Stories written by Sean Price

Work to Expand Medicaid, Protect Telemedicine, Speakers at TMA Tele-Town Hall Say - 09/18/2020

Texas physicians need to lobby state and federal lawmakers as soon as possible to prevent cuts in important state services, to encourage the expansion of Medicaid, and to preserve gains made in telemedicine, a panel of speakers told participants in a telephone town hall sponsored Thursday by the Texas Medical Association’s Border Health Caucus.


An Unfortunate Legacy: COVID-19 Reveals Long-Standing Health Inequities - 09/10/2020

COVID-19 reveals longstanding health inequities among minority patients.


Talk to Patients About: Texas School Vaccines - 09/07/2020

Regardless of whether education takes place virtually or in-person, Texas school vaccination rules remain in effect for the 2020-21 school year, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. All Texas public schools (and most private schools) and colleges require students to have certain shots before they can attend classes at the beginning of a school year.


A Perfect Match? COVID-19 Forces GME Programs, Med Students to Adjust Resident Selection Process - 09/02/2020

COVID-19 has forced GME programs and medical students to make last-minute adjustments in the resident selection process.


Remind Recovered COVID-19 Patients: Donate Convalescent Plasma - 08/21/2020

More than 48,000 COVID-19 patients in the U.S. have been treated so far using convalescent plasma, according to a July 30 report from the Trump administration. But there’s a problem: More plasma is needed.


On Pause for the Pandemic: Health Issues Sidelined Amid COVID-19 Response - 08/20/2020

Any physician can look out over the COVID-19 landscape and see important areas of health care tied to their specialty that are being downplayed or ignored as resources pour into fighting the pandemic and scared patients chose not to come to their doctors’ offices.


Encourage Patients, Again, to Answer the U.S. Census - 08/18/2020

Physicians should encourage patients to fill out the 2020 U.S. Census, which directly affects physicians and patients. So far this year, Texas' response rate is 58.7%, below the national response rate of 63.6%.


Encourage Patients to Donate COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma - 08/12/2020

Convalescent plasma is one of the most promising treatment options being studied for COVID-19. Physicians should encourage recovered COVID-19 patients to donate at their local blood bank.


Surge Response: How the Panhandle Handled One of the State’s Biggest COVID-19 Outbreaks - 08/03/2020

IN TEXAS, COVID-19 outbreaks have been especially pronounced in three types of facilities: nursing homes, jails or prisons, and meatpacking plants. The Amarillo area has plenty of all three. But it was the meatpacking plants that drew national attention to Amarillo’s COVID-19 problems. The city, which straddles Potter and Randall counties, has numerous plants that employ 12,000 to 15,000 people. In early April, Amarillo’s two hospitals began filling up with COVID-19 patients who worked at a plant in neighboring Moore County. Two weeks later, workers from a plant in Potter County flooded in.  


E&M Coding About to Change - 08/03/2020

First, the bad news: Physicians need to take some serious time between now and Jan 1, 2021, to study changes that are coming to Medicare outpatient evaluation and management (E&M) codes – changes most private insurers likely will follow. Now the good news: The changes should reduce the amount of documentation needed with each patient.


How to Boost HPV Vaccination Rates During COVID-19 - 07/20/2020

Vaccinations for human papillomavirus (HPV) have plunged since COVID-19 hit Texas in March, but a new virtual project will help Northeast Texas physicians explore strategies for changing that trend. HPV Cancer Free Texas will provide seven monthly one-hour Project ECHO video conferences for CME credit to discuss best practices and evidence-based tools that encourage patients to get HPV vaccinations.


TMA Partners to Boost HPV Vaccination Rates - 07/15/2020

To help improve HPV vaccination rates, the Texas Medical Association joined with a coalition of more than 40 other organizations Tuesday to announce a renewed statewide immunization campaign to prevent HPV-related cancers.


The Doctor - and Lawyer - Will See You Now: Medical-Legal Partnerships - 07/15/2020

Elderly woman. Low-income. Chronic pain. Needs to see a rheumatologist. Needs physical therapy. Struggling to pay rent. Has no insurance. Has no disability coverage. As a family physician at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Austin, Sharad Kohli, MD, sees a lot of cases like this. In similar health care settings, the patient might face two bad choices: wage bureaucratic war to obtain better health care benefits or simply give up. At People’s Community Clinic, Dr. Kohli referred her to an in-house lawyer who successfully appealed her denial of disability insurance. “[The lawyer] got her a significant income, which allowed her to pay her rent and also helped her get insurance through Medicaid and Medicare,” Dr. Kohli said. “And then she was able to see the rheumatologist and the physical therapist.” This kind of success helps explain why medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) like the one at People’s Community Clinic came about in 1993 and began expanding nationally after 2001. Te...


Positive Pressure: Physicians Promote Hemorrhage Control Training - 07/10/2020

The need for improved training on hemorrhage control in emergencies has been building for decades. Physicians say it’s just as important to reach out to the community to promote hemorrhage control in the same way CPR and other life-saving methods are promoted.


Weighing the Cost of Obesity: One Solution Does Not Fit All For This Complicated Disease - 07/10/2020

Obesity causes or contributes to a range of fatal and debilitating health conditions. On top of this, obesity has emerged as one of the largest contributing factors in severe illness and death among those who contract COVID-19, according to several studies.


Q&A: Preparing for Pandemic, An Interview with Umair Shah, MD, Harris County Public Health - 07/10/2020

Umair Shah, MD, Harris County Public Health executive director, on how COVID-19 has exposed gaps in the public health system.


Paying the Price for PPE - 07/10/2020

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic threw the market for personal protective equipment (PPE) into chaos. So physicians and county medical societies across Texas found they had to go big or go home when it came to obtaining those critical supplies.


Paying the Price for PPE - 07/10/2020

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic threw the market for personal protective equipment (PPE) into chaos. So physicians and county medical societies across Texas found they had to go big or go home when it came to obtaining those critical supplies.


Paying the Price for PPE - 07/10/2020

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic threw the market for personal protective equipment (PPE) into chaos. So physicians and county medical societies across Texas found they had to go big or go home when it came to obtaining those critical supplies.


Talk to Patients About: Why Will It Take So Long for a COVID-19 Vaccine? - 07/10/2020

Of all the solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, a vaccine is the most attractive. With just one shot, people could transform the disease from a global disruptor to an easily manageable public health problem. But vaccines can’t be whipped up overnight.


The Class of COVID-19: Texas Medical Students Struggle with Uncertainty - 07/10/2020

Texas medical students struggle to fight the pandemic in their own way while adjusting to a lot of uncertainty.


Growing Residents: Texas Med Schools Find Ways to Create More GME Slots - 07/10/2020

Texas’ plan to grow and keep more physicians in state is coming to fruition, but it will require constant nurturing to reach harvest. The latest crop will come out of a collaboration between one of the state’s newest medical schools, in Fort Worth, and Baylor Scott and White All Saints Medical Center. The program will create as many as 150 new residency positions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area through 2027. Collaborations between medical schools and health care institutions will add to those numbers in coming years.


Talk to Patients About: What’s Wrong With Vaccine Exemptions? - 07/08/2020

In 2003, the Texas Legislature allowed parents to opt their children out of getting mandatory public school vaccines. Since then, exemptions have jumped more than 3,000%, to 72,743 statewide, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. That number of exemptions threatens “herd” or “community” immunity for vaccine-preventable diseases.


Talk to Patients About: Why is “Slowing” the Vaccine Schedule a Bad Idea? - 07/01/2020

Before an American child turns 2 years old, he or she will get 27 vaccinations – sometimes up to six shots in one doc-tor’s visit. For some parents, that seems like too much. The CDC schedule is designed to protect children early.


Texas Vaccine Registry to be Accessible Through EHRs - 06/26/2020

Texas physicians soon will have an easier time accessing and submitting vaccination records when using the Texas Immunization Registry (ImmTrac2), according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, which runs the registry.