Coronavirus

Governor Extends Essential Services Executive Order Until April 30 - 03/31/2020

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday extended executive orders that limit public gatherings until April 30. Under the orders, essential services such as health care and public health facilities, will continue to operate. Texans may continue to leave their homes to take part in essential activities.


Feds Approve Texas’ Request for COVID-19 Medicaid Waiver - 03/31/2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 30 approved Texas’ request to waive certain Medicaid regulatory requirements to help physicians and other health care professionals more effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.


TMA Supports Governor’s Stay Home Mandate - 03/31/2020

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide stay-at-home executive order except for essential workers and needs.


Telephone-Only Consultation Coverage and Payment Vary - 03/31/2020

The use of telemedicine has been expanded so physicians can safely and effectively treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some people don’t have smartphones with video capability, meaning visits will have to be done via old-fashioned phone calls. Which health plans cover telephone-only patient visits, and what exactly do they pay for?


Federal Loans Available to Help Your Practice During Disaster - 03/31/2020

Small businesses in Texas – including health care clinics and practices – can now apply for long-term, low-interest working capital loans to meet their financial obligations during the time of a disaster.


Caution Urged as Officials Continue to Monitor Coronavirus - 03/31/2020

State and federal health officials continue to monitor COVID-19. As of Tuesday, 3,266 cases and 41 deaths have been confirmed in Texas, according to a tracker for Texas COVID-19 cases published by the state Department of State Health Services.


County Medical Societies PPE Drives - 03/31/2020

   


Bracing for the Big Ones: Novel Diseases like COVID-19 Could Test Texas' Public Health System - 03/31/2020

Novel diseases like COVID-19 could be a tough test for Texas’ public health system.


Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) & Specimen Collection and Testing Resources COVID-19 - 03/31/2020

Health care personnel should immediately notify both infection control personnel at their health care facility and their local or state health department in the event of a PUI. COVID-19 is a notifiable condition that should be reported to your local health department immediately if either suspected or confirmed. Testing and specimen submission to the DSHS laboratory requires pre-approval from your local health authority. Commercial and drive through laboratory testing is also available. Please consider these as testing options for yourself and your patients due to their larger capacity to test compared to public health laboratories.


Telemedicine Payments Promised, Regulations Eased - 03/31/2020

To help Texas physicians safely and effectively treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, several changes to telemedicine visits have taken effect, including payment for services and which platforms can be used.


How to Keep Your Practice Afloat During COVID-19 - 03/31/2020

Are you starting to worry about your practice’s financial health because of the COVID-19 pandemic? There are ways to keep your practice afloat.


Video: Austin Physician Using Homemade PPE - 03/30/2020

With PPE low at her Austin family and sports medicine practice, Robyn McCarty, MD, called on a friend and seamstress to sew masks for her and her staff. After researching the best way to protect against airborne viruses, her friend created more than 20 masks made of eight layers of cloth diapers and other fabrics, each with a pocket.


Updated TMA White Paper Explains Non-Urgent Surgeries Rule - 03/30/2020

If you’re uncertain about what are considered non-urgent, elective surgeries and procedures – as well as what you or your practice will be required to report – TMA’s Office of the General Counsel produced this white paper to help you better understand the emergency rules.


TMA/County Society/Construction Industry Personal Protective Equipment Collection + Distribution Initiative - 03/30/2020

 TMA county medical societies, alliances chapters along with local businesses are teaming together to gather personal protective equipment (PPE) for the medical communities.   


Pharmacy Board Limits Chloroquine Prescriptions - 03/30/2020

The Texas State Board of Pharmacy is limiting prescriptions of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine, and azithromycin amid reports that hospitals and prescribers are stocking up on some of those drugs even though they are not proven to treat COVID-19 effectively.


TMA Applauds Bishops’ Critical Care Guide Support - 03/27/2020

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops’ statement in support of Mass Critical Care Guidelines


Texas Physicians Join Governor’s Call for Industry to Donate PPE - 03/27/2020

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for personal protective equipment donations.


Your COVID-19 Medical Personnel Questions Answered - 03/27/2020

If you’re concerned or uncertain about expanded medical leave, paid sick leave, or complying with other regulations regarding personnel, Texas Medical Association Practice Management Services experts have created a frequently asked questions (FAQ) to help guide your practice during the pandemic.


“What If I’m Running Low on PPE?” - 03/27/2020

To help answer questions and address concerns you might have about Texas’ supply of PPE, the TMA COVID-19 Task Force has created a frequently asked questions (FAQ).


Practical Answers to COVID-19 Questions for Your Practice - 03/27/2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Texas and around the country grows, what steps should your clinic take to ensure the safety of your staff and patients? The Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force has published a white paper that answers many of the questions you might have about caring for people who have been exposed to the virus.


TMA Podcast Offers Practical Telemedicine Pointers - 03/26/2020

To guide physicians who are struggling to get started, Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force member Ogechika Alozie, MD, and TMA staff expert Shannon Vogel recorded a TMA Practice Well podcast about adopting telemedicine.


Late Medical Bills Won’t Be a Reason for Workers’ Comp Claims Denials, State Says - 03/26/2020

The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation says late filings of medical bills will fall under the law’s “catastrophic event” exception due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19 Will Not Affect Public Charge Status for Immigrant Patients - 03/26/2020

If you care for immigrant patients who are affected by the "public charge" rule – which limits access to green cards for immigrants who receive Medicaid and other public benefits – remind them they can seek all types of medical care for COVID-19 without jeopardizing their immigration status, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


What Physicians and Health Care Workers Need to Know about Stay-at-Home Orders - 03/26/2020

Texas' largest counties and cities have issued stay-at-home orders designed to keep residents at home and away from each other as much as possible. Most of the orders exempt health care activities, but the specific language in each varies.


Financing Options to Help Keep Your Practice Afloat - 03/25/2020

If you’re starting to get concerned about your practice’s finances because of the COVID-19 outbreak, there are multiple options available to help you meet your obligations.