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Easing the Pain? Opioid Settlement Brings Valuable Funding to Fight Crisis - 11/01/2019

September 2019 brought what could become a major victory for the state’s handling of opioid addiction. Drug-maker Purdue Pharma – which faced thousands of lawsuits from cities and states, including Texas, for its role in the national opioid crisis – announced it had agreed to a settlement with 24 state attorneys general and other plaintiffs. The maker of OxyContin and other pain drugs says the agreement will provide more than $10 billion to address the epidemic.


Tapering a Patient’s Opioid Dosage? Follow This Guide - 10/18/2019

In an effort to curb the nationwide opioid epidemic while keeping patients from excessive pain, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week published a guide for physicians considering or initiating a reduction in opioid dosage.


Prevention of Opioid Abuse Through Education - 10/15/2019

HB 405 was written to require collaborative efforts and involve many stakeholders who are involved in the health and well-being of mothers and infants across our state. This is the best way to ensure that as many women as possible hear about NAS and its harmful outcomes. Creating more awareness of what causes NAS and potential impacts of the condition will only help our state become a better place for all mothers and babies. HB 405 would help bring needed attention and resources to help educate our state on NAS.


Physicians Need to Prepare for New Opioid Rules and Best Practices - 10/09/2019

Texas physicians need to prepare for changes in state law tied to opioid prescribing in the coming months, according to the three-physician panel that addressed "Responding to the Opioid Epidemic" at the 2019 Texas Medical Association Fall Conference.


Prescription Monitoring Program: Is Your EHR Connected? - 10/03/2019

Beginning March 1, 2020, all prescribers must set up an account with the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program, known as PMP Aware, and check the PMP prior to prescribing opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or carisoprodol.


The Changing Face of the Opioid Epidemic - 09/27/2019

Opioid abuse and overdose deaths continue to rise in the U.S., with more than 46,000 opioid-related deaths in 2017, up from 5,000 in 2000, data show. But the problem can’t be explained in total deaths alone. The crisis also has changed in character since 2001, new data show.


Opioids and Pharmacy: PMP Extension Granted - 09/16/2019

When it came to opioids and pharmacy matters, some of the major pieces of medicine’s 2019 agenda came down to something everyone wishes they had more of: time. Physicians need it to get comfortable with a mandate to check the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP). Patients need it to make sure the pain medications they’re prescribed do what the drugs are supposed to do. The legislature listened, and TMA achieved wins on both counts, as well as on increased transparency from pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).


Opioids, Telemedicine, Legislative Update to Highlight TMA Fall Conference - 09/10/2019

Physicians Meet to Address Health Care Priorities. Navigating the opioid crisis, using telemedicine to expand a medical practice and help more patients, and top issues from the 2019 Texas Legislature highlight the 2019 Texas Medical Association (TMA) Fall Conference. 


TMB Clarifies New 10-Day Limit on Opioids - 08/30/2019

The Texas Medical Board is trying to head off confusion about the state’s new 10-day opioid prescribing limit for acute pain, which takes effect on Sunday. TMB’s statement, released Friday, appears to address concerns that the new law means acute pain patients must be completely cut off from opioids beyond the 10-day mark. That’s not the case, according to the statement.


“The future” of pain treatment? - 08/15/2019

Some physicians, depending on the situation, are avoiding opioids to every reasonable degree, doing their part to keep patients off the drugs that killed more than 42,000 people in the United States in 2016. Fort Worth anesthesiologist Aaron Shiraz, MD, and his group, Trinity Medical Associates, are taking it to a rarely seen extreme.


New Laws Improve Opioid Prescription Process in Texas - 08/06/2019

The 2019 Texas Legislature enacted three new laws that will change the way physicians prescribe opioids, including House Bill 3284, which delays the mandate for physicians check the state’s prescription monitoring program, known as PMP Aware, for prescriptions tied to opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and carisoprodol. The bill pushes back the requirement from Sept. 1, 2019, to March 1, 2020.


New Electronic Form To Be Used To Report Certain Drug Overdoses - 08/06/2019

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has created an online form for physicians and other health care professionals to report overdoses from controlled substances such as opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamines. The new electronic form is expected to make reporting and collecting overdose data more efficient, DSHS officials said.


When Do New Opioid Prescribing Requirements Take Effect? - 08/02/2019

To combat the ongoing opioid crisis, state lawmakers passed several measures that change how physicians and other health care professionals will prescribe opioids. However, provisions of the laws take effect at different times, so prescribers should be aware of the deadlines and effective dates of each requirement. Below is a chart showing when each provision takes effect.


Get Qualified to Prescribe Opioid Addiction Medication - 07/22/2019

If you care for patients with opioid-use disorder, you’re probably familiar with buprenorphine, a medication that can be used at home to treat opioid addiction. But if you haven’t heard about it, or if you would like more information, tune in to a free online training course to qualify for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine.


You Write Scripts? You Better Sign Up With the PMP - 06/19/2019

If you don't yet have a user account set up with the state's prescription monitoring program (PMP), known as PMP Aware, now is a good time to get it done.


Keep Your Patients and Practice Safe from Opioid Prescription Fraud - 06/19/2019

If you prescribe opioids, it’s important to protect your practice and your patients from fraud and substance-use disorder. One way to ensure that patients accurately follow your prescription is to have them sign an informed consent and opioid treatment agreement.


Despite Deadline, New Prescription Forms Still Not Received - 06/19/2019

Many Texas physicians are now unable to write prescriptions for certain pain medications because of ongoing problems when ordering the state’s new prescription forms. As of June 1, all Schedule II prescription forms ordered before Sept. 1, 2018, were no longer valid. However, many Texas physicians have told the Texas Medical Association they are still awaiting the new forms.


Legislative Top 10: Efforts to Curb Opioid Abuse Await Governor - 06/07/2019

Motivated to act by the ongoing national opioid crisis, the 86th Texas Legislature worked to limit how the powerful drugs are prescribed.  Today's Texas Medical Association Legislative News Hotline video reports on the bill that emerged and describes new prescribing rules for Texas physicians.


Changing the Conversation about Addiction - 05/24/2019

Drug addiction is a chronic medical disease, and stigma about it is keeping millions of Americans – including the growing number who suffer with opioid addiction – from getting proper medical treatment, one of the nation’s foremost addiction specialists told the closing general session audience at TexMed 2019 in Dallas.


Learn About Effective Medications For Treating Opioid Addiction - 04/30/2019

If you are interested in learning about effective medications for fighting opioid-use disorder, be sure to attend the upcoming Texas Grand Rounds online webinar this week. The webinar, presented by the Opioid Response Network, will discuss the effectiveness of Naltrexone and Buprenorphine-Naloxone in treating patients with opioid-use disorder.


An Easy Way To Curb Substance Abuse - 04/26/2019

Are you looking for more ways to help stop substance abuse in your community? You can start by encouraging your patients to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.


Addiction Treatment Helps More Than Incarceration - 04/23/2019

We appreciate the opportunity to voice support and offer additional suggestions for Senate Bill 1147, which allows a judge to require that a defendant undergo an evaluation as to whether they would benefit from medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for alcohol dependence as a condition of their community supervision.


Federal Bill Would Limit Opioid Scrips for Acute Pain - 04/22/2019

The proposed three-day limit on opioid prescriptions for acute pain would be one of the more impactful provisions for pain doctors and their patients. Exceptions would include prescriptions for chronic pain, cancer care, hospice or end-of-life care, and pain treatment that’s part of palliative care.


Improve Access to MAT for Medicaid Patients - 04/09/2019

While many patients want treatment for their substance use disorder (SUD), they often lack access to the most effective treatment for their individual needs. With proper treatment and support, people with SUD can recover and live, work, and contribute to the community. SUD can be successfully managed, generally with a combination of several evidence-based practices such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), individual or group counseling, and inpatient residential treatment.


Google Your Way To Disposing Of Unused Drugs? - 03/21/2019

If you’re looking for a way to help your patients put a dent in the nation’s opioid epidemic, look no further than Google Maps.  Google Maps recently added a search feature that will make it easier for your patients to dispose of unwanted and unused medications.