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Physicians’ DEA Registration Now Requires Training on Substance Use Disorder - 01/03/2024

Physicians who must register or renew their registration for a Drug Enforcement Administration license will face a new requirement as of June 27: To register, they will have attest to taking a one-time, eight-hour training on how to treat patients with opioid or other substance use disorders.

Feds Extend Telemedicine Prescribing Flexibilities Through 2024 - 11/10/2023

With permanent telehealth prescribing policies still under consideration, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) again has extended temporary pandemic-era telehealth flexibilities to allow physicians to virtually prescribe certain controlled medications, now through Dec. 31, 2024.

CDC Grant Funds Drug Overdose Data Collection in Texas - 10/30/2023

A nearly $4 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could give Texas physicians new tools to handle national opioid and mental health crises, which have made it difficult to identify patients at risk for substance use disorders.

Help Promote National Drug Prescription Take Back Day on Oct. 28 - 10/19/2023

Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which allows people to dispose of prescription drugs safely and anonymously, is scheduled for Oct. 26 at locations throughout the state.

Physicians Warn: New Drug Overdose Threat Contains Veterinary Tranquilizer Xylazine - 09/18/2023

Xylazine, a tranquilizer used in veterinary medicine, is appearing in illicit street drugs with fentanyl, compounding the dangers of the opioid overdose epidemic. Xylazine, also called “tranq” according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, is used to tranquilize animals. It is not approved for human use and has killed people who have taken the drug.

Physicians Alarmed by Sharp Spike in Accidental Overdose Deaths Fueled by Illegal Drugs - 09/18/2023

A surge in accidental opioid overdose deaths in Texas is showing no signs of slowing down, and Texas physicians warn the rise in illegally produced drugs laced with fentanyl are to blame. They also say increasing the availability of life-saving, overdose-reversing drugs like naloxone, as well as addiction treatment programs, can help.

Physicians Urge Texans to Safely Return Unused Prescription Medication - 09/18/2023

Texas physicians recommend people with unused or expired prescription drugs at home dispose of them safely this weekend, so they are not accidently consumed. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is organizing its biannual prescription drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 29. Prescription drugs can be returned anonymously at pop up locations across the state.

Opioids: Resources for Prescribing and Addiction Treatment - 07/20/2023

Get access to information about medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Online resources for prescribing opioids appropriately also are available.

TMA Opposes Attempts to Expand Audiologists’ Scope - 07/17/2023

Proposed federal laws that would give audiologists unlimited access to Medicare patients without a physician referral could lead to lasting, and expensive, harm to patients, medicine once again told U.S. Senate and House leadership this week.

Proposal Would Maintain Unauthorized Scope for Chiropractors - 07/17/2023

The Texas Medical Association strongly opposes proposed new state rules that would continue to allow chiropractors to practice acupuncture and to perform other procedures and services outside the scope of practice for chiropractic.

Court Hearing Approaches in TMA Surprise Billing Lawsuit - 07/17/2023

With a Feb. 4 court hearing on the horizon, the Texas Medical Association recently reiterated its strong opposition to a part of a federal rule that medicine says unfairly favors health insurers when directing arbiters to resolve payment disputes between insurers and physicians under the federal surprise billing law.

New Laws Reshape Texas Health Care Landscape - 06/29/2023

New laws are about to transform health care in Texas, addressing long-term issues like surprise medical billing, raising the tobacco-use age, and improving Medicaid. The 2020-21 state budget also includes vital funding increases for women’s health programs, graduate medical education (GME), and community mental health services

Welcome MAT: Physicians Debunk Skepticism of Medication-Assisted Treatment - 06/05/2023

Many physicians have concerns about medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders. But a better understanding of MAT – combined with recent changes in federal law about prescribing these medications and required physician education on the subject – will allow a much broader group of doctors to help tackle the opioid crisis.

DEA Extends Telemedicine Flexibilities for Prescription of Controlled Medications - 05/12/2023

To avoid lapses in patient care now that the COVID-19 public health emergency has ended, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration issued a temporary extension of telemedicine flexibilities for the prescribing of controlled medications originally adopted in March 2020.

Removing Texas Physicians From the Health Care Team Would be Harmful, Costly - 05/04/2023

Op-ed by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Gary W. Floyd, MD, and Board of Trustees Chair G. Ray Callas, MD, about legislation proposing to give advanced practice registered nurses and other providers independent practice authority without physician supervision.

Help TMA Fight Independent Practice For APRNs - 05/02/2023

Please contact your state lawmakers today through the new TMA Grassroots Action Center. Let them know you support physician-led, team-based care. Tell them how much you learned in your years of medical school, residency, and beyond. Tell them why APRNs are NOT the answer to Texas’ physician shortage. Ask them to say “No” to the APRNs and to help the Texas Medical Association stop them.

Medicine Blasts Scope Attacks at the Texas Legislature - 04/24/2023

Nonphysician practitioners (NPPs) are redoubling their efforts on behalf of scope-of-practice expansion this session, including a pair of bills that seek full independent practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). But the Texas Medical Association is pushing back with equal force, armed with a growing body of research that shows removing physician oversight of the health care team undermines patient safety and health care cost containment.

TMA Decries Scope Bills That Would Allow Nurses to Practice Independently - 04/24/2023

Just three days before the bill-filing deadline, state lawmakers filed a pair of bills that would allow advanced practice registered nurses to practice independently.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids, Alcohol, Tobacco: What You Should Know - 04/19/2023

Concern about opioids – especially the growing threat of overdose posed by illicit fentanyl – has created heightened awareness about treatment options for people with substance use disorders. One of the oldest and most effective is medication-assisted treatment.

UPDATE: Feds Declare Xylazine an Emerging National Threat in Opioid Crisis - 04/14/2023

Physicians’ ability to diagnose and treat opioid-related overdoses may be complicated by the discovery of the animal tranquilizer xylazine mixed in illicit fentanyl-laced drugs, the Texas Department of State Health Services warned in a recent health advisory.

Opioid Crisis: Illegally Manufactured Fentanyl Facts and Resources - 04/06/2023

Use these resources to get the facts and learn more about how illegally manufactured fentanyl is impacting public health.

Abbott Signals Support for Opioid Crisis Interventions: Federal Efforts Also Are Underway - 04/05/2023

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in February listed the fentanyl crisis as one of seven “emergency” items this session, clearing a path toward passage of Texas Medical Association-backed legislation that aims to curb opioid-related deaths.

FDA Approves Naloxone Nasal Spray for Over-the-Counter Sale - 04/03/2023

The Food and Drug Administration has approved over-the-counter sales of the opioid-reversing medication Narcan nasal spray – a move Texas physicians have long championed.

DEA Permanently Lists Opioid Brorphine as a Schedule I Controlled Substance - 03/24/2023

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently listed the synthetic opioid brorphine as a Schedule I controlled substance, putting in in the same league as other potentially dangerous drugs that have no accepted medical use, like heroin and LSD.

TMA’s “Battle This Session” Begins: Fighting Scope Creep - 03/16/2023

As expected, several scope-of-practice expansion attempts have crept their way into the more than 800 bills the Texas Medical Association is already tracking so far this legislative session, underscoring why fighting scope creep is medicine’s top priority.