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Help Medicaid Patients Keep Appointments With Free Rides - 12/11/2019

If your Medicaid patient has trouble keeping his or her appointments with your office due to lack of transportation or gas money, be sure the patient knows how to seek help from Medicaid.


TMB Pulls Proposed Rule on Surprise Bills - 12/09/2019

The Texas Medical Board has withdrawn its proposed rules to implement pieces of the state’s new law introducing baseball-style arbitration on many out-of-network medical bills. At its meeting Friday, the board pulled down its rule proposal, saying in a statement that it “would not cover all providers under the statute.”


TMA to Lawmakers: Stop Proposed Medicare Changes - 12/06/2019

Federal lawmakers must hold hearings immediately to stop proposed changes to Medicare that would cause lasting and serious damage to the program and to health care in the United States, Texas Medical Association President Douglas Curran, MD, told two key Texas congressmen today.


Medical Billing Services to be Taxed Beginning Jan. 1 - 12/05/2019

“Beginning January 1, 2020, it is agency policy that medical billing services, including those performed prior to submitting a claim to an insurance company, to provide additional information, or to adjust a submitted billing, are taxable insurance services,” the Texas Comptroller’s office announced recently.


Talk to Patients About: How Vaccines Work - 12/04/2019

Ignorance is a well-known cause of vaccine hesitancy. Physicians can step into that void to teach patients about what vaccines are and why they’re important. That includes information about the risks and benefits of vaccines, how quickly illnesses spread, and the symptoms and complications of natural infection.


Far-Reaching Implications: The Ripple Effects of Texas' Uninsured Rate - 12/04/2019

Data compiled by the Texas Medical Association and other organizations, as well as physicians’ own anecdotal experiences, show how 5 million uninsured patients in Texas become 5 million dominoes. As they fall, so do countless others representing the health of Texas: The economy and well-being of entire communities. The classmates and friends of uninsured children. And yes, the physicians who deal with the burdens of treating uninsured patients in emergency rooms and providing uncompensated care.


Border Health Caucus: Who We Are - 12/02/2019

The status of health care along the U.S.-Mexico border is the canary in a coal mine for the rest of the United States. The 33-county region tops the nation’s charts for its high rates of residents who live in poverty or are uninsured, obese, diabetic, or have other chronic health care challenges and worries about long-term care. The demand for health care far outstrips available supply and access.


Border Health Caucus: In Numbers - 12/02/2019

Variation in population density can make access to health care a challenge for some, as physicians tend to work in more populous urban centers. For instance, El Paso County has a population density of 791 people per square mile, while Brewster County has 1.5 people per square mile. These two graphics illustrate just how expansive the Border region actually is.


8th Annual Border Health Conference: Huge Success - 12/02/2019

The 8th Annual Border Health Conference was held August 23, 2013 in Laredo, Texas.  This was the first time the Texas Medical Association’s Border Health Caucus held the conference on the border. U.S. House Representative Henry Cuellar served as the congressional chair for the event.  Participants included the Mexican health ministry, local government, insurance plans, and physicians from across the state. The purpose of the conference was to address issues in several areas including: Public Health Collaboration between U.S. and Mexico, Graduate Medical Education, the Sustainable Growth Rate, and the Affordable Care Act.  Attendees also toured a local Colonia and health clinic so they could see firsthand the challenges facing border patients.


How Do Vaccines Prevent Us from Getting Sick? - 12/02/2019

Vaccines work to prevent people from catching infectious diseases. Here’s how: They introduce a dead or weakened version of the virus or bacteria to train our natural defenses to kick in. If our body faces a real threat from the live germ later, the immune system is armed to block it from harming us.


Science: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism; Physicians Fight to Reassure, Immunize - 11/19/2019

Physicians repeat it over and over: Vaccines like the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine do not cause autism; they are safe and effective. Yet the decades-old false claim that vaccines do cause autism has convinced millions of parents not to give their children potentially lifesaving shots and could lead more to opt out, according to Texas physicians.


Above-Average Flu Activity Throughout Texas; One Pediatric Death Reported - 11/18/2019

Confirmed and possible cases of flu and flu-like illnesses have risen significantly across Texas in recent weeks, state health officials said, with one death reported – a 5-year-old who lived in the Rio Grande Valley.


Is Your School a Vaccine-Exemption Hot Spot? - 11/13/2019

Students have returned to public schools across the state, and most parents have ensured that their children have all the necessary immunizations. But an ever-growing number have not.


Texas Among Best in Keeping Medical Students, Residents Practicing In-State, Report Shows - 11/11/2019

Texas continues to rank among the most successful states in retaining physicians from its medical schools and residency programs, beating out 47 other states, data from 2019 show.


Federal Grant Funding Opportunity for Primary Care Rural Residency Programs - 11/08/2019

To incentivize the development of residency programs that prepare physicians for practice in rural, underserved areas, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration is now accepting applications for the 2020 Primary Care Training and Enhancement: Residency Training in Primary Care Program.


TMA Foundation Grants Support Better Health Across Texas - 11/07/2019

Residents of eight Texas counties will benefit from nearly $22,500 in Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) grant funding to help them live better, healthier lives. TMAF recently awarded funds to four county medical societies and three county chapters of the TMA Alliance (a volunteer, community service and advocacy organization comprising physicians, spouses, and partners).


Talk to Patients About: The Autism Myth - 11/04/2019

It’s hard to find a medical myth that’s been more thoroughly debunked than the notion that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism. But this mountain of evidence doesn’t stop anti-vaccine advocates from recycling this myth, which dates back to 1998.


Keeping Outbreaks at Bay: El Paso's High Vaccination Rate Pays Off - 11/01/2019

"El Paso’s 2019 Measles Outbreak Hits 5,000 Cases.” That headline was never written and – thanks in part to dedicated work by El Paso physicians and health care workers – never will be.


Texas Hits Record for New Physician Applications - 10/28/2019

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) finished is fiscal year last month having received a record number of new physician applications. TMB received 5,544 new applications, up 3 percent from the previous year's record 5,377 applicants.


Recertification Required for Healthy Texas Women Program - 10/28/2019

If you provide health care services through the Healthy Texas Women (HTW) program, or if you want to begin providing HTW services, the annual recertification period is just around the corner.


Why Vaccine Opponents Think They Know More Than Medical Experts - 10/24/2019

Given the consistent message from the scientific community about the safety of vaccines, and evidence of vaccine success as seen through the eradication of diseases, why has the skepticism about vaccines continued? One possibility is that attitudes about medical experts help to explain the endorsement of anti-vax attitudes ... that some U.S. adults might support anti-vax policy positions in part because they believe they know more than medical experts about autism and its causes.


Pertussis (Whooping Cough) - 10/22/2019

Since the 1980s, pertussis cases in the United States have increased, especially among adolescents and adults. The best way to prevent pertussis infections among adolescents and adults is a Tdap booster.


TMA Grants Will Help Texans Fight Flu - 10/18/2019

As early flu season predictions suggest this one might be rough, people in communities across Texas will be protected from influenza, or flu, thanks to grants from the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Be Wise – ImmunizeSM program. TMA has awarded more than $30,000 in grants to physicians, TMA Alliance (TMAA) volunteers, and medical student chapters to provide flu shots at no cost to uninsured and underinsured Texans in their hometowns.


Another Dubious Distinction: Texas Tops Unvaccinated List - 10/11/2019

According to WalletHub, Texas is No. 50 on its “2019's States that Vaccinate the Most” report, which also includes the District of Columbia. The report analyzed 18 key metrics – from share of vaccinated children to people without health insurance, and reported outbreaks such as measles – to determine each state’s ranking.


Connect to Your Community Through A Vaccination Clinic - 10/10/2019

Sometimes, health care is most effective when you bring it to patients, instead of waiting for them to come to you. That’s exactly what students at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School did when they organized a pertussis vaccination clinic this spring with help from a grant from the Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise – Immunize program.