Stories written by Sean Price

Help Wanted: Texas’ physician growth strong, but recruitment, diversity still needed - 12/01/2022

Texas' physician workforce has enjoyed strong growth, but there still aren't enough doctors to go around and more diversity is needed.


CDC Revises Opioid Guidelines in the Wake of Confusion, Overreaction - 11/29/2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued revised guidelines to help safely prescribe opioids, and one of the reasons, the agency freely admits, is to clear up confusion caused by its last set of guidelines issued in 2016.


Deal or No Deal: Negotiating Contracts - 11/28/2022

Maximize your leverage when negotiating a health plan contract.


Counting on Women’s Health: Texas Takes Steps to Fix Maternal Mortality Data - 11/23/2022

There is a lot of confusion about how cases of maternal death and illness are counted in Texas, and the work of unraveling that confusion falls on the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee.


The Down and Dirty on Wastewater Surveillance: COVID-19 Gives it a Boost - 11/23/2022

Wastewater epidemiology has been around for about two decades, but it didn't really take off in Texas until COVID-19 came along.


Suicide Risk in Kids With Adverse Childhood Experiences Exacerbated by Pandemic - 11/11/2022

Suicide and suicidal thoughts among high school students who have accumulated adverse childhood experiences became a concern among health care professionals before 2020. But the “social and educational disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated concerns about adolescents’ mental health and suicidal behavior,” according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Flu and RSV Patients Filling Up Texas Hospitals - 11/08/2022

Two viral respiratory diseases – influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – have made an unwelcome early appearance this fall, causing cases to rise sharply weeks earlier than normal across the U.S.


Medicare Allowing MIPS Relief for “Uncontrollable Circumstances” in 2022 - 11/04/2022

Having some prohibitive trouble reporting your 2022 data for Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)? Maybe the COVID-19 pandemic caused it. Maybe it stems from a natural disaster in your region. Maybe your technology vendor has gone out of business or had some other problem.


Talk to Patients About: The New York Polio Outbreak - 11/02/2022

A recent polio outbreak in New York state highlights the importance of vaccination.


Help, Not Discipline: TMB Program Guides Physicians Through Impairment - 11/01/2022

The Texas Physician Health Program helps physicians work through mental health crises and avoid discipline by the Texas Medical Board.


COVID-19 Now a Major Cause of Maternal Death, GAO Report Says - 11/01/2022

An analysis by the Government Accountability Office provides the first glimpse into the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women, and – not surprisingly – the disease has become a leading cause of death among them, says Houston obstetrician-gynecologist Rakhi Dimino, MD, chair of the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Reproductive, Women’s, and Perinatal Health.


Screen Young People Aged 8-18 for Anxiety, USPSTF Recommends - 10/25/2022

The recent recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that children and adolescents aged 8 to 18 years be screened for anxiety is likely to trigger family conversations about the topic and in turn, spur long-overdue treatment.


How to Cut Operational Costs? TMA Experts Have Answers - 10/21/2022

The cost-conscious physician trying to cut expenses can start by looking around the office.


Making a SAFER EHR: This MIPS measure can help - 10/21/2022

Physicians have not always been big fans of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), but one aspect of MIPS can help physicians protect electronic health records (EHRs) from errors, hacking, and similar problems.


Address Delayed Care Pileup, TMA Tells House Panel - 10/17/2022

The COVID-19 pandemic strained an already overburdened primary health care system in Texas, making it vital that state lawmakers back measures that encourage patients to see a physician and catch up on delayed care before it gets even worse, Tyler pediatrician Valerie Smith, MD, told the Texas House of Representatives Select Committee on Health Care Reform.


Moving People Together - 10/17/2022

Institutional racism creates obstacles to medical care. TMA’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force aims to remove them.


Compact for Care: Texas Joins Interstate Agreement for Out-of-State Licensure - 10/13/2022

The rise of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a change in state law that will not only help make certain telemedicine services permanent but also give out-of-state physicians an easier pathway to join the Texas workforce.


Maternal Deaths: First U.S. Data Since 2007 Shows Serious Problems Persist - 10/07/2022

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


CPRIT Awards $49 Million to Texas Cancer Researchers - 10/05/2022

The $49 million recently granted by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas shows how the agency makes Texas a leader in cancer research, says Temple internal medicine specialist Mammen Sam, MD, chair of the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Cancer.


Ready for Business: MBA programs broaden physicians' skills - 10/03/2022

A growing number of Texas physicians obtain MBA degrees to sharpen their business acumen, understand finance, and prepare for leadership roles.


Pandemic Pressures:COVID-19 Poses Serious Behavioral Health Challenges - 09/20/2022

The mental health fallout caused by COVID-19 radiates throughout Texas. In this issue, we look at four of the biggest challenges physicians are responding to as more people say that worry and stress related to coronavirus have negatively impacted their mental health.


Combating Opioid-Related Deaths Requires New Approach, TMA Tells Lawmakers - 09/19/2022

In order to address a surge in deaths tied to synthetic opioids, Texas must take a comprehensive approach that includes revamping state regulations related to pain management clinics and prescription monitoring, and expanding mental health treatment, Mesquite pain management specialist C.M. Schade, MD, told members of the Texas House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Health.


Graphic Warnings on Cigarette Packs Face Ongoing Legal Challenge - 09/09/2022

A court order – once again – has upheld enforcement of the Food and Drug Administration’s rule that cigarette packs must contain more colorful and graphic health warnings. The new deadline for implementing the rule, per the court order, is Oct. 6, 2023.


Texas' Plan to Promote LARCs Released - 09/08/2022

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) on Thursday will release the state's five-year strategic plan for promoting long-acting, reversible contraceptive devices (LARCs), which are seen as key to reducing the state's high maternal mortality rate. 


Reaching for the Cure: Texas Medicaid Doesn't Cover Hep C Drugs Until Patients Are Seriously Ill - 09/07/2022

Infectious disease specialist Ogechika Alozie, MD, has a ready-made solution for patients diagnosed with hepatitis C now that five medications can rid patients of this deadly disease. But for Texas Medicaid patients, there’s a catch. The program does not pay for the cure based just on a diagnosis. Instead, Medicaid pays only after a blood test, biopsy, or sonogram shows the liver is so badly damaged that it’s on the verge of cirrhosis. At that point, patients who get the medication will be cured of their hepatitis C but more vulnerable to other deadly illnesses, like liver cancer.