Table of Contents -- March 2001

Texas Medicine Logo

Vol. 97 No. 3

Cover Story

Blue Cross blues
The decision by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas to merge with its Illinois counterpart, and a subsequent affiliation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in six states to form the country's largest nonprofit health insurance organization, are causing many Texas physicians to feel like they're losing an old friend. The result is a new attitude by the Blues that has convinced many physicians that Blue Cross is becoming just another insurance company.

By Walt Borges

Legislative Affairs

Repairing managed care
Unlike its involvement in previous sessions of the Texas Legislature, the Texas Medical Association is not looking to break any new ground in managed care reforms during the current session. Instead, the association aims to fine-tune laws dealing with issues such as prompt payment, physician networks' risk, and joint physician negotiations that were passed in previous sessions.

By Ken Ortolon

Law

Full disclosure
It's a no-brainer. Managed care companies should tell physicians in plain language how and how much they are going to be paid for their services. But that's not always the case. Some companies guard information about their fee structures like nuclear secrets. Now, TMA is asking state insurance regulators to define exactly what state law requires the companies to tell the doctors who sign their contracts.

By Walt Borges

Public Health

The silent epidemic
Hepatitis C is a particularly nasty critter. It's believed to have infected million of Americans, it's second only to alcohol in causing cirrhosis of the liver, and experts predict it will quadruple liver cancer in the next 10 to 15 years. And researchers have not been able to identify all the ways it is transmitted. But perhaps the scariest thing about hepatitis C -- and what has given it the name, the "silent epidemic" -- is that many of the people who are infected don't even know it.

By Laurie Stoneham

Medical Education

Changing the curriculum
The new reality of practicing medicine in the 21st century is causing medical schools in Texas to re-examine their curricula to make sure they are adequately preparing the physicians of the future. Technological advances and an aging population, as well as better informed and more demanding patients, are just some of the factors that have to be considered.

By Laurie Stoneham

The Journal

Trends in the incidence of hepatitis A in Texas, 1986 through 1997

By Jean D. Brender, PhD; Martha J. VanEgdom; and Olga Nuno, MD, MPH

TMA 2000 Annual Report

Texas Medicine Rounds

Destination Houston * Defining a quality health plan * Fat fighters Foundation grant * Galveston fun run * In Case Your Missed It * MedBytes * Contract Clause of the Month * Hotlines

Departments

Editor's Note
From Your President
People
Information for Authors
Physicians' Referral Directory
Classified Directory
Healthy Ending

Texas Medicine Back Issues


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