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TMA Weighs In on Bills to Ban Vaccine Mandates - 10/15/2021

Taking science-based interventions like vaccinations off the table during an ongoing public emergency is like telling coastal residents they can’t board up their windows or fill sandbags as a hurricane approaches.


Survey: Health Officials Plan for Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution - 10/15/2021

As approval for a pediatric version of the COVID-19 vaccine gets underway, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is planning ahead for its distribution and needs your feedback by 5 pm CT this Wednesday, Oct. 20.


Stamping Out Disease - 10/14/2021

Stamping Out Disease


You Can Help Prevent Family Violence During COVID-19 - 10/13/2021

How has family violence changed during COVID-19 and how can medicine respond? Four members of the Texas Medical Association Subcommittee on Behavioral Health address those questions and more in a new TMA Practice Well podcast – Family Violence During COVID-19.


Texas FQHCs Receive Almost $50 Million for Modernization - 10/12/2021

The federal government will distribute nearly $50 million among 66 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in Texas as part of a nationwide infusion of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to modernize those centers and support underserved communities.


El Paso Finds a Recipe for Vaccination Success - 10/11/2021

While city and county health authorities all over Texas keep searching for a recipe to get more local residents vaccinated for COVID-19, El Paso – the city and the county – have found what Ogechika Alozie, MD, calls a “secret sauce.”


How to Reverify Patients’ Medicaid Eligibility When the Public Health Emergency Ends - 10/06/2021

With the federal public health emergency (PHE) slated to expire at the end of 2021, millions of Medicaid patients across the U.S. are at risk of losing their coverage. Texas physicians should prepare by scheduling services as soon as possible for such patients and evaluating the financial impact of potential increases in uncompensated care. They also should expect to reverify patients’ Medicaid eligibility when the PHE expires.


TMA Makes Its Case on “Starting Point” COVID Relief Bill - 10/05/2021

A bill to distribute nearly $17 billion in COVID-19 relief funds – medicine’s focal point during the current special session of the Texas Legislature – drew both praise and recommendations for improvement from the Texas Medical Association and several state specialty societies.


CDC: Physicians Should “Strongly Recommend” COVID Vaccine for Pregnant People - 10/05/2021

In light of a low COVID-19 vaccination rate among people who are pregnant, and a recent high in COVID-19-related deaths among that population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking health care professionals to “strongly recommend” the vaccine to people who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or might become pregnant in the future.


What Texas Physicians Need to Know About COVID-19 Boosters - 10/04/2021

COVID-19 booster shots are important for some groups of vaccinated people, and recent events have added to confusion about who can and should get them, and when. This article seeks to clarify some of that confusion.


A Healthy Education: Med Students Promote Vaccines, Education Across Texas - 10/04/2021

Medical students win grants to promote vaccines, education across Texas.


Talk to Patients About: Breakthrough Infections - 10/04/2021

The new mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 are highly effective at giving people immunity against the disease. But as with all other vaccines, that immunity is not 100% for everyone who receives them.


“Together We Stand”: COVID-19 Prompted Partnership Among North Texas Medical Societies - 10/03/2021

COVID-19 prompted a partnership among North Texas medical societies to serve their communities.


An Overworked Force: Texas Grapples With Medical Staffing Shortage Amid COVID-19 Surge - 10/03/2021

Texas grapples with a medical staffing shortage amid a renewed COVID-19 surge.


Social Determinants Undermine Patient Health - 09/30/2021

For many patients, roadblocks  like a broken air conditioner neglected by the landlord  are the social determinants of health that impact their well-being and quality of life, and can harm their health. Physicians say the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also revealed how deeply social determinants disproportionately affect certain populations. For example, due to chronic structural inequities that affect wellbeing, such as safe housing, access to medical care, and certain jobs that carry a higher risk of disease exposure, COVID-19 has disproportionately sickened, hospitalized, and killed people of color and those with low incomes.


Feds Focus New COVID Relief on Rural Areas, Give Grace Period on Previous Reporting Deadline - 09/29/2021

The Biden administration has announced plans to distribute $25.5 billion in funding to physicians, hospitals, and other health care facilities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF), and will open the portal for funding applications on Sept. 29.


COVID-19: Practice Operations - 09/29/2021

View COVID-19 resources related to practice operations.


HHSC: COVID Vaccine Documentation Can’t Be Required for Medicaid Treatment - 09/29/2021

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is notifying practitioners who see Medicaid patients that those patients can’t be required to provide documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination status as a condition of receiving services under Texas Medicaid.


Texas Debuts Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Ordering System - 09/28/2021

After the federal government abruptly announced it would start distributing monoclonal antibody drugs through states on a weekly basis due to a substantial surge in demand, state health departments had to quickly set up their own allocation systems.


Biden Vaccine Mandate Plan Mostly Excludes Small Medical Practices - 09/28/2021

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden introduced a six-point plan that mandates COVID-19 vaccines for millions of Americans. Many details of the plan are still being developed as specific regulations are written, but at least one aspect of the plan is clear: The vaccination mandate for “over 17 million health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid-participating hospitals and other health care settings,” largely does not apply to small physician practices, according to Texas Medical Association analysis.


Physicians Testify on COVID-19 Impact on Children’s Physical and Mental Health - 09/27/2021

Children and adolescents face myriad physical and mental health risks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to physicians and other health experts who testified before a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee last week.


TMA: Use Rescue Act Funds for Long-COVID Research, Improved Access to Care - 09/24/2021

Following its second letter to key state lawmakers about the best uses for one-time federal COVID-19 relief funding, the House of Medicine has established a broad vision for how that money could help Texas patients and physicians.


Feds Adjust Monoclonal Antibody Distribution System - 09/21/2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Monday it would start distributing monoclonal antibody drugs to states on a weekly basis, effective immediately. State health departments will be responsible for distributing their allocation to individual sites each week.


OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Standards Raise Concerns for Physician Practices - 09/20/2021

New COVID-19 emergency standards that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enacted last month “could harm the financial viability of many physician practices, potentially backfiring” on the Biden administration’s attempts to improve access to care, the Texas Medical Association is telling the U.S. Department of Labor.


Off-Label COVID Vaccines Can Expose Physicians to Liability - 09/20/2021

The Biden administration’s plan to make booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines available as soon as Sept. 20 – which came and went on Monday without that availability – has raised questions among physicians about liability for giving the extra shots before they are fully approved.