Stories from Texas Medicine, May 2019

Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization in Texas 1999 to 2010 - 05/01/2019

The primary purpose of the study was to examine the role public sector payers (Medicare and Medicaid) and providers (Texas state mental health hospitals) play in psychiatric hospitalization, using Texas annual hospital discharge files from 1999 to 2010. Psychiatric hospitalization, as defined by a primary behavioral health diagnosis (ICD-9 diagnoses 290-314.99) averaged 146,876 discharges per year, approximately 5.24% of all hospitalizations in the state. Children younger than 18 years accounted for 27,035 discharges per year. The top 4 diagnostic groups were depression (29%), bipolar disorder (22%), schizophrenia (18%), and alcohol-drug disorders (14%). More patients with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders were served by the public sector, while more patients with depression or alcohol-drug disorders were served by private insurance. Interestingly, patients with bipolar disorder were distributed relatively evenly across both payment groups and ages. Length of stay decreased fr...


Q&A: SeattleMamaDoc Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, Headlines TexMed 2019 - 05/01/2019

Digital innovator, Seattle pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, will share her expertise at the May 17 opening general session at TexMed 2019 in Dallas. The title of Dr. Swanson’s talk: “How Technology is Transforming Health Care and the Physician-Patient Relationship.” Her answer to that question: “Rapidly and at a pace that’s hard for us to keep up.”


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.


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.


A Focused Leader: Incoming TMA President David Fleeger, MD - 04/17/2019

Incoming TMA President David Fleeger, MD, sets his sights on protecting the patient-physician relationship and equipping physicians for sea changes affecting medicine.


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.