Stories written by Sean Price

Ready for Business: MBA programs broaden physicians' skills - 09/28/2022

A growing number of Texas physicians obtain MBA degrees to sharpen their business acumen, understand finance, and prepare for leadership roles.


Making a SAFER EHR: This MIPS measure can help - 09/28/2022

Physicians have not always been big fans of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), but one aspect of MIPS can help physicians protect electronic health records (EHRs) from errors, hacking, and similar problems.


Moving People Together - 09/26/2022

Institutional racism creates obstacles to medical care. TMA’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force aims to remove them.


Pandemic Pressures:COVID-19 Poses Serious Behavioral Health Challenges - 09/20/2022

The mental health fallout caused by COVID-19 radiates throughout Texas. In this issue, we look at four of the biggest challenges physicians are responding to as more people say that worry and stress related to coronavirus have negatively impacted their mental health.


Combating Opioid-Related Deaths Requires New Approach, TMA Tells Lawmakers - 09/19/2022

In order to address a surge in deaths tied to synthetic opioids, Texas must take a comprehensive approach that includes revamping state regulations related to pain management clinics and prescription monitoring, and expanding mental health treatment, Mesquite pain management specialist C.M. Schade, MD, told members of the Texas House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Health.


Graphic Warnings on Cigarette Packs Face Ongoing Legal Challenge - 09/09/2022

A court order – once again – has upheld enforcement of the Food and Drug Administration’s rule that cigarette packs must contain more colorful and graphic health warnings. The new deadline for implementing the rule, per the court order, is Oct. 6, 2023.


Texas' Plan to Promote LARCs Released - 09/08/2022

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) on Thursday will release the state's five-year strategic plan for promoting long-acting, reversible contraceptive devices (LARCs), which are seen as key to reducing the state's high maternal mortality rate. 


Reaching for the Cure: Texas Medicaid Doesn't Cover Hep C Drugs Until Patients Are Seriously Ill - 09/07/2022

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.


Monkeypox-Related Death Still Under Investigation as Vaccines Remain in Short Supply - 09/06/2022

Monkeypox made national headlines recently when Harris County Public Health reported that that a severely immunocompromised person in the county who was “presumptive positive” for the disease became the first person to die after contracting it.


Novavax COVID Vaccine Available to Help Reach Patients Hesitant About mRNA Vaccines - 09/06/2022

The recently introduced COVID-19 vaccine Novavax gives physicians another tool for combating the disease, and it enjoys two important differences from previous vaccines that are potential advantages, says San Antonio infectious disease specialist Charles Lerner, MD, a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Task Force.


Talk to Patients About: Tetanus - 09/01/2022

Almost all U.S. tetanus cases occur among people who are unvaccinated or did not receive a booster shot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Hurricane Harvey: One Year Later - 09/01/2022

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.


Get Ready for an EHR Upgrade by Dec. 31 to Comply With 21st Century Cures Act - 08/30/2022

Electronic health record vendors must conduct a major software upgrade by Dec. 31, and physician offices should be prepared.


Texas Physician Growth Remains Strong, But Robust Recruitment Still Needed - 08/22/2022

Texas has made great strides in recruiting new physicians to the state and keeping them, but it still has a long way to go to catch up with physician-patient ratios seen in other states, according to Texas Medical Association research.


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.


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.


UnitedHealthcare Eliminates Copay Costs on Insulin, Other Life-Saving Medications - 08/05/2022

Some patients struggling with the cost of medications like insulin and epinephrine just got a small-but-important break from one of the nation’s largest health insurers.


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.


Countering Controversy: How to Have Difficult Conversations with Patients - 07/29/2022

New CME from the Texas Medical Association shows physicians how to address tough topics with patients.


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.


Nickel and Dimed: Physicians Can Avoid Electronic Credit Cards and Their Fees - 07/29/2022

Some small medical insurance companies are trying to force physicians to receive payment via electronic credit cards, but medical practices can avoid this costly problem.


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.


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.


New Texas Website Streamlines Access to Medicaid Enrollment, Family Resources - 07/26/2022

Physicians who frequently refer patients to no- and low-cost state services like health insurance and child care will find that easier now that the state has launched familyresources.texas.gov, a website that puts links to those services all in one place.