Posts made in May, 2015

What is the Texas Prompt Pay Act?

Posted By on May 4, 2015

Medical professionals play crucial roles in their respective communities. Thanks to the hard work of doctors, nurses, and other health care providers, communities are able to receive proper medical attention and treatment. Unfortunately, there are scenarios when this hard work isn’t properly compensated by insurance companies that delay or deny medical care payments.

In Texas, medical professionals are protected from such antagonistic practices through the Texas Prompt Pay Act of 2003. Based on the terms mandated by the Texas Prompt Pay statute, medical personnel who are not properly paid by health insurance companies within a specific space of time may pursue their owed compensation through a legal claim.

It’s important to note that note all health insurance programs can be covered by the Prompt Pay Act. The law only applies to health maintenance organizations (HMO) and preferred provider organizations (PPO). Any other insurance plan under the following programs is exempted from the mandated terms:

  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Federal employee plans
  • Self-funded plans for ERISA, and University of Texas and Texas A&M University employees
  • Texas Association of School Board coverage
  • Health Select and Health Select Plus
  • TriCare
  • CHIP
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid

Medical professionals looking for coverage outside the aforementioned programs will need to submit their claims within 95 days of the services they rendered. Their submission must also include data that is, as stated by the law, “complete, legible, and accurate.” These claims will also have to undergo strict review and should follow other eligibility requirements mandated in the Texas Prompt Act. Because this process can quickly become complicated so often, doctors and other health care personnel should feel free to consult with an experienced lawyer to learn more about all the legal options available to them.

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What is a Dry Socket?

Posted By on May 3, 2015

A tooth extraction can be an unpleasant experience for anyone. However, this feeling of discomfort can become a lot worst when certain complications arise. While it may be uncommon, a significant number of dentistry patients end up developing a dry socket. Still, for that small part of the population, the occurrence of a dry socket can be extremely painful.

An extraction leaves behind an empty socket that should clot to protect the area underneath the tooth that has been pulled. A dry socket develops when a blood clot is dislodged or fails to properly form, leaving the nerves and bone exposed to anything that enters the mouth. Unless properly treated, a dry socket can cause excruciating pain and eventually lead to an infection. Symptoms include throbbing pain that continues to intensify in the days following the extraction and a foul odor and taste coming from the empty socket.

According to a study published by The Open Dentistry Journal, there are several factors that increase a patient’s risk to develop a dry socket. The occurrence of dry sockets is more common for smokers. Surgical tooth extraction, which is required in cases involving an impacted wisdom tooth, also increases the risk of dry sockets. Patients can also impede the formation of a blood clot by constantly rinsing their mouths after an extraction. Drinking through a straw can also complicate natural recovery.

The only way to treat a dry socket is to ensure that the affected area is properly healing. Dentists will clean the affected socket to remove any debris that could cause infection and then fill the hole with a specialized dressing. They will typically prescribe certain medications to prevent infection. They might also suggest nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to help ease any discomfort caused by pain.

Dry sockets are easily preventable with the help of an experienced dentist. It’s important for dentists to dialogue with their patients and provide an individual and specialized course of action.

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It’s hard to bounce back from a criminal conviction. Having a criminal record can cause serious consequences and cost a person important opportunities. In Texas, for example, a person is constantly screened for past crimes when applying for a job or looking for a new place of residence.

According to the website of Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, particular circumstances can allow a person some leeway in this regard. The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows certain individuals to file for expunction—a legal process that can have criminal records sealed away or cleared. In some cases, the court can also grant an eligible individual to say that they have never been arrested nor convicted of a crime if asked during interviews and other similar procedures.

Expunction provides opportunities for those looking to start over after a criminal conviction. However, not everyone can be eligible to undergo this legal process. As stated by Texas law, the option for expunction is only open for those applicable to the following circumstances:

  • Wrongful convictions
  • Pardoned convictions
  • Arrests without conviction
  • Acquittals
  • Juvenile offenses

Anyone looking to file for expunction must also have to wait until a specific amount of time has passed. The length of time required for expunction will depend on the nature of the criminal conviction. In Texas, Class C misdemeanors require 180 days from the date of the arrest. Both Class A misdemeanors and Class B misdemeanors require a 1 full year. Meanwhile, felony charges require a wait time of 3 years.

Other specific factors might also come into consideration before being granted expunction by the court. The court might also need to take into account the nature and details of the crime being called into question. Individuals considering expunction will have to consult with a qualified defense attorney to learn more about the process.

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