Related Stories

Urge Texans to Get Flu Vaccine Early, Officials Say - 08/06/2020

With flu season on the horizon – and the COVID-19 pandemic expected to continue – Texas physicians should strongly encourage patients to receive a flu vaccination as early as possible.

Medicare to Pay for Counseling Patients to Self-Isolate During COVID-19 Testing - 08/06/2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that Medicare will pay you for counseling your patients – at the time of testing – about the importance of self-isolation while they await their test results.

Pharmacy Board Chloroquine Restrictions Lapse - 08/05/2020

The Texas State Board of Pharmacy’s emergency rule restricting prescriptions of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine, and azithromycin has expired, and board regulations on prescribing those drugs have now returned to normal, the board confirmed to Texas Medicine Today.

Pharmacy Board Limits Chloroquine Prescriptions - 08/05/2020

Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines, which cites insufficient clinical data, the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force recommends against using chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, “except in a clinical trial.”

Caution Urged as Officials Continue to Monitor Coronavirus - 08/05/2020

State and federal health officials continue to monitor COVID-19. As of Wednesday afternoon, 459,887 cases and 7,497 deaths have been confirmed in Texas, according to a tracker for Texas COVID-19 cases published by the state Department of State Health Services.

Encourage Patients to Donate COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma - 08/05/2020

Convalescent plasma is one of the most promising treatment options being studied for COVID-19. Physicians should encourage recovered COVID-19 patients to donate at their local blood bank.

How Has COVID-19 Affected Care in the Laredo Region? - 08/05/2020

The Border Health Caucus and Texas Medical Association have created a weekly summer Zoom series focused on COVID-19 health care in the border region. The next meeting – scheduled for 7 pm CT Thursday, Aug. 6 – will focus on care in the Laredo area.

Provide This Letter to Patients Returning to Onsite Work - 08/05/2020

If your practice doesn’t already provide letters to recovered COVID-19 patients saying it's safe for them to return to work, the Texas Medical Association has created one that you can customize for your practice.

Chart Provides Steps For Patients Who’ve Been Exposed to COVID-19 - 08/05/2020

A lot of patients might not know exactly what they should do if they’ve been exposed to the illness, especially if they do not show symptoms. That’s why the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force has created a decision tree to help people understand what to do if they have been exposed to COVID-19.

What to Do If a Staff Member or Patient Tests Positive - 08/05/2020

The TMA COVID-19 Task Force has created a guide for what to do when someone in your office – whether a staff member or a patient – tests positive for the disease. The guide includes links to important information on disinfection, work-restriction, and legal and ethical resources.

Deadline To Apply for Federal Emergency Funds is Monday - 08/04/2020

If you or your practice are considering applying for federal emergency assistance from the Provider Relief Fund, the deadline to do so is Monday, Aug. 3.

Texas Warehousing PPE to Prepare for School Year, Flu Season - 08/04/2020

 Although Texas’ supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) is currently stable, the state has been stocking up to prepare for schools to reopen and for flu season to begin, Gov. Greg Abbott said today.  

Deadline to Apply for Medicaid and CHIP Emergency Funds Extended Through August - 08/03/2020

The deadline for physicians who treat Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) patients to apply for federal Provider Relief Funds has been extended to Aug. 28. 

Road to Recovery: COVID-19 Tests, Bends, and Breaks Texas Practices - 08/03/2020

Ricardo Garza, MD, was still walking the tightrope: standing, but unable to withstand another gust of wind. COVID-19 swept away about 35% of the San Antonio solo cardiologist’s practice revenue, and that was just what he could calculate as he waited for insurers to process straggling claims. But he had returned to in-office operations without any layoffs. While some practices are surviving – and trying their best to prepare for future threats – others weren’t so lucky. On-the-ground experiences align with the Texas Medical Association’s Practice Viability Survey in showing COVID-19 was, and still is, a disruptor unlike any other – challenging or torpedoing the viability of various practice types.

Surge Response: How the Panhandle Handled One of the State’s Biggest COVID-19 Outbreaks - 08/03/2020

IN TEXAS, COVID-19 outbreaks have been especially pronounced in three types of facilities: nursing homes, jails or prisons, and meatpacking plants. The Amarillo area has plenty of all three. But it was the meatpacking plants that drew national attention to Amarillo’s COVID-19 problems. The city, which straddles Potter and Randall counties, has numerous plants that employ 12,000 to 15,000 people. In early April, Amarillo’s two hospitals began filling up with COVID-19 patients who worked at a plant in neighboring Moore County. Two weeks later, workers from a plant in Potter County flooded in.  

Quarantine’s Quandary: Some Texans Unable to Self-Isolate - 08/03/2020

As the state ramps up “contact tracing” as a key part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to stop the spread of COVID-19 and return Texas to economic normalcy, some health officials say physicians can help those for whom quarantine and isolation are a challenge.

Pandemic Poses Legal Pitfalls: TMA Seeks Better Liability Shields - 08/03/2020

Under Texas law, physicians treating COVID-19 patients in a volunteer capacity have potential defenses against lawsuits that might arise from that care. But for non-volunteer physicians on the COVID battlefield – often working in harrowing, overloaded settings, high on patient count and low on equipment – the same liability shields don’t exist. And with a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations taking hold in June, the Texas Medical Association continued its pandemic-long push to extend liability protections to all frontline physicians, volunteer or not.

Texas Medicaid, CHIP Changes Extended Into October - 07/30/2020

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 Oct. 23.

Can You Hear Me Now? Communicating Across the COVID-19 PPE Chasm - 07/30/2020

With some of our go-to non-verbal skills now rendered ineffective due to personal protective equipment (PPE), a heightened awareness of how we connect with our patients to build trust is essential. Don’t let your PPE distance you more from your patients. Instead, redouble your efforts to foster communication and trust using proven techniques.

Need Help Managing Staff Issues During COVID-19? - 07/30/2020

If you still have questions or concerns about complying with laws impacting personnel, the Texas Medical Association has updated a frequently asked questions (FAQ) to help guide your practice during the pandemic.

Telemedicine Payments Promised, Regulations Eased - 07/30/2020

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.

You Need More Than PPE to Fight COVID-19 Effectively - 07/28/2020

To help community physicians during these challenging times, the Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) has established the TMAF Caring for Physician Healers: Mental Health and Wellness Resources During COVID-19 Fund.

Be Aware of PPE Scams, Price Gouging - 07/28/2020

Physicians should be on the lookout for scammers, fraudulent schemes, and price-gouging involving personal protective equipment (PPE) and other equipment.

Remind Your Patients: Summer Is Here, But So Is COVID-19 - 07/28/2020

To help you remind patients, family, and friends to continue to practice what are now well-known safety precautions, the Texas Medical Association has created a video featuring TMA President Diana Fite, MD, urging Texans to stay safe.

Texas Changes Online COVID-19 Death and Case Reporting - 07/28/2020

The Texas Department of State Health Services and Health and Human Services Commission have made several changes to daily COVID-19 case and fatality reports online, the agencies said this week.