Stories written by Sean Price

Opening Act: Patients Given Broad Access to Their EHRs - 01/06/2021

Starting April 5, physicians must be ready to electronically share with patients more of the information generated during office visits. This change comes thanks to “information blocking” rules that are part of the 21st Century Cures Act, passed by Congress in 2016 and put into regulation in 2020 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator (ONC).


Talk to Patients About: Flu Shot Myths - 01/05/2021

It’s no secret that many patients don’t take the annual vaccine for influenza as seriously as their physicians would like. During the 2019-20 flu season, just over half of Americans 6 months or older – 51.8% – got their flu shots, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That was up 2.6% from the previous season.


COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy - 01/04/2021

Physicians have proven ways to respond to patients’ reluctance on vaccines.


Operation Distribution: Physicians Key in COVID-19 Vaccines Distribution - 12/02/2020

Even though COVID-19 vaccines are closer than ever to use by the general public, many questions remain about how they will be distributed to Texas physicians – and how they’ll be received by Texans. That’s why TMA in October weighed in on the state’s distribution plan with recommendations to help ensure COVID-19 vaccines are not only distributed effectively and efficiently, but also seen as trusted tools in the fight against the illness.


Use It or Lose It: Texas’ New Behavioral Health Program Can Help Only If Physicians Use It - 12/02/2020

What if Texas lawmakers created a mental health service that physicians asked for but then not many physicians used it? So far, that is what’s happening with the Child Psychiatric Access Network (CPAN), which gives pediatricians and family physicians across Texas free telemedicine-based consultation and training on community psychiatry.


Talk to Patients About: Why COVID-19 “Parties” Are a Bad Idea - 11/30/2020

Most people have gradually adjusted to the day-to-day changes caused by COVID-19, such as washing hands frequently, wearing masks, and social distancing. But others have looked for strategies to get around the hassles caused by the pandemic. In some cases, this has included deliberately trying to contract the potentially deadly illness through “COVID parties,” events designed to expose people to someone with COVID-19.


Talk to Patients About: ACIP - 11/20/2020

Two federal agencies oversee the way vaccines reach the U.S. public. But only one of them guides physicians on the best way to use those vaccines. That agency is the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the way private companies develop and produce vaccines.)


AMA Pushes to End National Clinical Skills Exams for U.S. Medical Students - 11/18/2020

American Medical Association (AMA) delegates called on AMA to urge the speedy end to the clinical skills part of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 2 and Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) Level 2 for U.S. medical students.


AMA House Addresses COVID-19 Vaccine Skepticism, Future Pandemics - 11/18/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic permeated activities at a Special Meeting of the American Medical Association House of Delegates, culminating in passage of two public health measures designed to help contain the disease.


County Society Exec “Literally Meeting With People in Parking Lots” to Get PPE for Physicians - 11/13/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the international market for personal protective equipment (PPE) into chaos. So physicians across Texas have found they have to go big or go home when it comes to obtaining those critical supplies.


COVID-19 Vaccine, Treatment Drug Offer Hope for Treating Patients - 11/12/2020

A COVID-19 vaccine candidate and an investigational drug treatment took major steps this week in the fight against the ilness.


Opioids: The Forgotten Epidemic? - 10/30/2020

COVID-19 inflamed the crisis; telemedicine helps Texas physicians cope with the fallout.


Pandemic Pressures:COVID-19 Poses Serious Behavioral Health Challenges - 10/30/2020

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.


Skipping a Step: USMLE Clinical Skills Test Faces Elimination - 10/30/2020

Many medical educators and students think the clinical skills portion of the USMLE needs to be reformed or eliminated.


Talk to Patients About: Vaccine Testing - 10/30/2020

The COVID-19 vaccines currently under production are expected to reach the public faster than any previous vaccine. But no matter how quickly a vaccine is produced, it still must pass a series of rigorous scientific tests before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will license it for public use.


Survey: Many Texans Skipping Care During Pandemic, Considering a Vaccine - 10/28/2020

More than a third of Texans say they or someone in their household have skipped or postponed some type of medical care because of COVID-19, according to an October Episcopal Health Foundation survey that explored attitudes about COVID-19.


On Pause for the Pandemic: Health Issues Sidelined Amid COVID-19 Response - 10/27/2020

Any physician can look out over the COVID-19 landscape and see important areas of health care tied to their specialty that are being downplayed or ignored as resources pour into fighting the pandemic and scared patients chose not to come to their doctors’ offices.


'This Makes Me Feel More Alive': Catching COVID-19 Helped Physician Find New Ways to Help Patients - 10/27/2020

Catching COVID-19 helped family physician Tim Martindale, MD, find new ways to help his patients.


Growing Residents: Texas Med Schools Find Ways to Create More GME Slots - 10/21/2020

Texas’ plan to grow and keep more physicians in state is coming to fruition, but it will require constant nurturing to reach harvest. The latest crop will come out of a collaboration between one of the state’s newest medical schools, in Fort Worth, and Baylor Scott and White All Saints Medical Center. The program will create as many as 150 new residency positions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area through 2027. Collaborations between medical schools and health care institutions will add to those numbers in coming years.


Public Meeting on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Set - 10/15/2020

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response will lay out its plans for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Texas and hear public comments on those plans in a virtual meeting scheduled Monday, Oct. 19.


Sign Up with DSHS Now to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines - 10/14/2020

Nobody’s certain when the first COVID-19 vaccines will be available, but you can take important steps now to make sure you’re ready to vaccinate patients quickly once the shots arrive, state health leaders said this week.


A Perfect Match? COVID-19 Forces GME Programs, Med Students to Adjust Resident Selection Process - 09/21/2020

COVID-19 has forced GME programs and medical students to make last-minute adjustments in the resident selection process.


Work to Expand Medicaid, Protect Telemedicine, Speakers at TMA Tele-Town Hall Say - 09/18/2020

Texas physicians need to lobby state and federal lawmakers as soon as possible to prevent cuts in important state services, to encourage the expansion of Medicaid, and to preserve gains made in telemedicine, a panel of speakers told participants in a telephone town hall sponsored Thursday by the Texas Medical Association’s Border Health Caucus.


An Unfortunate Legacy: COVID-19 Reveals Long-Standing Health Inequities - 09/10/2020

COVID-19 reveals longstanding health inequities among minority patients.


Talk to Patients About: Texas School Vaccines - 09/07/2020

Regardless of whether education takes place virtually or in-person, Texas school vaccination rules remain in effect for the 2020-21 school year, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. All Texas public schools (and most private schools) and colleges require students to have certain shots before they can attend classes at the beginning of a school year.