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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.


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.


No Escape: COVID-19 Continues to Exacerbate Physician Burnout - 02/09/2021

The malaise in physician practice long known as burnout – a term doctors increasingly balk at – has been exacerbated by the pandemic, as an extensive survey by the Physicians Foundation recently showed. It’s created its own stressors and made existing ones worse.


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.


Strengthen Texas’ Physician Workforce - 02/04/2021

The pandemic will change the physician workforce in Texas. Economic pressures may convince some physicians to take early retirement or to leave patient care; and hospitals may be forced to close residency programs. With three new medical schools, Texas will need MORE residency positions to maintain the target ratio of 1.1 to 1, in hopes of keeping our medical student graduates in state.


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.


Support State Graduate Medical Education Funding - 02/01/2021

Having an adequate number of graduate medical education (GME) positions is fundamental in preparing physicians needed for Texas. The state’s medical schools are doing their part to educate more physicians. If there are not enough GME positions to train graduates in a medical specialty, those physicians can be expected to leave the state for training elsewhere, and many who leave will not return to practice in the state.


TMA Can Help Medical Community Cope With Stress - 01/29/2021

The Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Physician Health and Wellness is committed to supporting your well-being during this time of challenge and distance. Here are ways the committee is available for you.


Reminder: Monoclonal Antibody Treatments Available - 01/29/2021

Don’t forget: Patients 12 years and older with mild to moderate symptoms who are at risk for severe COVID-19 disease are eligible to receive monoclonal antibody treatments provided by the federal government.