Stories written by Sean Price

Mental Health Care for New Moms Costs Texas $2.2 billion Each Year, Report Says - 03/04/2021

Texas spends about $2.2 billion each year helping young mothers and their children deal with maternal mental health condition, according to a report released today.


Accelerating RPM: COVID-19 Speeds Adoption of Remote Patient Monitoring - 02/28/2021

Before March 2020, remote patient monitoring (RPM) was a tool endocrinologist Thomas Blevins, MD, used to help patients with diabetes track and regulate blood sugar levels and report the results back to him. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many doctors to turn to telemedicine, Dr. Blevins and the nine other physicians on staff at Austin Diabetes and Endocrinology had to rev up their RPM use.


Leading Innovation: Physician Entrepreneur Develops App to Engage Patients - 02/27/2021

In 2015, Austin cardiologist Manish Chauhan, MD, decided to finally act on an idea he’d been knocking around for a while – something to fill a void he’d witnessed when it came to engaging patients in their care.


Spotlight on Vaccines: Pandemic May Open Gateway to Improve Vaccination Rates in Texas - 02/27/2021

The uneven rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in December created at least one bright spot for Texas physicians: It highlighted how the state could make vaccination more efficient.


Another Great Match: Most Texas Medical Graduates Matched With Residency Positions - 02/27/2021

Texas medical students have enjoyed some highly successful Match Weeks in recent years, but 2020 was the best since the Texas Medical Association Council of Medical School Deans began tracking match data in 2014.


USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills Exam Eliminated - 02/02/2021

In a move long called for by the Texas Medical Association, the two organizations that run the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) announced last week that they have ended the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) portion of the USMLE examination.


Hungering for a Solution: Physicians Can Help Tackle Food Insecurity - 02/01/2021

Not long after COVID-19 hit Texas last March, pediatricians at Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) began screening patients for food insecurity. The timing was coincidental but fortunate given the pandemic’s economic toll.


A Class By Themselves: Texas’ Newest Med Schools Adjust to COVID-19 - 02/01/2021

Texas opened two new medical schools in July – the University of Houston College of Medicine in Houston and Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Conroe. Thanks to COVID-19, both opened under circumstances that would have seemed bizarre just a year ago.


Talk to Patients About: Vaccines and SIDS - 02/01/2021

Over the years, several vaccines have been blamed for SIDS, including those for pertussis, tetanus, diphtheria, Hemophilus influenzae type B, polio, and hepatitis B. This misconception has triggered a lot of scientific study to find out if vaccines could, in fact, cause SIDS. However, multiple studies and safety reviews have concluded that the answer is no, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Reaching More Texans, Health Officials Say - 02/01/2021

COVID-19 vaccination efforts are gaining ground in Texas and will continue to improve, but an ongoing shortage of doses hampers the state’s efforts to vaccinate nearly 30 million residents, the state’s top public health official told the Texas Medical Association’s Winter Conference Saturday.


Texas Declares Saturday as Maternal Health Awareness Day - 01/22/2021

Maternal death and illness persist as a serious health issue for Texans, prompting Gov. Greg Abbot to declare Saturday, Jan. 23, as Maternal Health Awareness Day.


Opening Act: Patients Given Broad Access to Their EHRs - 01/06/2021

Starting April 5, physicians must be ready to electronically share with patients more of the information generated during office visits. This change comes thanks to “information blocking” rules that are part of the 21st Century Cures Act, passed by Congress in 2016 and put into regulation in 2020 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator (ONC).


Talk to Patients About: Flu Shot Myths - 01/05/2021

It’s no secret that many patients don’t take the annual vaccine for influenza as seriously as their physicians would like. During the 2019-20 flu season, just over half of Americans 6 months or older – 51.8% – got their flu shots, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That was up 2.6% from the previous season.


COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy - 01/04/2021

Physicians have proven ways to respond to patients’ reluctance on vaccines.


Operation Distribution: Physicians Key in COVID-19 Vaccines Distribution - 12/02/2020

Even though COVID-19 vaccines are closer than ever to use by the general public, many questions remain about how they will be distributed to Texas physicians – and how they’ll be received by Texans. That’s why TMA in October weighed in on the state’s distribution plan with recommendations to help ensure COVID-19 vaccines are not only distributed effectively and efficiently, but also seen as trusted tools in the fight against the illness.


Use It or Lose It: Texas’ New Behavioral Health Program Can Help Only If Physicians Use It - 12/02/2020

What if Texas lawmakers created a mental health service that physicians asked for but then not many physicians used it? So far, that is what’s happening with the Child Psychiatric Access Network (CPAN), which gives pediatricians and family physicians across Texas free telemedicine-based consultation and training on community psychiatry.


Talk to Patients About: Why COVID-19 “Parties” Are a Bad Idea - 11/30/2020

Most people have gradually adjusted to the day-to-day changes caused by COVID-19, such as washing hands frequently, wearing masks, and social distancing. But others have looked for strategies to get around the hassles caused by the pandemic. In some cases, this has included deliberately trying to contract the potentially deadly illness through “COVID parties,” events designed to expose people to someone with COVID-19.


Talk to Patients About: ACIP - 11/20/2020

Two federal agencies oversee the way vaccines reach the U.S. public. But only one of them guides physicians on the best way to use those vaccines. That agency is the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the way private companies develop and produce vaccines.)


AMA Pushes to End National Clinical Skills Exams for U.S. Medical Students - 11/18/2020

American Medical Association (AMA) delegates called on AMA to urge the speedy end to the clinical skills part of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 2 and Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) Level 2 for U.S. medical students.


AMA House Addresses COVID-19 Vaccine Skepticism, Future Pandemics - 11/18/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic permeated activities at a Special Meeting of the American Medical Association House of Delegates, culminating in passage of two public health measures designed to help contain the disease.


County Society Exec “Literally Meeting With People in Parking Lots” to Get PPE for Physicians - 11/13/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the international market for personal protective equipment (PPE) into chaos. So physicians across Texas have found they have to go big or go home when it comes to obtaining those critical supplies.


COVID-19 Vaccine, Treatment Drug Offer Hope for Treating Patients - 11/12/2020

A COVID-19 vaccine candidate and an investigational drug treatment took major steps this week in the fight against the ilness.


Opioids: The Forgotten Epidemic? - 10/30/2020

COVID-19 inflamed the crisis; telemedicine helps Texas physicians cope with the fallout.


Pandemic Pressures:COVID-19 Poses Serious Behavioral Health Challenges - 10/30/2020

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.


Skipping a Step: USMLE Clinical Skills Test Faces Elimination - 10/30/2020

Many medical educators and students think the clinical skills portion of the USMLE needs to be reformed or eliminated.