Stories from Texas Medicine, October 2013

Texas First - 04/24/2018

The 2013 Texas Legislature passed legislation barring foreign medical schools from buying up core clinical training spots at Texas teaching hospitals and institutions. Those clerkships are reserved for third- and fourth-year medical students to begin their clinical training. With most of them at or nearing capacity, however — and a queue of new students as Texas medical schools expand enrollments — there's little room to spare for foreign medical schools to scoop them up.


Under New Management - 05/13/2016

The end of the 2013 session of the legislature marked the beginning of new leadership at the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) as Gov. Rick Perry appointed Julia Rathgeber to the helm of the agency in late May. The Senate unanimously confirmed that appointment in June. In an interview with Texas Medicine in late August, Commissioner Rathgeber said her job is "pretty simple. We are going to follow the law and implement it."


Promote Health, Not Lawsuits - 05/13/2016

Because of our tort reform, dozens of Texas counties that did not have an obstetrician now have one. The increase in rural physicians has been three times the increase in the rural population. However, it did not and could not reduce the percentage of diabetics in the population, reduce obesity, or make the latest disease-modifying autoimmune drug cheaper. If Public Citizen wants to reduce health care costs, it should promote fresh fruits and vegetables, not the plaintiff's bar. It should decry sedentary lifestyles, not a reform package that has made Texans safer and closer to their physician.


PHI, BAs, and NPPs - 05/13/2016

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made comprehensive changes (known as the Omnibus Rule) to HIPAA that took effect Sept. 23. The regulations expand physicians' obligation to protect patients' personal information. They also clarify when physicians must report breaches of unsecured information to patients and HHS.


One Year to Go - 05/13/2016

Failure to prepare for the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline to begin using the ICD-10 coding system will result in financial hardship — possibly even ruin — for physicians because payers will reject their claims. The ICD-10 deadline is one year away, but experts warn that planning for conversion is intricate and time-consuming.


Medicaid Roadblocks - 05/13/2016

It's caused problems for physicians and their patients, but Medicaid managed care is here to stay. State officials are committed to it to reduce costs in a growing program that consumes a quarter of the state budget. Still, some physicians are not convinced Texas Medicaid is better off under managed care.


Health Care Reform - 05/13/2016

Starting in 2014, key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be implemented, and doctors across the United States will experience the biggest change the health care industry has seen. As physicians, we have a responsibility to be well informed of the new law's impact on our practices — both as doctors and as employers. And with this great challenge comes great opportunity — to make the most of what the doctor ordered.