Stark and Antikickback Regulations
NBS3 Test Card Allowed in Newborn Screening
TMA Practice Consulting Offers Billing and Collections Assessment
Help Be Wise - Immunize Reach Its Goal of 62,000 Shots
Medicaid PDL Now Available Through Epocrates
Media Blitz Planned for Hard Hats for Little Heads 

MANAGING YOUR PRACTICE

Managing Sample Medications
You need to follow Joint Commission guidelines when receiving, storing, and dispensing sample medications.

Medicare Quality Initiative Offers Bonus Payment
You can earn a bonus payment by participating in Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative.

Study Identifies e-Prescribing Barriers
Major barriers to using advanced e-prescribing features have been discovered in a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change.

FDA Issues Anemia Drug Warning
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a new boxed warning for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents.

Online Disease Management Adherence Programs Available to TMA Members
Through Medem's iHealth services, TMA members have online disease management programs available for use with patients.

Workers' Comp Disability Management Requirements Now in Effect
TDI's Division of Workers' Compensation requires non-network system participants to follow the division's treatment and return-to-work guidelines. 

JOURNAL

Potential Effect of Over-the-Counter Sales on Omeprazole Calls to Texas Poison Centers (abstract)

By Mathias B. Forrester, BS 

DEPARTMENTS

Commentary
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Information for Authors
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