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

  • 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  
  • Texas Changes Online COVID-19 Death and Case Reporting

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    The Texas Department of State Health Services and Health and Human Services Commission have made several changes to daily COVID-19 case and fatality reports online, the agencies said this week.

    Read the Changes Here  
  • You Can Help Prevent Family Violence During COVID-19

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    Many families have had to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for some people, family violence and abuse means home is a dangerous place.

    How Can Medicine Respond?  
  • Rio Grande Valley Responds to COVID-19 Surge

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    As the case numbers and fatalities shoot upward, as refrigerator trucks crank up their coolers in makeshift morgues, as ambulances wait for hours to unload patients, and as coronavirus-stricken physicians and nurses slip out of the workforce, elected officials in the poorest region of Texas are getting desperate.

    "Our Backs are to the Wall."  
  • “How Many More Are Coming?” What It’s Like Inside Hospitals as Coronavirus Grips Texas’ Rio Grande Valley

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    At midnight in South Texas, nearly every bed is full in a low-slung building housing some of the sickest COVID-19 patients near the U.S.-Mexico border.

    COVID-19 Cases
    Are Rapidly Rising
  • Governor Extends Non-Emergent Surgery Suspension in Texas

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    Gov. Greg Abbott today suspended most non-emergent elective surgeries at hospitals in 11 state Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) because of a steady increase in COVID-19 patients. The proclamation does not affect surgeries or procedures at outpatient or ambulatory services facilities.

    When Will This Proclamation
    Go Into Effect?
  • 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  
  • Cases Up, Deaths Down; What’s Going On With COVID-19 in Texas?

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    Physicians get asked about COVID-19 all the time, and many questions are tough to answer, particularly because so many things about the disease are still unknown.

    Why Are Texas COVID-19 Cases Up, Deaths Down?  
  • Minimum Safe Standards Still Required Statewide

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    As some Texas counties have begun ordering businesses to require employees and customers to wear masks, physicians across the state also must comply with face-covering requirements – among other minimum safe practices – as required by the Texas Medical Board

    Practices Must Meet Local and TMB COVID-19 Standards  
  • 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  
  • COVID-19 Deadlines for Doctors

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    Upcoming deadlines and extensions in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Act Now: COVID-19
    Deadlines Approaching
  • 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.

  • Sparking a Conversation on Vaping

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    A panel of lawmakers and physicians participated in a state Parent Teacher Association (PTA) town hall event at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday. The panel discussed the vaping health epidemic; issues with implementation of a state law passed last year that raised the minimum age to use or purchase tobacco products – including vaping devices – to 21; and the need for support to help students quit.

    Straight Talk
    at the Capitol on Vaping
  • Help Patients Stand Up to Be Counted in the Census

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    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.

    Missing Census Data Affects You  
  • 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   
  • 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?

  • TMA Fighting for Physicians and Patients

    Texas Neighborhoods Worlds Apart in Life Expectancy

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    The Houston-based Episcopal Health Foundation last week issued a report comparing the life expectancy at birth of someone born in each of Texas’ 4,709 census tracts. Given the growing recognition of the importance of social determinants of health, I thought I’d dive into the report to find some good examples to share with you. I didn’t realize how deep that dive would become.

    Life Expectancy: Your
    Neighborhood Is a Key Factor
  • 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