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Home   Hot Topics   Governmental Affairs   Practice Management   Membership   Legal Information Jan. 20, 2011
TMA Weekly Headlines

Texas budget draft cuts $13.7 billion in spending
The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle, Jan. 19, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas lawmakers got their first glimpse of what the next state budget might look like late Tuesday, including a staggering $5 billion cut to public schools, as Gov. Rick Perry and his supporters were dancing at an inaugural celebration. While public education appeared to bear the brunt of the $15 billion state revenue shortfall, the proposal also would reduce reimbursement rates by 10 percent for physicians, hospitals and nursing homes that participate in Medicaid — a decrease that could eventually dry up participation in the program for poor and disabled Texans. More

Texas House bill would create state-run health insurance exchange
The Dallas Morning News via WFAA-TV, Jan. 13, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A key House GOP health policy writer has filed legislation to create a state-run health insurance exchange in Texas. A bill by Rep. John Zerwas, R-Katy, would create a Texas Health Insurance Connector, or simplified insurance market. It would serve as the state's insurance exchange as required under the federal health overhaul passed last year, Zerwas said. "My opposition to the federal health care reforms is no secret, and I continue to support Attorney General Greg Abbott's efforts to have the law declared unconstitutional," he said. More

In retirement, 'Dr. Bob' still in good humor
Austin American-Statesman, Jan. 17, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Have you heard about the patient who tried to fool the radiologist? The doctor saw right through him. Dr. Bob — Dr. Robert Ellzey of Austin — inspires joke-telling. He loves to e-mail funny stories, pithy comments, letters to the editor, satirical commentaries and tales from his days of practice. And even though Ellzey retired from a 38-year radiology practice in 1996 after helping build it into one of the city's largest, he's still writing orders. More

Legislative Budget Board's balancing proposals
Texas Tribune, Jan. 18, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Legislative Budget Board has begun distributing (to legislators — not to the public) its recommendations for how to save money and raise money to help balance the 2012-13 state budget. They plan to distribute copies of the budget itself (again, to lawmakers only) later, and all of the documents will be available online to the public soon. The details are still coming in, but here are some of the headlines from the Government Effectiveness and Efficiency Recommendations. More

Democrats seek redo of health care pitch
Politico, Jan. 18, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Supporters of health care reform are hoping to use the GOP repeal effort this week to defend and explain the law, using a unified voice and a personal touch. House Republicans are set to begin debate Tuesday on repeal. A vote is scheduled for Wednesday after a week of delay to honor victims of the shootings in Tucson. Wednesday's vote, which is mainly symbolic for Republicans because it faces promised opposition in the Senate, still gives Democrats a second chance to defend their landmark legislation — and the first substantial chance to show a united front on health reform. More

Bad diets, smoking cause East Texans to die young
Texas Tribune, Jan. 14, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The proof of Anderson County's live-hard, die-young culture is in the bread pudding — and the all-you-can-eat fried catfish, the drive-through tobacco barns and the doughnut shops by the dozen that dot this small East Texas county of about 57,000 people. In a community where heavy eating and chain smoking are a way of life, where poverty, hard-headedness and even suspicion hinder access to basic health care, residents die at an average age of 73 — seven years earlier than the longest-living Texans. More

Social services dread the budget ax
San Antonio Express-News, Jan. 19, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Three years ago, Fred Swaney put his elderly mother in a nursing home run by Morningside Ministries, confident she would receive excellent care. Since the home is run by a nonprofit affiliated with a religious denomination, its philosophy would be to place people above profits, he reasoned. And he hasn't been disappointed. But now, Swaney is worried. More

On the border, long lives despite dismal statistics
The New York Times, Jan. 15, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many of the longest lives in Texas are lived in an unlikely place: Along the state's impoverished border with Mexico. Despite conditions that often have the opposite consequences — desperately low incomes, a widespread lack of health insurance and poor rates of high school graduation — the predominantly Hispanic residents of Hidalgo County live on average to be 80, two years longer than the United States or Texas averages. More

Why UTMB deserves support
The Galveston County Daily News, Jan. 15, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the legislature meeting, two economists were asked to calculate the benefits the University of Texas Medical Branch has on the Texas economy. Ray Perryman, of The Perryman Group, and Robert Hodgin, of the University of Houston at Clear Lake, compiled a report that includes all kinds of interesting numbers. More

New Braunfels wholesaler ordered to stop sale of unapproved devices
The Southeast Texas Record, Jan. 13, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has charged a New Braunfels-based medical devices wholesaler with acquiring, stocking and selling products that were not approved for sale in the United States. According to a statement from Abbott's office last week, a court-ordered temporary restraining order granted Jan. 6 halts the business activities of defendants Elite Med LLC, S&B Marketing and Brian Bailey. The state's legal action cites the defendants with providing "unapproved medical devices" to Texas clinics and physicians. More

Austin investors back new health firm
Austin Business Journal, Jan. 19, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A group of investors and entrepreneurs have launched a new health care group in Austin. Precedent Health Inc., described as "aligning physicians, hospitals and payers," will be headquartered in Nashville, but operate its first satellite office in the Texas capital. Heritage Group LLC, Texo Ventures LLC and founding members provided start-up capital. More

The articles in The Texas Medical Association Weekly Headlines are chosen from a variety of sources, Texas and national, to reflect media coverage of the medical profession and health care issues. Publication of any article does not imply that TMA has endorsed or supports its contents.
TMA Weekly Headlines
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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