Table of Contents -- July 2003

Texas Medicine Logo

Vol. 99 No. 7

COVER STORY

The Ultimate Shortage
Despite repeated attempts to get more people to agree to become organ donors, the number of desperately ill patients waiting for a transplant continues to rise dramatically. One of our state's organ procurement organizations is trying a new approach to increase donations, and it's drawing attention from the federal government. But even that will be too late for some.

By Ken Ortolon

LAW

Aetna Agrees
Aetna has settled its portion of the federal class action racketeering lawsuit that organized medicine filed against major for-profit health insurance companies. The deal fundamentally changes the way the company does business and should make it more physician and patient friendly.

By Walt Borges

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

A Booster for Vaccines
TMA's attempt to improve the state's immunization rate paid off in the most recent session of the Texas Legislature with passage of bills that could literally save lives.

By Ken Ortolon

MEDICAL ECONOMICS

Filling a Need
Frustrated? Burned out? Need a change? You're not alone. Many of your colleagues are getting a new lease on life by signing up for temporary duty in hospitals and clinics across Texas. Locum tenens work is becoming increasingly popular.

By Walt Borges

PUBLIC HEALTH

Stopping an Unwelcome Visitor
Tuberculosis has become a major problem along the U.S.-Mexico border, so physicians in the two countries are joining forces in an effort to halt the spread of the disease. A little card may be their biggest weapon.

By Ken Ortolon

MANAGING YOUR PRACTICE

Workers' Comp Made Easy
TMA's Workers' Compensation Manual for Texas Physicians, 3rd Edition, helps you decipher those complex Texas Workers' Compensation Commission regulations. It costs only $182.94, tax included. 

Another HIPAA Deadline
Don't forget Oct. 16. That's the day you have to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's Transactions and Code Sets Rule that standardizes electronic claims transactions.

While you're at it, contact your practice management system vendor and billing service soon because HIPAA compliance will involve significant billing system upgrades. If you haven't started upgrading your system, get on with it.

Need Help?
If you're thinking about adding a nonphysician practitioner to your clinical staff, be aware that the state and federal governments have very specific rules about supervising them and for documenting and billing for their services. There are two more TMA-sponsored seminars on nonphysician practitioners this month, one in San Antonio and the other at the DFW Airport Marriott Hotel. You can register online.

www.texmed.org: TMA Online

ROUNDS

Texas, National Groups Hope to Improve Health Literacy
Kids Getting Fatter Earlier, Researchers Warn
NSAIDs Damage to Intestines Found by Baylor Researchers

JOURNAL

Female Suicides in Major Texas Cities, 1994 Through 1998 (abstract)

By V. Doddakashi, MD; R.E. Wilcox, PhD; and L.A. Hauser, MD

DEPARTMENTS

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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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