Stories written by Sean Price

Talk to Your Patients About: Hepatitis B - 05/14/2019

Texas Medicine recently highlighted Hepatitis B, a viral liver infection that spreads through contact with blood and other bodily fluids. Hepatitis B has two stages: acute and chronic. The acute stage is often symptomless, making the disease easy to spread unknowingly. The acute stage normally resolves within six months. But if it becomes chronic, the condition can cause lifelong health problems like cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver failure.


A Growing Problem: Childhood Obesity Could Hamper Military Readiness - 05/06/2019

Childhood obesity has become so widespread in the U.S. that it threatens military readiness, but bills currently moving through the Texas Legislature could help alleviate the problem, according to a pair of state lawmakers.


Talk to Patients About: Hepatitis B - 04/30/2019

There are six different vaccines for hepatitis B in the United States, so there’s no shortage of tools to prevent it. Yet in 2016, more than 1,698 people in this country – and more than 780,000 worldwide – died from this viral liver infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization.


Out of the Shadows - 04/22/2019

Lubbock physicians shine a light on sex trafficking and get victims needed care.


Talk to Patients About: Tetanus - 04/17/2019

Almost all U.S. tetanus cases occur among people who are unvaccinated or did not receive a booster shot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Pushing the Envelope: Match Day, Medicine’s Rite of Passage - 04/17/2019

On March 15, more than 200 medical school seniors, as well as their friends and family, gathered outdoors in Webber Plaza behind the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston. The students were about to learn where they’d be doing their residency training.


Most Valuable Team: Managing Nonphysician Staff Efficiently Can Boost Patient Care and Bottom Line - 04/17/2019

Because state laws and insurer billing requirements governing physician delegation and supervision can be tricky to navigate, practices must stay up to date to avoid potential penalties.


Taking Medicine's Temperature: TMA's 2018 Survey of Texas Physicians - 04/17/2019

TMA’s 2018 Survey of Texas Physicians asked members about their legislative priorities, payer relationships, and practice environment, scope of practice concerns, and much, much more. TMA conducted the email survey in monthly installments between January and August 2018. Here are some highlights.


Medicine’s Soft-Spoken Champion: TMA Past President Don Read, MD, Dies After Cancer Battle - 04/16/2019

TMA Past President Don Read, MD, died March 21 after a short battle with cancer.


Searching for a Better Online Reputation - 04/15/2019

What people see on the internet can bring in — or drive away — patients. But most physicians are not trained in either communications or digital technology, and so have little understanding of the financial impact of search engines, social media, and review sites.


Talk to Your Patients About: Tetanus - 04/08/2019

The April issue of Texas Medicine highlights tetanus, which causes painful spasms that typically occur in jaw muscles but can wrack the entire body, and can be fatal.


Borders Without Enough Doctors: El Paso Physicians Volunteer Care for Asylum-Seekers - 04/02/2019

Dr. Gutierrez is part of a small group of El Paso physicians who provide volunteer medical care at the city’s 18 shelters for asylum-seekers entering the United States through the Texas border. What started in October 2018 as a local, ad hoc way to address health care needs among the steady stream of immigrants is gradually turning into a statewide — even national — network of volunteer physicians.


AIMing to Save Lives: More Standardized Care Could Bring Down Texas' Maternal Death Rate - 03/28/2019

Texas’ maternal death rate is still high, and public health officials are betting that more standardized care will bring it down with guidelines set up by the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM).


Rural Residencies: Texas Tech’s Rural Training Track Brings More Physicians to Small Towns - 03/26/2019

In all his dreams about becoming a doctor, Ivan Becerra, MD, never imagined he’d lead a cesarean section delivery during just his second year of residency. Yet last August, that’s exactly what he was doing at Pecos County Memorial


The Deal's Off: Baylor, Memorial Hermann Opt to Skip Merger - 03/12/2019

Many health care companies have merged in recent years, but nothing symbolized the high-dollar, high-stakes nature of the trend like the proposed $14 billion merger of Texas health care giants Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas and Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston. But then officials from both health care systems abruptly called off the deal today.


Talk To Your Patients About: Mumps - 03/11/2019

The March issue of Texas Medicine highlights mumps, which spreads easily through sneezing and coughing, or just touching infected surfaces. A vaccine, first introduced in 1967, reduced U.S. cases by 99 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Prescription for Addiction: Primary Care Plays Bigger Role in Treating Substance Abuse - 03/11/2019

When primary care physicians step in to fill this treatment voids for substance-use disorder, research shows that good things happen.


The Making of a Med School - 03/11/2019

Building more medical schoos might seem like an obvious answer to the doctor shortage, especially because medical schools can bring other benefits to a community beyond producing physicians, including prestige, high-paying jobs, and improved health care services. But not everyone is a fan of the idea, and starting one from scratch is complicated. Some have struggled more than others to get established, mostly because of funding.


Talk to Patients About: Mumps - 03/11/2019

More than 2,000 U.S. mumps cases occurred in 2018. That’s down from 6,000-plus cases CDC reported in both 2016 and 2017, but a far cry from the hundreds reported in 2012. Texas is not immune. In 2018, mumps outbreaks occurred at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas State University in San Marcos, and a national cheerleading competition in Dallas. Mumps still spreads much faster and more dangerously among unvaccinated groups, and immunization remains the best protection.


Texas 21 Pushes to Raise the Age for Tobacco Sales - 03/06/2019

Texas 21, a coalition of 75 public health groups that includes the Texas Medical Association and two powerful state legislators, on Tuesday called for the Texas Legislature to stop the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21.


Making the CEHRT Switch: EHR Upgrade Required for Incentive Payment Programs - 02/27/2019

In medicine, a lot of things can be stressful. Done right, the switch to the latest certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) doesn’t have to be one of them. The change is inevitable in the coming year for physicians already using EHRs to participate in Medicare or Medicaid incentive payment programs. Most practices are using the 2014 version. Beginning in 2019, physicians must use 2015 CEHRT for the 2019 performance period, which ultimately determines their payment.


On Call at the Capitol: TMA's 2019 Legislative Agenda - 02/27/2019

When the 86th Texas Legislature convenes on Jan. 8, TMA will build on its major successes of 2017, renew some of the biggest battles that stalled two years ago, and tackle relatively new ones. Physicians will make their case to a somewhat new makeup of lawmakers as they pursue better Medicaid coverage for postpartum women, insurer accountability for narrow networks, more funding for community mental health, and many other aims.


Talk to Patients About: Rotavirus - 02/27/2019

Rotavirus is a highly contagious viral infection that inflames the lining of the stomach and intestines, and especially affects children 2 years old and younger. In the United States, the introduction of a vaccine in 2006 helped arrest rotavirus illnesses and deaths.


Is Psychiatry Cool Again? More Residents Choosing the Specialty Could Mean Good News for Statewide Shortage - 02/26/2019

More residents choosing psychiatry could mean good news for the statewide shortage.


Finding Ways to Save New Moms - 02/26/2019

TMA’s Maternal Health Congress looks for answers to Texas’ maternal mortality rate.