Related Stories

Talk to Your Patients About: Hepatitis B - 05/14/2019

Texas Medicine recently highlighted Hepatitis B, a viral liver infection that spreads through contact with blood and other bodily fluids. Hepatitis B has two stages: acute and chronic. The acute stage is often symptomless, making the disease easy to spread unknowingly. The acute stage normally resolves within six months. But if it becomes chronic, the condition can cause lifelong health problems like cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver failure.


An In-Your-Face Confrontation With the Anti-Vaccine Movement - 05/10/2019

Call it fate, karma, destiny. It was written in his stars, in his professional DNA. It had to happen. Houston pediatrician and microbiologist Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, just had to write Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism.


Be Wise Protecting Lubbock Seniors Against Pneumonia - 05/09/2019

Would you like a side of pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine with your lunch? Senior citizens in Lubbock are getting that option, thanks to a collaboration among the Lubbock County Medical Society Alliance, the City of Lubbock Health Department, and Lubbock Meals on Wheels. The effort is funded by a Local Impact Grant from the Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise – Immunize℠ program.


Talk to Patients About: Hepatitis B - 04/30/2019

There are six different vaccines for hepatitis B in the United States, so there’s no shortage of tools to prevent it. Yet in 2016, more than 1,698 people in this country – and more than 780,000 worldwide – died from this viral liver infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization.


Help First Responders Stay Informed About Vaccination Status - 04/29/2019

For our first responders to be better prepared in the future, House Bill 1418 seeks to ensure emergency services personnel receive up-to-date information about their immunization status when they seek certification or recertification. First responders already can store their immunization information in Texas’ statewide immunization registry, ImmTrac2. HB 1418 would provide first responders their immunization status information from ImmTrac2 at the time of certification or recertification.


Protect First Responders by Providing Immunizations Access - 04/29/2019

An effective emergency/disaster response relies heavily on the capabilities and timeliness of our first responders. TMA supports House Bill 1256 and Representative Phelan’s efforts to make Texas ready for the next inevitable disaster. TMA looks forward to working with this committee to potentially save time, money, and lives.


Don’t Punish Physicians For Practicing Patient-Centered Medicine - 04/23/2019

As a physician and a pediatrician, the first responsibility to my patients and my community is to do no harm. To carry out this responsibility, my colleagues and I must make difficult decisions about how to provide best practice care in complex situations.


Keep Kids Safe – Make School Vaccine Rates Available - 04/22/2019

Despite the availability of immunization to prevent the spread of infectious disease, pockets of under-vaccinated communities can lead to outbreaks. SB 329 empowers the public with information related to outbreaks and exemptions in their communities.


The Rise Of The Anti-Vaxxers - 04/22/2019

If you’re interested in how you can help combat the anti-vaccine movement, check out the Texas Public Health Coalition’s free, special event on Friday at the Texas Medical Center in Houston.


What Does Be Wise — Immunize Offer for Physicians? - 04/17/2019

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!


Talk to Patients About: Tetanus - 04/17/2019

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.


Include Physicians on Long-Term Care Facilities Council - 04/09/2019

TMA strongly supports SB 1519 as it will address Texas’ growing need for best practices in dispute resolution and Medicaid quality-based payment systems in long-term care. However, we urge the chair and this committee to consider two additions to the long-term care council that will strengthen its ability to address medical and infectious disease concerns


Talk to Your Patients About: Tetanus - 04/08/2019

The April issue of Texas Medicine highlights tetanus, which causes painful spasms that typically occur in jaw muscles but can wrack the entire body, and can be fatal.


Strengthen Medicaid MCO Oversight and Improve Access to Care - 04/02/2019

Over the past six months, leaders from TMA, the Texas Hospital Association, Texas Association of Health Plans, and Texas Association of Community Health Plans have met monthly to identify opportunities to reform Medicaid. While we do not always sing Kumbaya, we have developed a better understanding of the root causes of many of problems facing the program. And many problems are much more complex than we first realized, such as simplifying Medicaid prior authorizations.


What is Be Wise — Immunize? - 03/14/2019

Be Wise — ImmunizeSM is a public health initiative of the Texas Medical Association. The program works with physicians, medical students, and TMA Alliance members to improve vaccination rates in Texas through education and hands-on immunization clinics.


Online Anti-Vaxxers Don’t Deter Texas Physician - 03/13/2019

Frisco anesthesiologist Zach Jones, MD, doesn't let antivax Internet trolls stop him from spreading vaccination message.


Beyond the Slogan “Medicare for All” - 03/11/2019

Medicare For All is becoming popular among Democratic lawmakers and the public. But, as popular as the concept is, the details are lost in the simple slogan of “Medicare for All.”


Children Eligible for Medicaid Need Continuous Coverage - 03/11/2019

Texas is a state that values fairness. In 2007, lawmakers adopted 12 months’ continuous coverage as a best practice for children in CHIP. It is time to provide working parents of children enrolled in Medicaid the same treatment.


Talk to Patients About: Mumps - 03/11/2019

More than 2,000 U.S. mumps cases occurred in 2018. That’s down from 6,000-plus cases CDC reported in both 2016 and 2017, but a far cry from the hundreds reported in 2012. Texas is not immune. In 2018, mumps outbreaks occurred at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas State University in San Marcos, and a national cheerleading competition in Dallas. Mumps still spreads much faster and more dangerously among unvaccinated groups, and immunization remains the best protection.


Most Texans Support Mandatory Childhood Vaccinations, Yet Another Poll Shows - 03/08/2019

Although an anti-vaccine movement has continued to grow in Texas, the vast majority of voters support requiring vaccinations for Texas children, results from a poll released this week show.


Urgent: Action Needed Today To Secure $500 Million For Medicaid - 03/08/2019

On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee will consider amendments, known as “riders,” to its draft state budget for 2020-21. Your state representative serves on the Appropriations Committee. Please contact your representative today and ask him or her to vote to adopt “the Sheffield rider in Article 11” to increase Medicaid rates.


Update: Ten Measles Cases Reported in Texas - 03/06/2019

Ten cases of measles have been reported in Texas this year, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said in a statement Wednesday. The 10th case is an adult who was visiting Guadalupe County from the Philippines, where there is an ongoing measles outbreak, the statement said. 


Talk to Patients About: Rotavirus - 02/27/2019

Rotavirus is a highly contagious viral infection that inflames the lining of the stomach and intestines, and especially affects children 2 years old and younger. In the United States, the introduction of a vaccine in 2006 helped arrest rotavirus illnesses and deaths.


Q&A - 02/26/2019

Medical director, Department of State Health Services Office of Science and Population Health


Talk to Patients About: Hepatitis A - 02/26/2019

Doctors like to tell people to wash their hands. Hepatitis A is one of the biggest reasons why.  Hepatitis A is a liver disease spread mostly by dirty hands. Specifically, it’s spread by fecal matter — even in microscopic amounts