Aug 19, 2008

TMA, TMLT Battle Wyeth in U.S. Supreme Court

The quality of patient care could be compromised and physicians would risk more liability lawsuits if the U.S. Supreme Court sides with the drug manufacturer Wyeth in a Vermont case. That is the conclusion reached in a brief filed with the court by TMA, …

TMA, TMLT Battle Wyeth in U.S. Supreme Court
8/17/2008 7:00 PM

DPS to Collect More Drug Info

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will begin collecting more information from prescriptions for Schedule II-V controlled substances on Sept. 1. Starting that day, prescriptions must contain the following information to be considered valid:

DPS to Collect More Drug Info 8/14/2008 7:00 PM

Alert! Electronic Death Registration Required

Starting Aug. 31, physicians must submit all cause-of-death information and medical certifications to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) electronically through the state's new online death registration system, the Texas Electronic …

Alert! Electronic Death Registration Required
8/14/2008 7:00 PM

TDI Fines Blue Cross Over Non-Network Claims

State insurance regulators fined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) $250,000 and ordered the insurance giant to repay $3.9 million to members for underpaying claims related to treatment in out-of-network hospitals and other medical facilities.

TDI Fines Blue Cross Over Non-Network Claims
8/14/2008 7:00 PM

CMS Won't Accept Signature Stamps

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says it will not accept medical records containing a physician's stamped signature. CMS auditors will reject any document signed with a physician's signature stamp.

CMS Won't Accept Signature Stamps

8/14/2008 7:00 PM

Feds Change VFC Storage Rules

Starting Jan. 1, federal guidelines will require certified calibrated thermometers in all refrigerators and freezers used to store vaccines in the Texas Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.

Feds Change VFC Storage Rules

8/14/2008 7:00 PM

Earn 9 CME Credits at TMA Fall Conference

Protecting the 2003 tort reforms, the presidential campaign's impact on the future of health care, plus leadership and legislative testimony training are on the agenda for the 2008 TMA Fall Conference on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5-6, at the Hyatt …

Earn 9 CME Credits at TMA Fall Conference

8/14/2008 7:00 PM

Medicare Expands No-Pay List

Medicare officials have added hospital-acquired conditions for which the program will not pay higher hospital payments to treat the conditions.

Medicare Expands No-Pay List

8/14/2008 7:00 PM

TDI Schedules Workers' Comp e-Billing Meeting

Electronic billing for workers' compensation claims will be the subject of a Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) stakeholder meeting from 1 to 4 pm CT on Monday, Aug. 25.

TDI Schedules Workers' Comp e-Billing Meeting

8/14/2008 7:00 PM

Myriad to Start Genetic Testing Ad Campaign

Myriad Genetics Inc. will launch a direct-to-consumer marketing campaign in Texas for its BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene tests in September.

Myriad to Start Genetic Testing Ad Campaign

8/14/2008 7:00 PM

United Refines Claims Letters

Tired of those UnitedHealthcare claims letters that are hard to understand? There's good news

United Refines Claims Letters

8/14/2008 7:00 PM

TMLT, JUA Offer Risk Management Services

Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT) has contracted with the Texas Medical Liability Insurance Underwriting Association (JUA) to offer JUA policyholders risk management services, many of them for free.

TMLT, JUA Offer Risk Management Services

8/14/2008 7:00 PM

Get Cigarettes Out of the Movies

TMA has added Screen Out!, a new public health outreach program, to its repertoire. The goal is to remove tobacco imagery and products from youth-oriented movies rated G, PG, and PG-13.

Get Cigarettes Out of the Movies

8/14/2008 7:00 PM

Medicare Bill Includes e-Prescribing Incentives

The Medicare bill that Congress passed last month to reverse the planned 10.6-percent cut in physician fees also establishes the first-ever incentive plan to encourage physicians to adopt electronic prescribing technology.

Medicare Bill Includes e-Prescribing Incentives
8/14/2008 7:00 PM

Aug 13, 2008

Medical Liability Reform: Podcast TMA

Bring up the subject of tort reform, and physicians are never at a loss for words. After a long and steadfast battle by organized medicine in Texas, physicians and patients won a victory with the 2003 passage of the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act. Subsequently, voters approved Proposition 12, an amendment to the Texas Constitution that ratifies the legislature’s authority to cap noneconomic damages in health care liability cases. Read more about Prop 12, the Texas liability reforms, and how physicians are fighting to preserve the benefits they've brought to Texas patients in the cover story of the August issue of Texas Medicine. Download the show now. In this installment of Podcast TMA, Melissa Garretson, MD, a Fort Worth pediatrician at Cook Children's Medical Center, and David Teuscher, MD, a Beaumont orthopedic surgeon and former chair of TMA's Committee on Professional Liability, talk about the dramatic turnaround they've witnessed in access to patient care and in the physician workforce in Texas. They provide their take on two lawsuits—one recently filed in federal court and the other in state court—that challenge the constitutionality of Texas' $250,000 limit on physician exposure for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. This installment covers:
  • The benefits patients and health care professionals have reaped through tort reform in the past five years;
  • The impact tort reform has had on recruitment of medical specialists in Texas;
  • Trial lawyers' and defense attorneys' quests to overturn the provisions of tort reform;
  • What organized medicine can do to ensure the hard-won provisions of tort reform remain intact and protected; and
  • Attacks on tort reform by opponents in the next legislative session.

Want to Subscribe to Podcast TMA through iTunes? Here's the link. It takes you to the iTunes store. Subscription is free. Catch up on all the old Podcast TMA episodes on the TMA Web site. What's a Podcast, how do I get it, and what do I with it once I have it? (See the short tutorial on the iTunes Web site.)