The Texas Legislature finished its last business Thursday before a long early vacation, after the House of Representatives adopted rules for the 2021 session, including a mask requirement on the House floor and the option to electronically submit comments.
A decrease in the Republican majority in the Senate this session prompted an inevitable discussion Wednesday about the procedure for bringing bills to the floor for debate.
The Texas Legislature on Tuesday gaveled in what’s sure to be one of the most unique sessions in its history, with both the House and the Senate making quick work of their first day before adjourning.
The way the Texas Legislature conducts business during the 2021 session may look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Texas Medical Association’s commitment to improving health care remains the same. Some of those goals are up against deep cuts to state agency budgets. At the same time, however, the pandemic has created opportunities for medicine to bend lawmakers’ ear on some of its longstanding goals, including advancing access to care, vaccines, health coverage, and telemedicine./p> Top-Line Items:The Budget and More
Fast, smooth, relatively painless. That’s the way Texas Medical Association President Diana L. Fite, MD, described her experience as part of the state’s first batch of essential health care workers to receive initial doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
TMA physician experts created a chart to help Texans make informed choices about which activities are safest to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Physician members of the TMA COVID-19 Task Force and the TMA Committee on Infectious Diseases prepared the chart. The doctors rated the activities assuming that participants are wearing a mask when practical, staying at least 6 feet away from people who are not immediate family members, and washing their hands frequently.
2020 has been a hard year. The COVID-19 pandemic has killed our loved ones, made many Texans sick, and upended our lives. Now we’re facing another big threat – flu season.
Each year in the United States, the influenza (flu) virus kills or hospitalizes thousands of people and makes millions sick.
Our physicians and other health care professionals remain busy caring for COVID-19 patients. They don’t want to start seeing lots of flu patients too. That could stretch our health care system to the breaking point. They want you to get the care you need, when you need it.
Gov. Greg Abbott today reauthorized non-emergent elective surgeries at hospitals and allowed nursing homes to reopen for visitations under certain conditions across the majority of Texas.
To help your patients or their parents answer questions about COVID-19 as school classes resume, TMA has created several documents for you to share.
Texas physicians are calling on COVID-19 coronavirus survivors to make a donation that can help others fight the infectious disease. Some former patients already have answered the call, and doctors and patients are seeing results of convalescent plasma treatments to fight COVID.
People who have recovered from the coronavirus should not need a test to get back to work. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) COVID-19 Task Force announced support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that individuals should not be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or a note from a physician to return to the office or classroom after being sick, unless in specific circumstances.
Led by its School Reopening Workgroup, the Texas Medical Association is offering schools and physicians tools to mitigate risk for COVID-19 spread as classes resume across the state.
With flu season on the horizon – and the COVID-19 pandemic expected to continue – Texas physicians should strongly encourage patients to receive a flu vaccination as early as possible.
The physicians of Texas greatly appreciate Governor Abbott using the power of his office to warn Texans about the serious, ongoing threat of COVID-19 and to recommend that Texans take proven steps to protect themselves and their neighbors.
Americans should not be surprised that it took the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, under the knee of a white police officer to take the COVID-19 pandemic off the lead of every newscast, off the top of every mind, and off the tip of every tongue. Our great country was born with a big problem with racism. Today – 155 years after the end of the Civil War, 65 years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, 28 years after Rodney King implored us to “all get along” – our great country still has a big problem with racism.
TMA submitted written testimony Tuesday to the House Committee on Insurance, providing details and recommendations on price gouging, surprise medical bills, health insurance premiums, and more caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like most independent medical practice physicians struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin pediatrician Brian Temple, MD, had to make a critical choice: reduce salaries and work hours, or lose the staff and pediatric practice he and his partner had built over six years.
How do umbrellas protect us from disease? Austin pediatrician Ari Brown, MD, a Texas Medical Association physician leader, uses an umbrella analogy to explain how community immunity works, in this video.
As lawmakers continue their work on a federal solution to surprise medical bills, the Texas Medical Association is on guard to make sure patients will be protected – and physicians get a fair shot to get paid properly.
Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau tries to count everyone in the U.S. – an endeavor that touches the medical world deeply. Among other things, the census shapes the direction of $675 billion in federal funding, including programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and several others that directly affect patients.
I call for our TMA to bring all of these groups together to directly address the issue of the uninsured in Texas, to plan a strategy, and to put it in motion.
The state’s new law allowing arbitration of payment disputes on certain out-of-network care carries concerns for physicians and uncertainty about what it will look like from an enforcement standpoint, a panel told the Texas Medical Association Winter Conference on Saturday morning.
One in four Texas voters say their health insurance company has refused to cover what their physician ordered for them or their families, a new statewide survey has found.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has adopted an emergency rule outlining the narrow circumstances when it will be legal for physicians to balance bill patients under the state’s new law that protects patients from surprise medical bills.
With the recent rise in severe pulmonary illness linked to vaping and e-cigarettes, state lawmakers took steps today to curb use of those products, particularly among children and teenagers.
Vaccines work to prevent people from catching infectious diseases. Here’s how: They introduce a dead or weakened version of the virus or bacteria to train our natural defenses to kick in. If our body faces a real threat from the live germ later, the immune system is armed to block it from harming us.
The bad news keeps coming for Texas’ uninsured rate. Between 2016 and 2018, Texas tied for the second-highest jump in the rate of uninsured children among all 50 states, according to a study released Wednesday by Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families in Washington, D.C.
When President Donald Trump released an executive order earlier this month that would, in part, expand the scope of practice of nonphysician practitioners, the Texas Medical Association vowed to keep physicians at the head of the health care team. On Monday, TMA President David Fleeger, MD, took a major step to do that, urging President Trump and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to remove that language entirely.
Opioid abuse and overdose deaths continue to rise in the U.S., with more than 46,000 opioid-related deaths in 2017, up from 5,000 in 2000, data show. But the problem can’t be explained in total deaths alone. The crisis also has changed in character since 2001, new data show.
A panel of medicine’s representatives in the Texas Legislature said Saturday that 2019 was a good year for medicine in Austin, but unfinished business remains for the next session in 2021.
Our U.S. senators and representatives are back home in Texas for the August recess, and Texas Medical Association President David Fleeger, MD, says their physician-constituents need to contact them to make sure they stop the surprise medical billing epidemic in a way that helps our patients – not big insurance companies.
The 2019 Texas Legislature enacted three new laws that will change the way physicians prescribe opioids, including House Bill 3284, which delays the mandate for physicians check the state’s prescription monitoring program, known as PMP Aware, for prescriptions tied to opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and carisoprodol. The bill pushes back the requirement from Sept. 1, 2019, to March 1, 2020.
Addressing Texas’ maternal health crisis, improving Medicaid coverage and payment, and making health insurance work for patients are among the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) top priorities in its new advocacy agenda, TMA Healthy Vision 2025.
As more reports come in on the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, TMA has convened a task force of public health experts to help Texas physicians prepare for the next phase. We’ve started by compiling all the news and information you need right now on our online resource center. Bookmark that page as we will update it continually.
COVID-19 Resource Center