Stories with related Professional Interests

Address Delayed Care Pileup, TMA Tells House Panel - 10/17/2022

The COVID-19 pandemic strained an already overburdened primary health care system in Texas, making it vital that state lawmakers back measures that encourage patients to see a physician and catch up on delayed care before it gets even worse, Tyler pediatrician Valerie Smith, MD, told the Texas House of Representatives Select Committee on Health Care Reform.


Compact for Care: Texas Joins Interstate Agreement for Out-of-State Licensure - 10/13/2022

The rise of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a change in state law that will not only help make certain telemedicine services permanent but also give out-of-state physicians an easier pathway to join the Texas workforce.


TMA Proposes Five Goals to Improve Health Care Affordability in Texas - 08/16/2022

Texas Medical Association Board Trustee John Carlo, MD, had a blunt message for Texas lawmakers in recent testimony before the House Select Committee on Health System Reform.


Ten Years Later: TMA Advocacy Nets Investments in Women’s Health - 07/27/2022

A decade ago, the Texas Legislature made a funding decision that devasted low-income women’s access to health care and the physicians and community clinics that care for them. After 10 years, with the help of TMA advocacy and the formation of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, funding for family planning and overall women’s health is in significantly better shape.


What's Next for Prior Authorization: Texas' 'Gold Card' Law Winds Through Rulemaking - 06/29/2022

Physician advocates, alongside the Texas Medical Association, are looking to this fall’s legislative races as they monitor the rulemaking underway to implement the "Gold Card" law and prepare to push for additional reforms during the 2023 legislative session that kicks off in January.


Post-Uvalde, TMA Urges State Support for Mental Health Care and Child Interventions - 06/24/2022

As state lawmakers chart a path forward after the Robb Elementary school shooting in Uvalde last month, the Texas Medical Association is offering stories of hope that illustrate promising potential solutions: investments in mental health systems that can intervene before a troubled youth becomes a perpetrator of gun violence.


CDC Recommends COVID Vaccines for Kids as Young as 6 Months - 06/21/2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended two COVID-19 vaccines that now can be used for children between 6 months and 5 years old, meaning physicians and other vaccinators can begin giving those shots – and they’re now available for ordering through the state’s Vaccine Allocation & Ordering System.


State Leaders Issue Proposals for School Safety, Mental Health Funding - 06/21/2022

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) called on state leaders to spend nearly $180 million on mental health and school safety programs in a series of proposals following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last month.


Physician-Led Results: Grassroots Advocacy Paid Off in Tangible Wins at the Capitol - 06/15/2022

Texas physicians made the most of an extraordinary, scaled-back session of the Texas Legislature in 2021. They helped pass laws to curb prior authorization hassles; keep physicians from incurring new practice costs; install liability protections for future pandemics like COVID-19; extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for new mothers; and keep graduate medical education (GME) fully funded. And so much more.


Low COVID Vaccination Rate Among Ages 5-11 Suggests More Vaccinators Needed - 04/05/2022

A month and a half after federal health authorities green-lit Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, state data suggest Texas parents need some convincing that the shot is right for their children. And Texas physicians say some of their colleagues need a little convincing of a different kind – namely to become vaccinators themselves.


Power Data: Texas' Claims Database Will Help Clarify Care Costs - 03/31/2022

Texas is building an all-payer claims database, which will provide a clearer view of opaque health care costs.


New Health Care Reform Committee Formed Under House Interim Charges - 03/16/2022

Health care reform will be a particular point of emphasis for the Texas House of Representatives in its interim year between legislative sessions, and physician lawmakers will be right in the thick of it.


Place COVID Vaccine Orders Now Before Holiday Suspension - 12/14/2021

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is suspending deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27 due to the holidays, and the agency is asking vaccinators to place all orders in the Vaccine Allocation and Ordering System by this Friday, Dec. 17, at 5 pm.


State Plan Tackles Mental Health Coverage - 11/09/2021

Four years after the Texas Legislature passed legislation aimed to improve health plan coverage of mental health conditions and substance use disorders, a state workgroup has released a strategic plan to improve compliance with the law’s protections to put coverage of those treatments on par with other types of health care.


TMA Defeats Bills to Ban Vaccine Mandates - 10/25/2021

Thanks to physician-led grassroots advocacy, the Texas Medical Association beat back bills that aimed to codify Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent executive order banning vaccine mandates. Those bills had failed to advance out of their respective chambers when the Texas Legislature adjourned from its third special session of the year on Oct. 19.


TMA Wins Several COVID Relief Funding Asks - 10/22/2021

The Texas Legislature’s distribution of billions in federal COVID-19 relief funding displayed a commitment to many – though not all – of the Texas Medical Association’s desired uses for the money, including investments in child mental health care and improving maternal mental health access.


TMA Weighs In on Bills to Ban Vaccine Mandates - 10/18/2021

Taking science-based interventions like vaccinations off the table during an ongoing public emergency is like telling coastal residents they can’t board up their windows or fill sandbags as a hurricane approaches.


TMA Makes Its Case on “Starting Point” COVID Relief Bill - 10/05/2021

A bill to distribute nearly $17 billion in COVID-19 relief funds – medicine’s focal point during the current special session of the Texas Legislature – drew both praise and recommendations for improvement from the Texas Medical Association and several state specialty societies.


Take Three: COVID Relief Funds, Local Vaccine Mandates on Third Special Session Agenda - 09/19/2021

As anticipated, the Texas Legislature will return for a third 2021 special session – and fourth session overall this year – with federal COVID-19 relief funds on the agenda and the House of Medicine hoping to influence how lawmakers will allocate those funds.


TMA in the Thick of Legislature’s Masking Authority Talks - 09/01/2021

An eventful Monday evening in the Texas Legislature featured the near-certain death of a bill that would prohibit public schools from requiring masks – thanks to fervent Texas Medical Association advocacy.


COVID-19 Relief Funds Could Bring Medicaid Pay Bump in Fall Special Session - 07/09/2021

A widely anticipated special session of the Texas Legislature is under way. But the Texas Medical Association has much of its energy focused on the next special session this fall, when the legislature is likely to tackle distribution of around $16 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds.


Expanded Broadband Bill Passes Senate, Heads to the Governor - 07/08/2021

Welcome to the first day of the final month of the Texas Legislature’s 2021 session. Expect the flurry of hearings and legislative movement to swirl even faster this week as the House of Medicine and its like-minded lawmakers furiously push for progress ahead of the May 31 finish line.


TMA Shooting for Reinstatement of 1115 Waiver Extension - 07/08/2021

Facing a major setback for uncompensated care, the Texas Medical Association is taking the opportunity to think bigger and better.


Physician-Led Results: Medicine’s Advocacy Helps Kill Scope and Other Ill-Advised Bills - 07/01/2021

Once again, expertise prevailed in this year’s legislative session. So did good sense.


Physician-Led Results: TMA Advocacy Pays Off in Tangible Legislative Wins - 06/23/2021

Texas physicians made the most of a scaled-back session of the Texas Legislature in 2021. With fewer floor meetings, no in-person First Tuesdays at the Capitol lobbying events, and limited air time for agenda items, the House of Medicine needed its advocates to work harder than ever. Physicians needed initiative and drive to help get crucial legislation across the finish line – and help stop bad bills from becoming bad law. They did all that with gusto.