Table of Contents -- May 2002

Texas Medicine Logo

Vol. 98 No. 5

COVER STORY

Liability Crisis
Ask any physician to describe his or her biggest headache -- other than the continuing problem of getting insurance companies to pay claims -- and you're likely to hear a horror story about the liability insurance crisis in Texas. Even physicians who have never had a claim filed against them can have a problem getting coverage. And when they do, the premium is likely to rival the gross national product of some small countries. It's causing some doctors to give up medicine, threatening patients' access to care.

By Walt Borges

PUBLIC HEALTH

Short on Shots
When you rank last in childhood immunizations like Texas does, it can't get any worse, can it? Yes, it can. Pediatricians and state public health officials are worried that a continuing shortage of vaccines to prevent serious childhood diseases such as measles, diphtheria, and chicken pox will not only hurt their efforts to improve the state's immunizations rates, but it also could lead to serious outbreaks of some of these diseases.

By Ken Ortolon

LAW

Captive Law Firms
They look like any attorney. They act like any attorney. And they may even work in a firm with a name that sounds like a normal law firm. But are they like other attorneys? The answer might cost you dearly. There is an emerging trend among national insurance carriers to use "house" or staff counsel to defend liability claims against physicians. In reality, these attorneys are employees who are "captives" of the insurance company. The question is, in whose interest are they working? Yours or the insurance company?

By David M. Davis, JD, and James R. "Jay" Old Jr., JD

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

TEXPAC Turns 40
It had modest beginnings, but TEXPAC, TMA's political action committee, has become a political force to be reckoned with in Austin and Washington, D.C., during the 40 years it has been around. Politicians won't soon forget its "Clean Slate in '88" campaign that transformed the Texas Supreme Court.

By Ken Ortolon

THE JOURNAL

Prenatal HIV Testing in Private OB-Gyn Practices in Texas

By Ann S. Robbins, PhD; Cheryl L.E. Jablonski, MA; Barry E. Mitchell, MPH; Sharon A. King, MA; Sharon K. Melville, MD, MPH; and Sharilyn K. Stanley, MD

ROUNDS

TEXPAC Candidates Win * Texas Medicine Nostalgia * Online Resources Reviewed * MedBytes * HeartCare Partnership Recipients * UT Houston Disaster Grant * San Antonio Health Conference * Contract Clause of the Month

DEPARTMENTS

Editor's Note
Letters
Commentary
The AMA View
People
Information for Authors
Physicians' Referral Directory
Classified Directory
Healthy Ending                        

Texas Medicine Back Issues


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