• Improving the Health of All Texans

    • Battling a Destructive Virus

      Ebola, an infectious and often fatal virus, hit Dallas in October, prompting a frenzy of media attention directed toward Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who died from the disease at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Oct. 8. Despite the destructive nature of the virus, the two nurses who contracted Ebola from Mr. Duncan, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, both recovered, proving early detection is vital in battling the disease.
  • Standing up for Public Health

    • Fist Bump
      Trying to find a way to greet your patients but limit the spread of cold and flu? Citing a recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, TMA member Jason Marchetti, MD, has your answer!
    • Medicaid Now Allows Emergency Hep C Treatment
      To address emergency medication treatment needs for hepatitis C virus-infected patients, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission now allows restricted treatment approval for qualifying patients via prior authorization. Prior authorization is available only for eligible Medicaid fee-for-service patients beginning Jan. 23.
    • Agency Went Too Far; and Painkiller Change Is a Pain
      This month’s Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Texas Medicine magazine, featuring a legislative preview, is packed with health care stories, including these: Texas’ Sunset Advisory Commission said the agency investigating potential Medicaid fraud overreached its charge; expanding health insurance coverage would help the working poor; lessons learned from the Ebola crisis; the impact of reclassifying a popular painkiller; and a year after implementing the federal insurance marketplace, what trends are emerging? 
    • Better Care Quality; Docs Volunteer; and Caring for Low-Income Patients
      Improving health care quality and increasing patient safety; health care heroes serving thousands of immigrants on the border; whether to continue special funding to help underserved Texans; and physicians’ pessimism about their profession’s future highlight this month’s Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Texas Medicine magazine. 
    • AABB Asks for Blood Collection, Use, Management Data
      TMA’s Blood and Tissue Usage Committee encourages Texas physicians to complete a new national survey and inform their hospital blood banks about it.
    • 2014 Healthy Texas Babies Data Book Now Available
      The Texas Department of State Health Services has released the 2014 Healthy Texas Babies Data Book, This annual publication complements the Healthy Texas Babies initiative and the Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies by providing an in-depth analysis of infant and maternal health in Texas.
    • Free Ebola CME from UTHSCSA
      The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is offering an online course titled Ebola Virus Disease: What Should You Know? Update and Demonstration of Donning and Doffing of Personal Protective Equipment. Physicians can earn free 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ upon completion of the course.
  • Addressing Pollution from Legacy Coal Power Plants in Texas

    This June 2013 report examines retrofitting Big Brown, Martin Lake, and Monticello coal-fired facilities with modern emission controls or retiring the plants and replacing them with cleaner alternative energy sources. Prepared by Daniel Cohan, PhD, assistant professor of environmental engineering at Rice University, Addressing Pollution targets these three 1970s-era legacy coal-fired power plants because they are "the leading emitters of air pollutants and greenhouse gases in Texas." And they heavily contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and particulate matter, a mixture of substances including carbon-based particles, dust, and acid aerosols formed in the atmosphere by volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.

    The report explores four options that "could foster the ability of electricity providers to offset any loss of generating capacity from the legacy coal-fired power plants, while enhancing air quality and minimizing costs to ratepayers."

  • Texas Public Health Stats

    • Immunizations

      There is a greater risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in communities with low immunization rates. Vaccine preventable diseases will increase if Texas cuts immunization funding.
    • Obesity

      "F as in 'Fat'" Ranks Texas the 13th most-obese state in the country. Healthy eating starts in childhood.
    • Smoking

      Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the state. More than 24,000 Texans die each year from tobacco-related illnesses. Join with TMA to make Texas smoke-free.
    • Mental Health Funding

      More than 4.3 million Texans, including 1.2 million children, live with some form of mental health disorder. Of these, 1.5 million cannot function at work, school, or in the community due to their illness.