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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.  


Legislative Hotline: Senate All Ayes on Children’s Mental Health Bill - 03/07/2019

With a unified voice and a unanimous vote, the Senate passed a bill this week designed to identify children with mental-health needs and direct them to appropriate, timely treatment.


Is Psychiatry Cool Again? More Residents Choosing the Specialty Could Mean Good News for Statewide Shortage - 02/26/2019

More residents choosing psychiatry could mean good news for the statewide shortage.


Support the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium - 02/21/2019

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 among these entities and improve effectiveness of and access to behavioral health care.


Fund the Safe and Healthy Schools Initiative - 02/20/2019

Texas Medical Association supports Texas Education Agency Rider 74 appropriating $37 million in funds with school mental health purposes in the Safe and Healthy Schools Initiative (SHSI).


Fully Fund GME So Texas-Educated Doctors Can Practice Here - 02/20/2019

I would like to start by thanking Chairwoman Jane Nelson and each of you for your leadership and your support of medical education and graduate medical education (GME)  in recent years and in Senate Bill 1. This is so important for our state.


Fund Texas’ Mental Health Services - 02/19/2019

The legislature has dedicated significant resources in previous sessions toward closing gaps in the mental health and substance use disorder continuum of care, and we applaud your sustained commitment to this priority. This session, we have an opportunity to build on success already achieved and address remaining gaps in the behavioral health system. Despite recent improvements, current data inform us that only a fraction of those in need of treatment are able to access mental health and substance use care.


On a Medical Mission: New Osteopathic Medical School Changes How Medicine is Taught While Helping San Antonio’s Poorest Communities - 02/05/2019

Incarnate Word’s osteopathic medical school is changing how medicine is taught while helping San Antonio’s poorest communities.


AMA Offers $15 Million for “Reimagining Residency” Program - 01/30/2019

The American Medical Association (AMA) is offering grants to transform residency training to better address the physician workforce needs of the health care system in the years to come.


Low-Cost Counseling Available for Harvey Victims - 01/23/2019

It’s been almost 18 months since Hurricane Harvey battered the Texas coast, but its effects are still being felt, particularly in the mental health of people affected by the storm. Thanks to a grant from Rebuild Texas Fund, the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is offering free or low-cost counseling services for storm victims.