Stories from Texas Medicine, January 2019

Talk to Patients About: Rotavirus - 07/02/2019

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.


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.


Q&A: Lubbock Radiologist Finds Creative Ways to Introduce Science to Children - 02/27/2019

For the past few years, Eman Attaya, MD, has channeled her pragmatic and artistic sides in a variety of ways. She is a member of the 2019 class of the Texas Medical Association’s Leadership College, which helps train young physicians, or those early in their medical careers, for leadership positions at the county and state levels. Dr. Attaya plans to use the experience to help improve science education in Lubbock elementary schools.


Table of Contents: January 2019 - 01/18/2019

Volume 115, Number 1 — January 2019   Cover Story On Call at the Capitol (pages 20 25) Medicine's ambitious course for the 86th Legislature includes improving Medicaid, maternal health, insurer


Relationship Between Intent to Vaccinate and the Education and Knowledge of Human Papillomavirus Among Medical School Faculty and Students in Texas - 01/02/2019

Little attention has been given to the state of human papillomavirus (HPV) education in medical schools and how this impacts future vaccination practices. We surveyed medical school faculty and students to assess the relationship between knowledge and willingness to recommend HPV vaccination.


Leveraging LARCs: Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives Part of Texas’ Solution to Unwanted Pregnancies, Maternal Deaths - 01/02/2019

Today LARCs are one of the safest and most-effective types of reversible birth control, but their reputation took a huge hit in the 1970s thanks to the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device (IUD). Memories persist of news reports about the shield’s many defects. This mistrust of LARCs — along with other obstacles to their wider use — hamper progress toward a wider goal for Texas medicine: improving maternal health and reducing maternal deaths across the state.


Cardiologist Sees Political Advocacy as Way to Care for Millions at a Time - 01/02/2019

Dallas interventional cardiologist Rick Snyder, MD, lives by a mantra that explains why he’s deeply invested in an area so many physicians outwardly avoid: politics. “We as physicians will have more impact on the health care our patients get in legislators’ offices and regulators’ offices [than] we do in exam rooms and operating rooms,” he said. “As clinicians, we treat one patient at a time. But as physician advocates, you can treat a whole state and a whole country all at once.”


New Allies at the Capitol: TEXPAC Endorsements Help Bring Fresh Faces to Texas Legislature - 01/02/2019

During the 2018 elections, TEXPAC, the Texas Medical Association’s political action committee and bipartisan political arm, backed candidates for the Texas Legislature who demonstrated that they understand what doctors need to succeed. Thanks in part to TEXPAC’s support, a physician’s spouse and a number of other new pro-medicine faces will be sworn in to the House of Representatives when the 2019 session convenes on Jan. 8.


“A Threat to All Texas Physicians:” TMA Backs Surgeon in Defamation Suit - 01/02/2019

Miguel Gomez, MD’s well-publicized legal fight isn’t over yet. In its latest turn, the Texas Medical Association is still standing behind the surgeon as he fights to uphold a verdict against one of the state’s largest nonprofit hospital systems for defaming him.