Table of Contents -- March 2003

Texas Medicine Logo

Vol. 99 No. 3

COVER STORY

After Further Review . . .
It's been six years since the legislature established the process for independent review organizations to referee disputes between patients and insurers over medically necessary treatment, and the system seems to be working in patients' favor most of the time. But the IROs are complaining that they're not being used as often as they could be.

By Walt Borges

SCIENCE

The Disappearing Mentor
A growing shortage of qualified science and mathematics teachers in Texas is raising concerns about who will inspire the next generation of physicians. It's so bad that some educators are being forced to teach subjects they're really not qualified to teach.

By Ken Ortolon

LAW

Cracks in the Wall
Health insurers have hidden behind a federal law known as ERISA for almost 30 years and have been virtually immune to legal challenges from patients harmed by their decisions. But a series of court rulings is chipping away at ERISA's wall of invulnerability.

By Walt Borges

PUBLIC HEALTH

Take Your Best Shot
The value of immunizations is unquestioned. The problem is Texas isn't doing enough to make sure its citizens are protected. We now rank 42nd nationally in childhood immunizations, but, hey, that's better than two years ago. We used to be last.

By Ken Ortolon

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

Healing and Lobbying
When TMA goes to the legislature to work for passage of a piece of legislation, it's not just the paid lobbyists who do the work. They're backed by a cadre of physicians, TMA staff, and other experts.

By Ken Ortolon

THE JOURNAL

Protecting Texas Children: Evidence-Based Recommendations for Improving Childhood Vaccination Rates

By Clarke E. Cochran, PhD; David R. Smith, MD; Glen Reid, MPA, OTR; Helen Morrow, LMSW-ACP; and Jennifer Ramirez

The Association Between Cotton and Prevalence of Rural Childhood Asthma

By Brian Kingston, MD, and Michael L. Parchman, MD

Safety of Foods Derived From Genetically Modified Plants

By John A. Thomas, PhD

ROUNDS

TMA's 150th * Winter Conference Wrap-up * TexMed 2003 Preview * Editorial Committee Vacancy * Accepting Partial Payment * HIPAA Myths * Foundation Benefit * HIPAA Help 

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