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COVID-19 Vaccines: FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Third Vaccine - 03/01/2021

The latest COVID-19 vaccines information as of March 1, 2021.


Staying the Course: Medicine Enters an Unprecedented Session at the Texas Legislature - 02/28/2021

The way the Texas Legislature conducts business during the 2021 session may look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Texas Medical Association’s commitment to improving health care remains the same. Some of those goals are up against deep cuts to state agency budgets. At the same time, however, the pandemic has created opportunities for medicine to bend lawmakers’ ear on some of its longstanding goals, including advancing access to care, vaccines, health coverage, and telemedicine.


Accelerating RPM: COVID-19 Speeds Adoption of Remote Patient Monitoring - 02/28/2021

Before March 2020, remote patient monitoring (RPM) was a tool endocrinologist Thomas Blevins, MD, used to help patients with diabetes track and regulate blood sugar levels and report the results back to him. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many doctors to turn to telemedicine, Dr. Blevins and the nine other physicians on staff at Austin Diabetes and Endocrinology had to rev up their RPM use.


Spotlight on Vaccines: Pandemic May Open Gateway to Improve Vaccination Rates in Texas - 02/27/2021

The uneven rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in December created at least one bright spot for Texas physicians: It highlighted how the state could make vaccination more efficient.


Practice e-Tips on Coding - 02/26/2021

Get practice tips on all things coding. Learn about coding methods, correct coding, resources, coding related to Workers' Comp and more.


Low-Level Code May Have High Misuse - 02/26/2021

It’s been called the “nurse visit” code, and also “the most abused code in the CPT book.” Do you use 99211 correctly?


Texas Medicaid, CHIP Changes Extended Through March - 02/25/2021

Some Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) flexibilities put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, including authority to use telemedicine more broadly, have been extended through March, state health officials announced.   


COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments Will Resume in Texas This Week - 02/23/2021

The latest COVID-19 vaccines information as of Feb. 23, 2021


FDA Authorizes Another Monoclonal Antibody Treatment - 02/12/2021

Physicians now have another option in the fight against COVID-19, thanks to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) this week of the combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab.


COVID-19 Vaccines: Encourage Undocumented Immigrants to Receive Vaccines - 02/10/2021

The latest information on COVID-19 vaccines as of Feb. 10, 2021


Reminder: Physicians Must Order Second Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine - 02/10/2021

Physicians and facilities that administer COVID-19 vaccines should remember that the state will no longer automatically send second doses. Instead, physicians and facilities must request an allotment of second doses seven to 14 days after receiving first doses.


List Cost on Medicare Radiopharma Claims - 02/05/2021

When billing Medicare for radiopharmaceutical procedure codes, you must list the total acquisition cost on the claim.


Ten Things to Know to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines - 02/04/2021

State health officials have begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines across the state, based on guiding principles that prioritize essential health care workers and vulnerable populations. Here are 10 things to know about administering vaccines manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.


Physicians Are Right to Avoid Wasting Vaccine - 02/04/2021

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, and Harris County Medical Society President Gary J. Sheppard, MD, about situations physicians and health care workers might face when trying to administer all COVID-19 vaccine without wasting it. This issue emerged after Houston authorities leveled accusations against a local physician.


Hand Sanitizers From Mexico Likely to Contain Methanol, FDA Warns - 02/03/2021

Physician practices and other facilities should be aware that alcohol-based hand sanitizers imported from Mexico are likely to contain methanol, which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in an import alert issued this week.


Significantly More COVID-19 Vaccines Delivered to Texas - 02/02/2021

The latest COVID-19 vaccine news as of Feb. 1, 2021


TMA Praises Governor’s Telemedicine, Broadband, Vaccine Priorities - 02/02/2021

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, about the health care priorities Gov. Greg Abbott cited in his State of the State address.


Hungering for a Solution: Physicians Can Help Tackle Food Insecurity - 02/01/2021

Not long after COVID-19 hit Texas last March, pediatricians at Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) began screening patients for food insecurity. The timing was coincidental but fortunate given the pandemic’s economic toll.


A Class By Themselves: Texas’ Newest Med Schools Adjust to COVID-19 - 02/01/2021

Texas opened two new medical schools in July – the University of Houston College of Medicine in Houston and Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Conroe. Thanks to COVID-19, both opened under circumstances that would have seemed bizarre just a year ago.


When the Fight Becomes Personal: Physicians Share Their Stories of Contracting COVID-19 - 02/01/2021

It’s no surprise that many physicians were among the more than 1.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas last year. Texas Medicine spoke with three Texas physicians who contracted COVID-19 to learn how the disease affected them physically and impacted their outlook as caregivers.


Commentary: Hard Lessons Learned - 02/01/2021

Every pandemic is different, but I think there are some hard lessons we’ve learned during this process that we would be wise to take to heart. Below are what I consider three of the most important ones.


Commentary: This Is Not a Drill - 02/01/2021

On Jan. 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus, later named “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2), in the U.S. At the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) we realized it was only a matter of time before the virus arrived in Texas. By Jan. 31, we activated the DSHS State Medical Operations Center to prepare for the coming crisis.


COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Reaching More Texans, Health Officials Say - 02/01/2021

COVID-19 vaccination efforts are gaining ground in Texas and will continue to improve, but an ongoing shortage of doses hampers the state’s efforts to vaccinate nearly 30 million residents, the state’s top public health official told the Texas Medical Association’s Winter Conference Saturday.


Provide Meaningful Health Care Coverage for Uninsured Texans - 02/01/2021

Texas can no longer ignore the human, social, and economic impact of having more than 20% of our people uninsured. Health care coverage matters, resulting in healthier constituents and more economically prosperous communities.


Review Your Physician Compare Data Now - 01/29/2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently opened its Doctors and Clinicians Preview Period, which allows you to check out your 2019 QPP performance data before its reported on Medicare Care Compare and in the Provider Data Catalog (PDC). CMS will close the preview period at 7 pm (CT) March 25.