Stories written by David Doolittle

Abbott: More PPE Distributed in Texas - 04/06/2020

Texas has received more personal protective equipment (PPE), including 2.5 million masks, that will be distributed throughout the state in the coming days, Gov. Greg Abbott said in a press conference Monday.

If Your Patients Aren’t Happy Being Stuck at Home, Get This Song Stuck in Their Head - 04/06/2020

To help Texans to remember to stay at home, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey (part of the original outlaw-country movement) created a catchy tune for the Texas Medical Association.

Caution Urged as Officials Continue to Monitor Coronavirus - 04/06/2020

State and federal health officials continue to monitor COVID-19. As of Monday, 7,276 cases and 140 deaths have been confirmed in Texas, according to a tracker for Texas COVID-19 cases published by the state Department of State Health Services.

Share Your COVID-19 Stories and Photos With TMA - 04/03/2020

The Texas Medical Association is compiling photos, videos, and stories from Texas physicians working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic that we will publish on social media, in our daily Texas Medicine Today newsletter, and Texas Medicine, TMA’s monthly magazine.

Practical Answers to COVID-19 Questions for Your Practice - 04/01/2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Texas and around the country grows, what steps should your clinic take to ensure the safety of your staff and patients? The Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force has published a white paper that answers many of the questions you might have about caring for people who have been exposed to the virus.

TMA Podcast Offers Practical Telemedicine Pointers - 04/01/2020

To guide physicians who are struggling to get started, Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force member Ogechika Alozie, MD, and TMA staff expert Shannon Vogel recorded a TMA Practice Well podcast about adopting telemedicine.

Here’s How to Care for COVID-19 Patients - 04/01/2020

To help you care for suspected and confirmed cases, the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force has published a frequently asked questions (FAQ) based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state Department of State Health Services, and other public health organizations.

Comptroller Postpones Taxing Medical Billing Services Until 2021 - 04/01/2020

State Comptroller Glenn Hegar will postpone until late 2021 the date that medical practices will be required to pay taxes on medical billing services provided by an outside company.

Concerned About Your Practice’s Finances? TMA Has Answers - 04/01/2020

As more cities issue shelter-in-place orders (on top of directives to postpone certain procedures and surgeries) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, you are probably thinking seriously about your practice’s finances. The Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force has created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to help guide you through the questions you might have.

Federal Loans Available to Help Your Practice During Disaster - 04/01/2020

Small businesses in Texas – including health care clinics and practices – can now apply for long-term, low-interest working capital loans to meet their financial obligations during the time of a disaster.

Governor Extends Essential Services Executive Order Until April 30 - 03/31/2020

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday extended executive orders that limit public gatherings until April 30. Under the orders, essential services such as health care and public health facilities, will continue to operate. Texans may continue to leave their homes to take part in essential activities.

Video: Austin Physician Using Homemade PPE - 03/30/2020

With PPE low at her Austin family and sports medicine practice, Robyn McCarty, MD, called on a friend and seamstress to sew masks for her and her staff. After researching the best way to protect against airborne viruses, her friend created more than 20 masks made of eight layers of cloth diapers and other fabrics, each with a pocket.

Your COVID-19 Medical Personnel Questions Answered - 03/27/2020

If you’re concerned or uncertain about expanded medical leave, paid sick leave, or complying with other regulations regarding personnel, Texas Medical Association Practice Management Services experts have created a frequently asked questions (FAQ) to help guide your practice during the pandemic.

“What If I’m Running Low on PPE?” - 03/27/2020

To help answer questions and address concerns you might have about Texas’ supply of PPE, the TMA COVID-19 Task Force has created a frequently asked questions (FAQ).

How to Prescribe Controlled Substances Under COVID-19 Waivers - 03/25/2020

If you treat patients with chronic pain, you can temporarily prescribe certain controlled substances during a telemedicine visit under state and federal waivers issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your COVID-19 Testing Questions Answered - 03/25/2020

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in Texas, the Texas Medical Association has heard from multiple physicians with questions about testing for the virus. That’s why the TMA COVID-19 Task Force created a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) to help physicians understand how to test patients safely and effectively.

Additional PPE Supplies in Texas Allocated, Officials Say - 03/23/2020

The limited availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) distributed to Texas’ major Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) has been allocated as of Tuesday, those RACS have told Texas Medical Association staff. However, TMA staff is working with the Texas Department of Emergency Management and the RACs on a process for Texas physicians to obtain PPE as more supplies become available.

Telemedicine: What You Need To Know for COVID-19 and Beyond - 03/23/2020

Texas telemedicine laws and regulations have changed considerably over the past several years, and access has been greatly expanded because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Texas Medical Association has created a step-by-step guide to help you set up and use telemedicine effectively.

Health Professionals to State Leaders: Protect Texas’ PPE Supply - 03/20/2020

Gov. Greg Abbott and state lawmakers must do everything possible to ensure that Texas physicians and other health care professionals have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment during the global COVID-19 pandemic. That is the message the Texas Medical Association and other health care organizations sent to Governor Abbott and lawmakers in a letter Friday.

TMB Expands Telemedicine, Opportunities for Retired Physicians Because of COVID-19 - 03/20/2020

In response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 “state of disaster” declaration Friday, the Texas Medical Board has taken several steps to help Texas physicians safely and effectively care for patients. On Thursday, the TMB issued a waiver that allows telephone refills of valid prescriptions for treatment of chronic pain by a physician with an established chronic pain patient.

White Paper Has the 411 on Telemedicine - 03/19/2020

TMA's new white paper on telemedicine in Texas outlines the legal guidelines for providing care via telemedicine and additional requirements physicians should consider.

Health Organizations Praise E-Cigarette Investigation - 03/12/2020

The Texas Medical Association, along with numerous state health organizations, applauded Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s recent announcement of a multi-state investigation into the marketing and sales practices of JUUL Labs, which makes popular e-cigarette devices.

Jump Start Your Leadership: Become a TMA Delegate - 03/12/2020

Have you ever wanted to help create Texas Medical Association policy, or become a leader in Texas medicine, but you don’t know how? Well, you’re in luck, because TMA is hosting a conference call that will tell you how to become part of the TMA House of Delegates.

PMP Checks Won’t Be Necessary for In-Facility Medications, TMB Says - 02/21/2020

Thanks to Texas Medical Association advocacy, the Texas Medical Boardhas refocused its guidance on when physicians will be required to check the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) before prescribing certain medications starting March 1.

Update: TMB Clears Up Questions About PMP Checks for Inpatient Care - 02/21/2020

Will you be required to check the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) when a patient is admitted to a hospital or emergency department? Will you be required to check PMP Aware upon admission? What if you need to prescribe those medications while the patient is in that facility? The Texas Medical Board issued guidance on those very questions this week.