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Need Help Treating Pediatric Patients With Mental Health Problems? - 05/20/2020

The restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic have created unique challenges for children and teens, including isolation from friends and classmates, uncertainty about the future, and concerns about health and safety.


A Boost for Behavioral Health: New State Programs - 05/13/2020

The Child Psychiatric Access Network (CPAN) plans to start operations in May, giving pediatricians and family physicians across Texas free telemedicine-based consultation and training on community psychiatry. CPAN is a key part of a much larger mental health initiative created by the 2019 Texas Legislature called the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium. Aside from CPAN, the consortium also will help public schools respond to mental health needs among students; expand the psychiatric workforce by paying for psychiatric positions and fellowships; and provide money for research on mental health in Texas.


Regulations on Residents and Fellows Waived to Increase Health Care Staffing - 04/13/2020

Texas hospitals and facilities associated with graduate medical education (GME) training programs can now utilize physicians-in-training (PIT) permit-holders with physician oversight outside their GME training program under waivers Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered.


CME on CPAN in Bastrop: Learn about Texas’ New Child Psychiatric Access Network - 03/05/2020

The 2019 Texas Legislature set up a statewide network to increase physicians’ access to mental health services via tele-consulting, and now you can learn about it at an upcoming CME event on Thursday, March 12 at Ascension Seton Bastrop Hospital from 6:30-7:45 pm.


Doctor on the Set: Surgical Resident Thrives in Hollywood - 02/18/2020

About two years ago, Michael Metzner, MD, took a break from his San Antonio surgical residency program for what was supposed to be a year-long gig in the bright lights of Hollywood. He hasn’t come back. He says he will … just not quite yet.


Best of Both Worlds: Surgical Resident, Grey’s Anatomy Consultant Blends the Arts and Medicine - 12/17/2019

San Antonio surgical resident Michael Metzner, MD, blends his passions for the arts and medicine as a Grey’s Anatomy consultant.


Grants Will Help Texans at Risk for Suicide - 12/04/2019

Just by answering more hotline calls, Texas will be able to improve care for people struggling with thoughts of suicide thanks to a two-year, $3 million grant from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s State Capacity Building Initiative.


Texas Among Best in Keeping Medical Students, Residents Practicing In-State, Report Shows - 11/11/2019

Texas continues to rank among the most successful states in retaining physicians from its medical schools and residency programs, beating out 47 other states, data from 2019 show.


Federal Grant Funding Opportunity for Primary Care Rural Residency Programs - 11/08/2019

To incentivize the development of residency programs that prepare physicians for practice in rural, underserved areas, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration is now accepting applications for the 2020 Primary Care Training and Enhancement: Residency Training in Primary Care Program.


Almost $1 Million Awarded to Develop Residency Programs - 09/05/2019

Four Texas medical schools, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations received about $250,000 each to develop new first-year graduate medical education programs in the state. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board awarded the one-time grants as part of its Planning and Partnership Grant Program, which helps institutions create residency programs.


Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization in Texas 1999 to 2010 - 09/03/2019

The primary purpose of the study was to examine the role public sector payers (Medicare and Medicaid) and providers (Texas state mental health hospitals) play in psychiatric hospitalization, using Texas annual hospital discharge files from 1999 to 2010. Psychiatric hospitalization, as defined by a primary behavioral health diagnosis (ICD-9 diagnoses 290-314.99) averaged 146,876 discharges per year, approximately 5.24% of all hospitalizations in the state. Children younger than 18 years accounted for 27,035 discharges per year. The top 4 diagnostic groups were depression (29%), bipolar disorder (22%), schizophrenia (18%), and alcohol-drug disorders (14%). More patients with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders were served by the public sector, while more patients with depression or alcohol-drug disorders were served by private insurance. Interestingly, patients with bipolar disorder were distributed relatively evenly across both payment groups and ages. Length of stay decreased fr...


Texans Not Afraid to Look Up Mental Health Concerns Online - 08/22/2019

Although you as a physician might not spend a lot of time consulting Dr. Google, many of your patients do. So it’s a good idea to know what people are most worried about. Turns out, “phobia” is the most-Googled mental health concern in Texas.


Pushing the Envelope: Match Day, Medicine’s Rite of Passage - 08/02/2019

On March 15, more than 200 medical school seniors, as well as their friends and family, gathered outdoors in Webber Plaza behind the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston. The students were about to learn where they’d be doing their residency training.


UTHealth Tyler Receives Federal Funds To Develop Rural Psychiatric Residency Program - 07/23/2019

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has been awarded a three-year federal grant of $750,000 to develop a residency program in rural northeast Texas. UTHealth Tyler will use the funds to develop a rural training track in psychiatry.


Legislative Top 10: Improving Mental Health Care Squeaks into Law - 06/11/2019

Political maneuvering late in the Texas Legislative session saved efforts to improve the effectiveness of and access to behavioral health care in Texas. Today’s TMA Legislative News Hotline video looks at the moves to save Senate Bill 10, which will provide community-level health treatment programs, and mental health research.


Get Rewarded For Your Practice’s Behavioral Health Models - 05/07/2019

Have you integrated mental or behavioral health care into your practice? Is your practice’s model simple, innovative, and easy for a variety of primary care practices to copy and use for themselves? Are you interested in winning $10,000 for work you’ve already done? If the answer to all of those questions was yes, consider entering the Texas Academy of Family Physicians’ Behavioral Health Integration Innovators Competition.


Integrating Mental and Physical Health - 05/07/2019

Physicians strongly support a greater statewide focus on academic mental health and substance use research, and recognize the promise of new research opportunities presented through HB 10 and the institute. We are pleased to see HB 10 calls for a statewide research framework focused on preventing, identifying, and treating many serious and costly conditions, including depression, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders.


“Conversion Therapy” Is Not Evidence-Based Care - 05/02/2019

The care for each of our minor patients must be built in an environment that supports an open, safe, and confidential patient-physician relationship – but also upon evidence-based care that supports the child’s development. We believe House Bill 517 sets a clear standard that families must be aware that practices to change sexual orientation that are not evidence-based can be harmful. We encourage your support for this important legislation.


Create Rural Training Tracks for Texas Physicians - 05/02/2019

Rural medical practice is different. Often there is only one physician. He or she is not able to refer a patient with complex health issues to a specialist across town because the nearest specialist may be 150 miles away. To be prepared for that type of practice, a physician needs to receive the right kind of training. That is the purpose of rural training tracks. Right now, Texas does not have enough rural training tracks to meet the state’s needs for rural physicians. That is the purpose of HB 1065 – to fill that need.


The Texas Mental Health Care Consortium Will Benefit Texas Children - 05/02/2019

Senate Bill 10 establishes a Texas Mental Health Care Consortium among health-related institutions of higher education and the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council to enhance collaboration and alignment between these institutions and improve effectiveness of and access to behavioral health care.


Improving Children’s Access to Mental Health Care - 04/30/2019

Senate Bill 10 establishes a Texas Mental Health Care Consortium among health-related institutions of higher education and the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council. Its purpose is to enhance collaboration and alignment between these institutions and improve effectiveness of and access to behavioral health care. As a Texas physician, I can speak to our overall behavioral health workforce challenges, and as a Texas pediatrician, I can speak to the particular challenge of connecting children with mental health supports.


Help Texas Train Rural Physicians - 04/11/2019

Texas is extremely fortunate to have a relatively large number of regional medical centers. They provide an excellent training ground for high-level medical care. Rural medical practice is different. Often you are the only physician. You are not able to refer a patient with complex health issues to a specialist across town because the nearest specialist may be 150 miles away.


Make Sure GME Capacity Mirrors Enrollment Growth - 03/26/2019

SB 1378 fixes an unintended weakness in an otherwise very good law. Last session, SB 1066 was passed to require new public medical schools to plan for the graduate medical education (GME) needs of their future graduates. This legislation provides an important link between medical school enrollments and GME capacity.


Rural Residencies: Texas Tech’s Rural Training Track Brings More Physicians to Small Towns - 03/26/2019

In all his dreams about becoming a doctor, Ivan Becerra, MD, never imagined he’d lead a cesarean section delivery during just his second year of residency. Yet last August, that’s exactly what he was doing at Pecos County Memorial


Section 8: Boost Access to Care - 03/07/2019

 In a rural Texas town where one-third of the patients admitted to the local hospital have no insurance, Athens family physician Douglas Curran, MD, does all he can to keep women like Rose (not her real name) out of the hospital.