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Texas Medicaid, CHIP Extend Telemedicine Changes Through June - 05/29/2020

As requested by the Texas Medical Association, the Health and Human Services Commission has extended some Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) flexibilities through June 30.

COVID-19 Deadlines for Doctors - 05/29/2020

Upcoming deadlines and extensions in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telemedicine: What We Learned During the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond - 05/29/2020

On March 18, as the COVID- 19 crisis accelerated, we converted overnight to “seeing” our patients by video. Our journey into telemedicine was abrupt, and there was a steep learning curve. Our practitioners have a number of interesting, and sometimes humorous, stories to tell.

Could You Be Liable for Volunteer COVID-19 Care? - 05/29/2020

If you’d like to volunteer during the COVID-19 pandemic but are concerned about your potential liability, the Texas Medical Association has created a white paper that reviews several state statutes that could offer protection should you face a lawsuit.

A Simple Reminder to Patients from Texas Physicians: “I’m Here” - 05/29/2020

To help you spread the message that Texas physicians are there for their patients, the Texas Medical Association has created a public service announcement  with a simple message: “I’m here.”

Pediatricians Urge State to Reconsider Loosened Physical Exam Requirement - 05/29/2020

The Texas Pediatric Society is urging the University Interscholastic League to reconsider an amendment, passed May 1, that would waive pre-participation examination requirements for some junior and high school students who participate in activities such as athletics or band.

Caution Urged as Officials Continue to Monitor Coronavirus - 05/29/2020

State and federal health officials continue to monitor COVID-19. As of Thursday afternoon, 59,776 cases and 1,601 deaths have been confirmed in Texas, according to a tracker for Texas COVID-19 cases published by the state Department of State Health Services.

What Does Be Wise — Immunize Offer for Physicians? - 05/29/2020

Be Wise can help you implement or enhance vaccination practices in your office with our vaccination toolkits and continuing medical education courses; educate about vaccines in your office, in the media, or at public gatherings such as parent-teacher associations and civic organizations; and more!

Bill Would Give Practices Greater Access to Emergency Loans - 05/28/2020

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bipartisan bill that would make loans obtained under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) more accessible to small businesses, such as medical practices. The bill would eliminate certain restrictions on the loan terms and allow businesses more time to use the funds. It now moves to the Senate.

Be Wary of False-Negatives in RT-PCR COVID-19 Tests - 05/28/2020

Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, which have been commonly used to diagnose COVID-19, have a high chance of false negative results, especially at early onset of infection, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have found.

Safely Incorporate Remote Patient Monitoring Into Your Practice - 05/26/2020

If you’re considering using telemedicine or remote patient monitoring, the Texas Medical Liability Trust’s (TMLT) Risk Management team has some recommendations to protect you and your practice.

What COVID-19 Information Are You Required to Report to the State? - 05/26/2020

As you’re probably aware, state laws and executive orders require you to report to state health officials all suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 as well as the results of any approved or authorized tests conducted at your facility. But you might not be certain exactly what information you are required to report. Well, the Texas Medical Association is here to help.

TMA Town Hall Addresses Financial Turbulence Caused by COVID-19 - 05/26/2020

Two-thirds of physicians who participated in the Texas Medical Association’s third COVID-19 telephone town hall meeting Thursday said it will take at least a month or more for their medical practices to return to the pre-pandemic level of patient volume.

Telemedicine Payments Promised, Regulations Eased - 05/26/2020

To help Texas physicians safely and effectively treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, several changes to telemedicine visits have taken effect, including payment for services and which platforms can be used.

“I Literally Cried” – Practices React to TMA-Aided PPE Shipments - 05/22/2020

Thanks to TMA's PPE Portal, practices across the state have begun reporting to TMA they’ve received PPE, including masks, gowns, and gloves. Here are some of their stores.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Starts With You in the Exam Room - 05/22/2020

Physicians provide immeasurable assistance to the effort when they collect and document histories for patients with a suspected COVID-19 diagnosis. That can include information about other people in the patient’s household, those contacts’ phone numbers, and information about their health.

Which Plans Pay for Telemedicine Services – and for How Long? - 05/21/2020

Temporary changes to state and federal rules, particularly regarding payment for services, have helped push up the new demand for and use of telemedicine. But what does each type of plan pay for visits? The Texas Medical Association has compiled information for various types of plans.

Want to Add Remote Patient Monitoring to Your Telemedicine Services? - 05/21/2020

Physicians and patients alike are becoming more comfortable with visiting virtually and using technology to connect and share information. Remote patient monitoring is another aspect that can enhance the effectiveness of and satisfaction with telemedicine.

Bill Would Expand Student Loan Forgiveness for Texas Physicians - 05/21/2020

The Texas Medical Association and California Medical Association applauded a bipartisan group of U.S. senators for introducing a bill that addresses physician shortages and improves access to care, particularly in children’s hospitals and nonprofit hospitals.

Extend Medicaid Changes Throughout, After Emergency, Medicine Tells State - 05/21/2020

Changes to Medicaid put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic should be extended to ensure physicians can continue to provide care for Texas’ children and youth. That is the message the Texas Medical Association and several specialty societies sent in a letter this week to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s  director of Medicaid and CHIP Services.

COVID-19 Doesn’t Have to Be Mentally Overwhelming - 05/20/2020

The COVID-19 can take its toll on you and your colleagues. To help give you some perspective – as well as some insight and tips – into taking care of your own mental well-being, the Texas Medical Association reached out to Austin psychiatrist and internal medicine physician Thomas Kim, MD, who spoke at length about what causes stress and ways to overcome it.

North Texas County Societies Launch “One Trusted Voice” on Health Care - 05/20/2020

Several North Texas county medical societies have formed a coalition to collectively be one trusted voice on health-related issues affecting our community, free of any political bias."

Support Final Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill, TMA Tells Congress - 05/20/2020

The Texas Medical Association is urging the Texas delegation in Congress to support a massive COVID-19 federal relief package that would help physicians who are struggling financially because of the pandemic.

TMA Helps OB-Gyns Answer Their Specific COVID-19 Questions - 05/20/2020

Though most pregnant women who have COVID-19 tend to have mild cases – unless comorbidities are present – obstetrician-gynecologists often face difficult medical and logistical problems when caring for those patients, according to physicians who took part in the Texas Medical Association’s fourth telephone town hall meeting – one devoted specifically to the issues facing OB/Gyns.

TMA Asks for Liability Protections, Help for Primary Care, Telemedicine Payment Parity - 05/20/2020

The Texas Medical Association repeated its call for Gov. Greg Abbott to order limited liability protections for physicians and providers responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and looked to Congress for more financial assistance for struggling medical practices.