Stories with related Professional Interests

Reaching for the Cure: Texas Medicaid Doesn't Cover Hep C Drugs Until Patients Are Seriously Ill - 08/19/2022

Infectious disease specialist Ogechika Alozie, MD, has a ready-made solution for patients diagnosed with hepatitis C now that five medications can rid patients of this deadly disease. But for Texas Medicaid patients, there’s a catch. The program does not pay for the cure based just on a diagnosis. Instead, Medicaid pays only after a blood test, biopsy, or sonogram shows the liver is so badly damaged that it’s on the verge of cirrhosis. At that point, patients who get the medication will be cured of their hepatitis C but more vulnerable to other deadly illnesses, like liver cancer.


Public Health Emergency’s End Would Kickstart Medicaid Eligibility Re-Checks. Here’s How to Prepare - 08/19/2022

After strong advocacy by the American Medical Association and other organizations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services appears poised to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency for a 10th time.


Health Commissioner Reflects on Texas’ Pandemic Response, Honored by State Senate - 08/18/2022

Nearly two and a half years after the first positive COVID-19 test result was reported in Texas, Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, is taking stock of what happened next and how to prevent the next pandemic.


Purchase Bebtelovimab Directly From Distributor Starting Aug. 15 - 08/18/2022

With federally funded distribution of the COVID-19 therapeutic bebtelovimab coming to an end, physicians must now purchase the monoclonal antibody directly from the distributor starting the week of Aug. 15, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.


Improve Your Work-Life Balance with These Simple Steps - 08/16/2022

You’re a busy physician, so you might not always have time to take care of yourself as well as your patients. But taking care of yourself doesn’t just mean focusing on your physical well-being. Your mental, financial, and emotional fitness need to be looked after as well. The Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Physician Health and Wellness can help you assess your work-life balance and determine your core values.


Talk to Patients About: Polio - 08/08/2022

Polio once terrified Americans. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the virus crippled around 35,000 Americans a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because polio often attacked abdominal muscles used to breathe, many died or permanently needed a respirator called an iron lung.


Feds Launch Evusheld Ordering Route for Smaller Entities, Quantities - 08/05/2022

Small physician practices now have a new way to access the COVID-19 preexposure drug Evusheld, and in smaller amounts. Practices also can benefit from a new helpline for information on the monoclonal antibody treatment that helps prevent COVID-19 infection among immunocompromised patients at high risk of severe illness.


Talk to Patients About: Monkeypox - 08/05/2022

Monkeypox cases, rarely seen outside of countries in Africa, are rising rapidly, including in Texas, where 485 cases had been reported as of Aug. 2. As a result, physicians may be fielding questions from concerned patients.


UPDATE: Monkeypox Warrants Vigilance Amid National, Global Health Emergency - 08/05/2022

Physicians and other health care professionals should be vigilant to the possibility of monkeypox in patients after the Biden administration declared the outbreak a national public health emergency.


Getting Another Shot: Physicians Combat Post-COVID Vaccine Hesitancy - 07/29/2022

Thousands of Texas children are getting back-to-school vaccinations before starting the new academic year. As they do, Texas physicians see evidence that skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccines has turned into skepticism about all types of vaccines, infecting once-healthy public perceptions about childhood immunizations.


Making a Comeback: Texas Leads the Nation in Congenital Syphilis - 07/29/2022

Texas leads the nation in congenital syphilis cases, and physicians are key to bringing both syphilis and congenital syphilis under control again.


Talk to Patients About: Human Papillomavirus Vaccine - 07/29/2022

The vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most effective life-saving measures in medicine, and yet it has long suffered from poor public perception.


Untangling ImmTrac2: TMA Aims to Build on Immunization Registry Reforms - 07/29/2022

The Texas Medical Association is hopeful state lawmakers will be spurred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to address ImmTrac2's shortfalls, bolstering public health protections and easing physicians' administrative woes.


Challenge of a Lifetime: Jennifer Shuford, MD, Helped Lead Texas Through the COVID-19 Pandemic - 07/29/2022

Chief State Epidemiologist Jennifer Shuford, MD, found innovative ways to lead Texas through the COVID-19 emergency.


Long COVID's Long Shadow: Physicians Respond to an Influx of Long-COVID Patients - 07/29/2022

Long COVID has strained an already overburdened health care system and requires both multispecialty clinics and primary care physicians to meet demand.


Going the Distance: Helping Rural Medicine on Its Hard Road to Better Health - 07/29/2022

Rural areas of Texas face a health care crisis, and most of the solutions require getting more health care professionals into those regions - either in person or through telemedicine.


Coming Soon at TMA: “The State of Public Health in Texas” - 07/26/2022

Join the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Public Health Coalition – in-person or via streaming – as John Hellerstedt, MD, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, reports on “The State of Public Health in Texas” on Thursday, Aug. 11, from noon to 1 pm CT.


CDC Authorizes Novavax Adult COVID Vaccine - 07/22/2022

There’s now a fourth COVID-19 vaccine option available in the U.S. after the federal government gave emergency use authorization to the Novavax vaccine for adults.


TMA Backs Proposed FDA Bans on Flavoring in Cigars, Cigarettes - 07/22/2022

The Texas Medical Association recently gave enthusiastic approval to proposed federal rules designed to crack down on flavored tobacco products, a move Texas physicians say is long overdue.


Q&A: The COVID Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 Subvariants - 07/19/2022

COVID-19’s ability to mutate into faster-spreading variants and subvariants makes it a dangerous moving target for physicians and other health care professionals.


National Suicide Hotline Changes to Simpler “988” Format - 07/15/2022

People coping with suicidal thoughts can now call 988, the new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.


DSHS: Consider Paxlovid as COVID Cases Rise - 07/13/2022

With Texas’ COVID-19 case and hospitalization numbers on a recent upward swing, the state is reminding physicians about the therapeutics available to treat high-risk patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.


Maternity Deserts: Fewer Rural Hospitals Delivering Babies - 06/29/2022

A rural health care shortage is nothing new to Texas physicians and patients, but the problem has become especially difficult for women seeking maternity care in lightly populated regions like West Texas.


How to Start a Medical-Legal Partnership - 06/29/2022

Medical entities can join forces with legal entities to form medical-legal partnerships (MLPs), and these partnerships are helpful for patients whose conditions are worsened by social determinants of health.


Dialing In on Disparities: CDC Grant Helps Texas Tackle COVID-Aggravated Health Gaps - 06/29/2022

It’s a short-term federal grant that Stephen Pont, MD, hopes can make a long-term impact.