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NOVEMBER / 2017


55


practice management


CRISIS IN THE COUNTRY Since 2010, Texas has seen more rural hospitals close than has any other state, leaving huge gaps in health care; however, the state’s rural areas have options for maintaining health care facilities.


“IN THE LATE ’80S AND EARLY ’90S, I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS PRESCRIBING PAIN MEDICINES INITIALLY, MOST PATIENTS DIDN’T WANT THEM. THEY DIDN’T LIKE THE SIDE EFFECTS. BUT BY ABOUT 2014, AND ’15 AND ’16 AND ’17, PATIENTS EXPECTED IT.”


page 37 also


7 FACT 9


37 economics


FACING MORE “HOOPS” Opioid abuse has killed tens of thousands of Americans in recent years, prompting health plans to adjust their prescription drug policies, including changing formularies and prior-authorization processes. How do these changes align with physician interests and the proper practice of medicine?


47 quality


A WEALTH OF INFORMATION The Center for Health Care Research Data at The University of Texas Health Science Center at


Houston School of Public Health RK] OK\XON K MO\^S MK^SYX ^RK^ aSVV


allow it to analyze and report on Medicare claims data from Texas.


FOCUS ON: Smoking cessation


11 COMMENTARY 15 ROUNDS 17 NEWSMAKERS 20 DEATHS 44 AUTHOR GUIDELINES 60 FAQ


2 TEXAS MEDICINE November 2017


PHOTO BY PHIL KLINE


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