Sep 17, 2010

Be a TEXPAC-Alliance Volunteer

To be an effective legislators for patients and physicians, candidates must first be elected. TEXPAC Alliance Volunteers use shoe leather and folding skills to help get the job done. Become a TEXPAC Alliance Volunteer.

Sep 15, 2010

Tele-Health Reform School Tonight at 8 #hsr

All you have to do to enroll in the Texas Medical Association's second Tele-Health Reform School tonight at 8 pm (CT) is answer your home telephone. If you do, you'll learn what you need to know about the new health system reform law.

TMA Supports Physician Hospital #Ownership

Federal law should not interfere with physician ownership of hospitals because physician-owned hospitals provide a significant contribution, and studies show their exceptional quality results in a ranking at the top in patient satisfaction, TMA has told a federal court.

The Expense of Charity Care and Bad Debt

According to responses to TMA's August survey, the average dollar value of the charity care delivered per physician in 2009 was $41,000, and the average amount of uncollectible debt was $70,500. Both have decreased since 2007.

Stay Informed With the TMA #Mobile App

The new TMA Mobile App offers 24/7 access with up-to-the-minute data on nearly 45,000 of your Texas colleagues.

Sep 10, 2010

Look Out for Mumps

Although Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) officials say they don't believe the general public is at risk, they are advising physicians of a mumps outbreak in the San Antonio area. Since July 16, 21 cases of mumps have been confirmed and three more are suspected, 20 of them in inmates at two correctional facilities in the area.

Newborn Screening Rules

State newborn screening rules allow parents, legal guardians, or managing conservators of newborn babies to request destruction of their baby's newborn screening blood spot card after testing. The rules also require physicians who submit blood spots for screening to give them the Use and Storage of Newborn Screening Blood Spot Card form they need to make such a request.

Is That Ambulance Really Necessary?

TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, the Texas Medicare administrative contractor, says many physicians are incorrectly certifying that their patients need ambulance transportation, thus wasting a lot of Medicare money.

Sep 8, 2010

TMA Opposes Tax Break for Lawyers

Asserting that there is “no compelling justification” to do so, TMA, the American Medical Association, and 88 other medical organizations urged the U.S. Treasury Department not to change the tax code to allow trial attorneys to deduct litigation expenses from their taxes in certain cases.

Diabetes Resources Available

The Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Diabetes Council, and the Central Texas Diabetes Coalition have developed two free resources to help physicians and health care providers provide optimal care to patients with diabetes.

Medicare to Cover Smoking Cessation

Starting Jan. 1, Medicare will add evidence-based tobacco cessation counseling to the list of covered services.

The Business of Cancer Care

Cancer care has become big business. The National Institute of Health in 2009 estimated that the 2008 cost of cancer care was $228.1 billion. Of this, only $93.2 billion was due to direct medical costs; $18.8 billion was due to lost productivity of the patient because of illness; and $116.1 billion was due to lost productivity secondary to premature death. Multiple government and payer initiatives are focused on reducing the costs of cancer care.

In the September issue of Texas Medicine, a special symposium issue on cancer.