Stories from Texas Medicine, November 2014

Revved-up Reporting - 05/03/2018

As federal quality reporting mandates and noncompliance penalties add up, experts say registries can help take the sting out of the process and rev up quality improvement for physician practices. The online reporting tool is also taking a front seat over claims-based reporting as Medicare signals its plans to eventually phase out that less efficient and less clinically accurate option.


Home Sweet Medical Home - 05/24/2017

Starting with a solid primary care foundation, the patient-centered medical home has become a hot commodity for making health care more efficient and effective and less fragmented and costly. Whether the enhanced primary care model lives up to its promise is still up for debate, based on the available research. Still, policymakers, payers, and physician practices are increasingly taking the bet.


Schoolhouse Stock - 06/02/2016

Texas does not require schools to stock epinephrine unless it's prescribed for a specific student. Texas allergists are now fighting to pass legislation that would force schools to stock unassigned epinephrine injectors so that coaches, school nurses, and other trained staff could immediately treat students who suffer a severe and unexpected allergic reaction.


We Have Your Daughter - 06/02/2016

Virtual kidnappers attempt to extort money from their victims by saying they've kidnapped a member of the victim's family. While no actual kidnapping occurred, the callers use coconspirators, who sometimes scream for help in the background, to convince their victims of the legitimacy of the threat. During June and July of this year, the FBI received multiple reports indicating physicians in McAllen, Laredo, Brownsville, and Del Rio were contacted in attempts to collect extortion payments in "virtual kidnapping" schemes.


Too Much Trust - 05/13/2016

Many physicians hire an office manager to take over the administrative side of the practice so the physician can do what he or she does best — care for patients. But paying bills, depositing money, handling payroll, and accepting payments from patients are everyday tasks that give office managers a lot of power over a medical practice. It's crucial that physicians keep an eye on financial operations to help keep their employees honest.