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Pfizer COVID Vaccine Available in Single Doses to Improve Outreach, HHS Announces - 12/05/2022

Physicians eager to combat COVID-19 continue to look for ways to make the vaccines easier for patients to access. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently took an important step in that direction by offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to physicians in single-dose vials for patients 12 and older, says Dallas infectious disease specialist Trish Perl, MD, a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Task Force.


A Revolving Door: Persistent Staffing Shortages Plague Practices - 12/04/2022

Many medical practices that are struggling with staffing have found stopgap solutions, such as offering hiring wages and reconsidering their divisions of labor, but these may not be sustainable in the long term.


Accelerating Access: Texas' Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Membership Expands Care - 12/04/2022

Texas' recent membership in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact has made it easier for physicians to provide telemedicine care across state lines while also strengthening the Lone Star State's appeal to eligible, out-of-state physicians hoping to relocate.


Feds Poised to Extend COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Through Spring 2023 - 11/14/2022

After continued advocacy by the Texas Medical Association, American Medical Association, and other organizations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seems likely to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency  for an 11th time.


Commissioned With Change : An Interview With HHSC Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young - 11/11/2022

As leader of the state’s largest agency, Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young is faced with some of the largest health care challenges among some of the most vulnerable patient populations. She visited the Texas Medical Association’s Winter Conference in late January to talk to Texas physicians about their concerns in caring for those patients, especially during a pandemic.


DSHS Survey to Inform Legislative Policy on COVID-19 Vaccines in Texas - 11/01/2022

As part of 2021 legislative mandate, the Texas Department of State Health Services is funding a survey to collect feedback from physicians and health care professionals regarding access to COVID-19 vaccines.


Unvaccinated Numbers Down, Well-Checks Up in Spring Branch, Northwest Houston With TMA Outreach - 10/17/2022

Hundreds of Spring Branch and Northwest Houston-area kids headed back to school all caught up on their vaccinations and well-child checks, thanks in part to the Texas Medical Association’s Vaccines Defend What Matters initiative.


OSHA: Hepatitis B Vaccination Requirement - 10/07/2022

OSHA: Hepatitis B Vaccination Requirement


Who Can Consent to Immunization of Minors? - 09/28/2022

Who in Texas can consent to immunization of minors?


TMA Urges Comprehensive Rural Health Care Reform Amid Workforce Shortages - 09/22/2022

Last December, Adrian Billings, MD – a family physician serving Alpine, Marfa, and Presidio – responded to a small plane crash on his way home from work. After he called 911, he saw the lone ambulance in Presidio pass by the crash, on its way to another call. He said the two plane passengers likely wouldn’t have survived had emergency medical services from nearby cities not intervened.


Pandemic Pressures:COVID-19 Poses Serious Behavioral Health Challenges - 09/20/2022

The mental health fallout caused by COVID-19 radiates throughout Texas. In this issue, we look at four of the biggest challenges physicians are responding to as more people say that worry and stress related to coronavirus have negatively impacted their mental health.


Novavax COVID Vaccine Available to Help Reach Patients Hesitant About mRNA Vaccines - 09/06/2022

The recently introduced COVID-19 vaccine Novavax gives physicians another tool for combating the disease, and it enjoys two important differences from previous vaccines that are potential advantages, says San Antonio infectious disease specialist Charles Lerner, MD, a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Task Force.


Talk to Patients About: Tetanus - 09/01/2022

Almost all U.S. tetanus cases occur among people who are unvaccinated or did not receive a booster shot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Federal Telehealth Extension Bill Advances to Senate - 08/31/2022

Signaling strong support to build on the COVID-19-era gains in telemedicine, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would extend Medicare’s telehealth payment and regulatory flexibilities through the end of 2024, should the public health emergency end before then.


Use This Permission Letter to Excuse Students from School Due to COVID-19 - 08/31/2022

If you treat students suspected of exposure to COVID-19, the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force has created a draft letter you can use to document the patient's excusal or return to school.


CDC Webinar: How to Recognize and Report Polio, Reinforce Vaccination - 08/30/2022

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigates a case of polio in New York state, the agency is encouraging physicians and health care professionals to ensure their patients are up to date on their polio vaccinations.


New COVID Boosters Expected for Fall; Preorder by Aug. 30 - 08/29/2022

With new COVID-19 boosters on the horizon targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron strains of the virus, Texas health officials have opened up preorders for these latest vaccines, which are expected to roll out this fall.


Final Round: Grant Applications Open to Help Promote Vaccines - 08/26/2022

In the face of persistent vaccine hesitancy, more than ever, medicine needs its soldiers to promote the safety, efficacy, and importance of vaccinations. You can receive help with a grant from the Texas Medical Association Foundation as part of Vaccines Defend What Matters, TMA’s multimedia public health education and advocacy effort to increase vaccination rates in Texas.


Public Health Emergency’s End Would Kickstart Medicaid Eligibility Re-Checks. Here’s How to Prepare - 08/19/2022

After strong advocacy by the American Medical Association and other organizations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services appears poised to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency for a 10th time.


Health Commissioner Reflects on Texas’ Pandemic Response, Honored by State Senate - 08/18/2022

Nearly two and a half years after the first positive COVID-19 test result was reported in Texas, Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, is taking stock of what happened next and how to prevent the next pandemic.


Purchase Bebtelovimab Directly From Distributor Starting Aug. 15 - 08/18/2022

With federally funded distribution of the COVID-19 therapeutic bebtelovimab coming to an end, physicians must now purchase the monoclonal antibody directly from the distributor starting the week of Aug. 15, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.


TMA Grants to Help Your Practice Improve Local Vaccination Rates - 08/10/2022

Apply for a grant. Vaccines Defend What Matters (formerly Be Wise – Immunize) is TMA’s integrated, multimedia public health education and advocacy effort to overcome vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccination rates in Texas. 


Talk to Patients About: Polio - 08/08/2022

Polio once terrified Americans. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the virus crippled around 35,000 Americans a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because polio often attacked abdominal muscles used to breathe, many died or permanently needed a respirator called an iron lung.


Feds Launch Evusheld Ordering Route for Smaller Entities, Quantities - 08/05/2022

Small physician practices now have a new way to access the COVID-19 preexposure drug Evusheld, and in smaller amounts. Practices also can benefit from a new helpline for information on the monoclonal antibody treatment that helps prevent COVID-19 infection among immunocompromised patients at high risk of severe illness.


Texas Sales Tax Holiday Includes Masks – Help Patients Prepare for School - 08/02/2022

The first day of the new school year is right around the corner, unfortunately during a time of rising COVID-19 cases. Fortunately, you can help promote healthy school environments during the pandemic and help your patients prepare starting with Texas’ sales tax holiday this weekend.