Public Health

  • COVID-19 Resources, All in One Place

    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

  • More than Ever, Flu Shots are Critical to a Healthy Texas

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    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.

    You Have the Power
    to Prevent the Flu
  • Sign Up with DSHS Now to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

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    Nobody’s certain when the first COVID-19 vaccines will be available, but you can take important steps now to make sure you’re ready to vaccinate patients quickly once the shots arrive, state health leaders said this week.

    TMA and DSHS Urge Physicians and Medical Facilities to Enroll  
  • More Emergency COVID-19 Funds Becoming Available

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    The federal Health and Human Services (HHS) Department recently began accepting applications for a new round of emergency funding for physicians and practices affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Apply for Funds Monday, Oct. 5 - Friday, Nov. 6  
  • CDC Update: COVID-19 Can be Spread by Airborne Particles

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    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its How COVID-19 Spreads guidance to include the potential for airborne spread of the virus.

    Read More Details From the CDC  
  • New Poster Encourages Flu Vaccination Amid COVID-19

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    “COVID-19 is here, but so is the flu.”

    That is the message of a new downloadable poster available from the Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise – ImmunizeSM program to help you stress the need for flu vaccination, this year more than ever.

    One Shot Can Help Prevent Flu  
  • Governor Extends Non-Emergent Surgery Suspension in Texas

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    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.

    Non-Elective Surgery
    Restrictions Loosened
  • Help Parents Understand COVID-19 as Classes Resume

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    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.

    TMA Has Created Several Documents for You to Share  
  • Health Officials Seek Input to Increase COVID-19 Testing Capabilities

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    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, federal health officials are considering expanding testing capacity for certain commercial, academic, medical center, and public health laboratories to help maximize diagnostic testing in the U.S.

    Learn More Here  
  • TMA Weighs In On COVID-19 Surprise Billing, Insurance Premiums, and More

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    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.

    Read TMA's Recommendations  
  • TMB President: Board Does Not Ban Any Drug for COVID-19

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    The Texas Medical Board (TMB) does not prohibit any drug or treatment for COVID-19 patients, including the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, TMB President Sherif Z. Zaafran, MD, said.

    Read the Details Here  
  • Schools Can Exclude Students with Vax Opt-Outs In an Epidemic, TMA Says

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    If school districts during an epidemic want to exclude students who have declined vaccinations for reasons of conscience, both the law and public health considerations are on their side, the Texas Medical Association has told Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

    Details About the Law and Public Health Considerations  
  • Negative Test Should Not Be Required to Return to Work, School

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    COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms who isolated themselves at home should not be required to receive a negative test or a physician’s note to return to work or school, the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force said.

    When Can Patients
    Discontinue Isolation?
  • TMA Releases Tools to Navigate School Reopening

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    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.

    Read the Guide Detailing the COVID-19 Control Plan  
  • Stay Vigilant When Considering COVID-19 Treatments, TMB Says

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    The Texas Medical Board (TMB) and Texas Medical Association remind physicians to continue to use strong medical judgment when considering drugs and therapies to treat COVID-19 and to take all appropriate steps when making any treatment decision.

    Physician Must Provide Full Disclosure of Treatment Options  
  • TMA-Backed Principles Call for Flexibility in End-of-Life Visits for COVID-19 Patients

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    TMA, joined by six other state health care organizations, has produced a list of principles to help hospitals and other health care facilities provide more flexible visitation policies for patients facing serious illness or end-of-life situations during the COVID-19 crisis.

    End-of-Life Visitation
    During COVID-19
  • Urge Texans to Get Flu Vaccine Early, Officials Say

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    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.

    Get and Give Flu Vaccine Early  
  • What to Do If a Staff Member or Patient Tests Positive

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    As cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, the greater the chance it will find its way to your office. If it hasn’t happened already, no doubt you’ve been bracing for that possibility for months.

    TMA Is Here to Make
    Sure You're Prepared
  • What’s More Risky for COVID-19, Going to a Bar or Opening the Mail?

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    Remember the board game Risk, where the goal was basically to take over the world?

    Well, let’s play Risk COVID-19, in which you try to guess which activities put people more at risk for contracting the coronavirus that causes the disease.

    Find the Answers Here  
  • Could You Be Liable for Volunteer COVID-19 Care?

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    Many Texas physicians have stepped up to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes retired physicians and others who have volunteered their services in areas where they are needed most. If you’d like to volunteer but are concerned about your potential liability, check out TMA's recent white paper.

    More About Liability
    Limitations During a Disaster
  • “I Literally Cried” – Practices React to TMA-Aided PPE Shipments

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    Since May 1, TMA and county medical societies (CMS) have helped physician practices throughout the state receive personal protective equipment (PPE) they’ve desperately needed to safely care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    We Are Here For You, Your Staff and Your Patients  
  • TMB Requires Physicians to Follow Minimum COVID-19 Safety Standards

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    Texas physicians must follow required minimum safe-practice standards related to COVID-19 – and post a notice describing those minimum standards – under an emergency rule the TMB adopted late yesterday. The rule went into effect at midnight May 1.

    TMB Mandates New Outpatient COVID-19 Rules  
  • What's Herd Immunity? Physician Explains How It Protects Us

    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.

  • TMA Social Determinants of Health Resource Page Awareness

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    Looking for resources to promote health equity? TMA’s Social Determinants of Health Resource Center provides a wealth of information for physicians seeking to learn more about social factors that drive health outcomes. The resource center includes links to educational material, screening tools, care management resources and more.

    Explore Social Determinants of Health Resources  
  • TMA Delegates OK Policy on Certain Health Care Disparities, LGBTQ Health Section

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    At an unprecedented live virtual meeting Saturday, the Texas Medical Association House of Delegates took action on a variety of initiatives important to the health of all Texans, including adopting policy to address health care disparities specifically related to cancer; laying the foundation for the creation of an LGBTQ Health Section; and setting principles for community-based accountable care organizations (ACOs).

    Get the Details Here  
  • Maternal Deaths: First U.S. Data Since 2007 Shows Serious Problems Persist

    Texas’ rate of maternal deaths is slightly above the national level, long-awaited new data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows.

    How TMA Proposes to Make Sure it's Safe to be a Mom in Texas   
  • Education Board OKs Curriculum Standards on HPV Vaccines

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    The State Board of Education has approved health education standards that would require public schools to teach the importance of human papillomavirus vaccines beginning in seventh grade.

    HPV Vaccine Standards
    Approved by Ed Board
  • Easing the Pain? Opioid Settlement Brings Valuable Funding to Fight Crisis


    September 2019 brought what could become a major victory for the state’s handling of opioid addiction. Drugmaker Purdue Pharma – which faced thousands of lawsuits from cities and states, including Texas, for its role in the national opioid crisis – announced it had agreed to a settlement with 24 state attorneys general and other plaintiffs.

    Opioid Settlement Brings Valuable Funding to Fight Crisis  
  • Legislative Wins on Public Health

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    Texas physicians got the kind of huge win on tobacco issues they haven’t seen in decades – a law to keep tobacco products away from young people.

    Charting Medicine's Statehouse Progress: Public Health  
  • TMA is helping to strengthen your practice by offering advice and creating a climate of medical success across the state.

  • What could a TMA membership mean for you, your practice, and your patients?

  • Message From TMA Foundation President,
    Susan Pike, MD

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    As physicians, we encourage our patients every day to be active and adopt a healthy lifestyle. But we know that many of our patients suffer from irreversible chronic conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which affects an estimated 1.1 million Texas adults. This disease can make it difficult for people to get regular exercise.

    November is National COPD Awareness month. Find out how you can help prevent COPD at your walk this month.

    Participate Now  
  • Pediatric Concussion Awareness and Prevention

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    Preventing head injuries is important, especially among student athletes. TMA has compiled resources to help physicians, coaches, parents, and students better understand the consequences and severity of head-related injuries.

    Use Your Head  
  • Don’t Change Poverty Level Adjustment, TMA Tells Feds

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    Possible changes to how the federal government determines the national poverty level could negatively affect the well-being and health care options for large portions of the population, a coalition of 10 state medical associations told the nation’s chief statistician this week.

    Poverty-level Proposal Hurts Medicine, TMA Says  
  • Physicians Serve as Lead Clinicians to Support Mental Health Intervention 

    The impact of adverse childhood events (ACEs) can be lasting and costly on patient health and medical outcomes.

    In the United States, more than 20% of adults report experiencing three ACEs during their youth, potentially increasing the risk of negative, chronic health consequences and challenges such as alcoholism, depression, unemployment, heart disease and substance abuse, among many others.

    Learn More About ACEs