Stories written by David Doolittle

You Can Help Prevent Family Violence During COVID-19 - 10/13/2021

How has family violence changed during COVID-19 and how can medicine respond? Four members of the Texas Medical Association Subcommittee on Behavioral Health address those questions and more in a new TMA Practice Well podcast – Family Violence During COVID-19.


Reminder: Monoclonal Antibody Treatments Available - 08/11/2021

Don’t forget: Patients 12 years and older with mild to moderate symptoms who are at risk for severe COVID-19 disease are eligible to receive monoclonal antibody treatments provided by the federal government.


Get to Know Texas’ New and Improved Immunization Tracking Service - 08/06/2021

The Texas Department of State Health Services ImmTrac2 immunization registry securely and confidentially consolidates and stores Texans’ immunization records in one place.


TMA Case Study: Coding and Documentation - 06/29/2021

TMA’s certified professional coders and auditors can help protect your revenue by performing an in-depth review of how your practice documents medical records and codes claims. The review helps streamline coding and documentation processes, and decrease the risk of external audits.


TMB No Longer Requiring Practices to Follow COVID-19 Safe-Practice Standards - 06/11/2021

The Texas Medical Board’s (TMB) minimum safe-practice standards are no longer in place, the Texas Medical Association has learned. However, TMB recommends practices continue to follow federal guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19.


Texas Medicaid, CHIP Changes Extended Through April - 03/26/2021

Some Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) flexibilities put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, including authority to use telemedicine more broadly, have been extended through April, state health officials announced.   


Submit 2020 Data Now to Avoid Medicare Pay Cut - 03/23/2021

If you participated in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), the deadline to submit all data through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) portal has been extended one day to April 1. The deadline had been March 31.


Review Your Physician Compare Data Now - 03/23/2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will close the Doctors and Clinicians Preview Period at 7 pm (CT) March 25. The preview allows you to check out your 2019 QPP performance data before its reported on Medicare Care Compare and in the Provider Data Catalog (PDC).


State Board Finalizes Medically Accurate Health Education Standards - 03/19/2021

Thanks to an organized push by the Texas Medical Association and its physician members, the State Board of Education last week approved new Texas curriculum standards that include more comprehensive and medically accurate instruction on multiple health-related topics.


UnitedHealthcare Nonphysician Billing Policy Cuts Payments, TMA Says - 03/11/2021

TMA has expressed concerns about recent UnitedHealthcare (UHC) policy changes that will not only cut payments by 15% to physicians who employ nonphysician providers (NPPs), but also cause needless confusion in the billing process.


Stay Vigilant When Considering COVID-19 Treatments, TMB Says - 03/05/2021

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.


Ten Things to Know to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines - 03/05/2021

State health officials have begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines across the state, based on guiding principles that prioritize essential health care workers and vulnerable populations. Here are 10 things to know about administering the vaccines that have received an EUA from the FDA so far.


TMA to Texas: Follow the Science To Protect Against COVID-19 - 03/03/2021

As it has done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Medical Association continues to stress the importance of wearing masks, practicing social distancing, washing hands frequently, and receiving a vaccine when eligible as the most effective ways to stop the disease.


School Employees, Child Care Providers Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccines - 03/03/2021

All school employees and licensed child-care providers are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, federal and state health officials have announced.


Reminder: Enrollment in State Registries Required to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines - 03/02/2021

The Texas Medical Association is reminding all physicians and facilities that administer COVID-19 vaccines to register and use the Texas Department of State Health Services’ (DSHS) Vaccine Allocation and Ordering System (VAOS).


COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments Will Resume in Texas This Week - 02/23/2021

The latest COVID-19 vaccines information as of Feb. 23, 2021


FDA Authorizes Another Monoclonal Antibody Treatment - 02/12/2021

Physicians now have another option in the fight against COVID-19, thanks to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) this week of the combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab.


COVID-19 Vaccines: Encourage Undocumented Immigrants to Receive Vaccines - 02/10/2021

The latest information on COVID-19 vaccines as of Feb. 10, 2021


Reminder: Physicians Must Order Second Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine - 02/10/2021

Physicians and facilities that administer COVID-19 vaccines should remember that the state will no longer automatically send second doses. Instead, physicians and facilities must request an allotment of second doses seven to 14 days after receiving first doses.


Texas is No. 1 in “Hotspots” For Vaccine Exemptions - 02/05/2021

Houston, Fort Worth, Plano, and Austin are among the cities in the nation with the highest number of kindergartners who have not received vaccinations because of nonmedical reasons, according to the study published this week in the journal PLOS Medicine.


Hand Sanitizers From Mexico Likely to Contain Methanol, FDA Warns - 02/03/2021

Physician practices and other facilities should be aware that alcohol-based hand sanitizers imported from Mexico are likely to contain methanol, which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in an import alert issued this week.


When the Fight Becomes Personal: Physicians Share Their Stories of Contracting COVID-19 - 02/01/2021

It’s no surprise that many physicians were among the more than 1.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas last year. Texas Medicine spoke with three Texas physicians who contracted COVID-19 to learn how the disease affected them physically and impacted their outlook as caregivers.


Your Latest COVID-19 Medical Personnel Questions Answered - 01/28/2021

TMA's updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document can help guide you through any concerns you might have about expanded medical leave, paid sick leave, or complying with other regulations regarding personnel.


Encourage your Patients to Participate in the Texas COVID-19 Antibody Study - 01/21/2021

Researchers with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have asked physicians to encourage patients to participate in a statewide seroprevalance study on the human antibody response to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.


President Biden Outlines Steps to Address COVID-19 Pandemic - 01/20/2021

In a series of executive orders released before taking office Tuesday, President Joseph Biden took several steps to address the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including issuing a mask challenge, re-engaging with the World Health Organization (WHO), and coordinating a unified national response.