Stories from Texas Medicine, June 2019

Profile: Beekeeper John Haley, MD - 08/02/2019

When Garland ophthalmologist John Haley, MD, is not wearing a white coat taking care of patients, you might find him in a beekeeper’s suit tending to his six beehives.


Talk to Patients About: Meningococcal B - 08/02/2019

Meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine is the new kid on the block for children and adolescents, having won Food and Drug Administration approval in 2014. This presents a problem for physicians: Because there is an older vaccine for the other types of meningococcal bacteria, many patients who’ve had that vaccine wrongly believe they’re also protected against MenB.


Medicare Muzzle? New Rules May Make Physicians Reluctant to Speak Up - 08/02/2019

New Medicare rules on local coverage determinations may make physicians reluctant to speak their minds.


Inspiring Choices: Mentorship Can Boost African-American Representation in Medicine - 08/02/2019

African Americans are underrepresented in medicine. Mentorship can help them choose medical careers.


Working Toward Wellness: TMA’s Physician Health and Wellness Exchange Tackles Burnout - 08/02/2019

TMA’s Physician Health and Wellness Exchange helps physicians find ways to fight burnout.


False Impression: Medicine Says Medicare Report Inflates Success of Quality Program - 08/02/2019

High participation, “significant strides,” overwhelming success. That was the picture the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services painted in a March report on the first year of the Quality Payment Program. But a closer look by the Texas Medical Association raises serious doubts about CMS’ numbers, transparency, and cheerleading – so much so that TMA and seven other state medical associations are asking the agency to rescind the report.


Medical Futility Law Sustained - 08/02/2019

Court tosses out challenge to ethics committee review of end-of-life care.


Final Verdict? Case Tests Court's Ability to Overturn a Jury Verdict - 08/02/2019

It was an overwhelming, 12-0 verdict – a jury’s unanimous rejection of a negligence case against a Laredo physician. Then, a judge took that decision away and ordered a new trial – not because of jury misconduct, or any procedural stumble that usually negates a court decision. It was taken away, essentially, because the judge said so.


What’s Killing Texans? Fixing Texas' System for Tracking Deaths - 08/02/2019

Distorted death statistics inaccurately portray how people are dying, with significant public health implications. System changes and physician education could help.


Faulty Guidelines - 06/03/2019

Former Texas Medical Association President Josie Williams, MD, was tenacious in advocating that organized medicine pay zealous attention to two topics: data and guidelines. In this, she was both sage and prescient. We have done well in following her recommendations on data, but we continue to fall far short of where we need to be on guidelines.