Disaster Preparedness

Q&A: El Paso Surgeon On-Call During Mass Shooting Response - 09/27/2019

Just as Alan Tyroch, MD, sat down to breakfast in Las Vegas on the morning of Aug. 3, celebrating his mother in-law’s 90th birthday, a gunman walked into a Walmart hundreds of miles away in his hometown of El Paso and opened fire, ultimately killing 22 people and injuring 24 more. Over the following minutes, as shooting victims were rushed to hospitals throughout El Paso, Dr. Tyroch – chief of surgery and trauma medical director at University Medical Center of El Paso – was coordinating and delegating duties via text to the hospital’s numerous surgeons, physicians, residents, and other health care professionals.

Prepare for Disasters with TMA’s Help - 09/24/2019

Tropical Depression Imelda deluged parts of Southeast Texas late last week, serving as an all-too-real reminder of the devastation that natural disasters can cause. Whether you or your practice have been directly affected by the storm, or if you are caring for patients who have been, look to the Texas Medical Association’s Disaster Preparedness and Response Resource Center for up-to-date information and tools.

Good Samaritan Law - 08/16/2019

Expansion of the Good Samaritan law to volunteer health care professionals and sponsoring health care institutions for care, assistance, or advice provided during a disaster

Texas Cardiologist Recalls Boston Marathon Bombing - 02/04/2019

When two pressure-cooker bombs filled with nails, ball bearings, and black powder exploded at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding hundreds more, Jorge Alvarez, MD, did what he believes anybody would do: Run toward the danger.

Section 7: Invest in Public Health and Behavioral Health - 01/30/2019

The phrase “public health” elicits numerous images: first responders at a natural disaster, disease detectives peering through microscopes, posters, videos and flyers urging parents to vaccinate their children against deadly diseases, anti-smoking campaigns. Public health is all of this and more. It’s state and local government agencies, and individual physicians, working to detect, respond to, and prevent what’s bad for the health of Texans.

''It Was a Little Lake in There'' - 01/11/2019

When the staff of a Houston-area children’s urgent care clinic saw security-camera images of brown, murky Hurricane Harvey floodwater submerging their waiting room, they knew it was bad.

Disasters to Disease Outbreaks: Four Health Commissioners Discuss Texas’ Readiness for Next Threat - 01/09/2019

Every Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) commissioner from this century will describe the biggest health crisis they faced while tasked with protecting Texans’ health, and share what they consider to be our greatest present threats, during the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) third Distinguished Speaker Series event.

Help Your California Colleagues Rebuild From Disastrous Fires - 11/19/2018

If you want to help physicians in California who have been devastated by the ongoing wildfires, the California Medical Association (CMA) and its charitable arm, Physicians for a Healthy California, are taking donations through a recently created webpage.

Interested in Disaster Relief? Texas’ Medical Brigade Wants You - 10/31/2018

Texas State Guard's Medical Brigade is looking for physicians and other medical personnel willing to volunteer their time and expertise during disasters. The Medical Brigade is one of four branches of the Texas State Guard, not to be confused with the Texas National Guard.

TMA Exhibit Explores Disasters That Helped Shape Texas Medicine - 10/22/2018

The Texas Medical Association is highlighting some of the state’s most notorious disasters, and the medical responses to them, in its newest exhibit, “When Disaster Strikes…Six Catastrophes That Changed Texas Medicine.” The exhibit is on display until September 2019 in the Robert G. Mickey History of Medicine Gallery at the TMA headquarters in Austin.

Hurricane Harvey: The Way Back - 08/27/2018

Lessons learned as practices emerge from Harvey’s wrath.

Deadline to File Harvey Insurance Claims Approaching - 08/16/2018

Harvey made landfall on Aug. 25 last year, causing widespread flooding along the coast. Some insurance claims, including to the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, must be reported by the one-year anniversary of the date the damage occurred, unless you can show good cause for a delay.

Hurricane Harvey: One Year Later - 08/16/2018

Studies of the public health, mental health, and environmental effects of the storm could take years to complete. Meanwhile, physician practices share their own lessons learned.

Houston Physician Gives Post-Harvey Recommendations to Senate Committee - 05/17/2018

As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, it is always easier to see what we should do differently in a crisis. By carefully and critically evaluating, we ensure Texas’ response to future disasters will be that much better. With that in mind, let me share some observations and recommendations of frontline physicians who cared for evacuees on opportunities to fine-tune Texas’ disaster preparedness, as well as my own.

Accessing Medical Information for Displaced Texans - 04/27/2018

It is difficult to watch as our beloved state suffers from the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey. Even more difficult is the number of Texans displaced as they evacuate to safe places. This means many Texans are seeking medical care outside of their usual region or network of physicians. It helps to know that health information exchanges (HIE) are available to assist physicians by providing access to a patient’s information at the point of care.

Medicaid HMOs Must Allow Harvey Victims to Receive Care Out-of-Network - 04/27/2018

Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) must allow patients who have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey to receive out-of-network care for nonemergency services, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

TMA Fund Continues to Help Harvey-Affected Practices Rebuild - 02/23/2018

Six months after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast, the Texas Medical Association continues to provide financial assistance to practices the storm damaged.

TMA Wins MIPS Exemption for Many Harvey-Affected Practices - 02/20/2018

Many physicians whose practices are located in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey will not be required to participate in the 2017 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and will not face a 4-percent Medicare payment penalty in 2019, officials announced in December.

AMA House Tackles Scope Challenges - 02/14/2018

Fueled by a historically rare consensus on major issues, the American Medical Association House of Delegates took swift action to address many of the difficulties that frustrate physicians these days.

TMA Sends Almost $750,000 to Harvey-Affected Physicians - 02/09/2018

Thanks in part to the generosity of Texas physicians, TMA has provided almost $750,000 in assistance to 53 practices damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

TMA Hits $1 Million Milestone to Aid Harvey-Damaged Medical Practices - 01/10/2018

The TMA Disaster Relief Program, set up to aid Texas physicians’ practices damaged by Hurricane Harvey, has reached the $1 million mark. A gift of $5,000 from the Michigan State Medical Society Foundation to the Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) Disaster Relief Campaign, tipped the total raised to over $1 million, fulfilling the campaign goal.

AMA House Tackles Scope Challenges, Payment Problems - 12/08/2017

Fueled by a historically rare consensus on major issues, the American Medical Association House of Delegates took swift action to address many of the difficulties that frustrate physicians these days.

Generous Contributions Push TMA Relief Program Near $1 Million - 11/28/2017

Two substantial contributions by national physician organizations gave the Texas Medical Association (TMA) TMA Disaster Relief Program a giant boost today, pushing the total raised to nearly $1 million. The program aims to assist thousands of Texas physician practices damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey recover and reopen to care for patients as quickly as possible.

TMA Disaster Relief Program Sends $350,000 in Aid to First Physician Applicants - 11/28/2017

Relief is on the way for some Texas physicians uprooted from their medical practice by Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) Disaster Relief Program committee distributed nearly $350,000 to the first 28 medical practices to apply for assistance to rebuild. Physicians whose Harvey-damaged medical practice is located in a federally declared disaster area have been applying for assistance for damage not covered by insurance or other means, to speed the rebuilding of their community doctor offices.

Financial Assistance Available to Rebuild Practices Damaged by Harvey - 11/15/2017

Thanks to the generosity of physicians and organizations throughout Texas and the United States, physicians who are rebuilding their medical practice in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey can apply for financial assistance through TMA’s Disaster Relief Program.