Related Stories

Health Plans Begin Implementing Prior Auth Exemption Process - 09/28/2022

With an Oct. 1 deadline on the horizon, health plans have begun implementing Texas’ new prior authorization exemption process requiring them to issue the first so-called “gold cards” by that date.


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

Who in Texas can consent to immunization of minors?


“Gold Card” Final Rules Heed Some, But Not All, TMA Recommendations on Prior Auth Exemption Process - 09/09/2022

Texas physicians have anxiously awaited – and advocated for – relief from onerous prior authorizations, which is now closer than ever.


Reaching for the Cure: Texas Medicaid Doesn't Cover Hep C Drugs Until Patients Are Seriously Ill - 09/07/2022

Infectious disease specialist Ogechika Alozie, MD, has a ready-made solution for patients diagnosed with hepatitis C now that five medications can rid patients of this deadly disease. But for Texas Medicaid patients, there’s a catch. The program does not pay for the cure based just on a diagnosis. Instead, Medicaid pays only after a blood test, biopsy, or sonogram shows the liver is so badly damaged that it’s on the verge of cirrhosis. At that point, patients who get the medication will be cured of their hepatitis C but more vulnerable to other deadly illnesses, like liver cancer.


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.


Hurricane Harvey: One Year Later - 09/01/2022

Studies of the public health, mental health, and environmental effects of the storm could take years to complete. Meanwhile, physician practices share their own lessons learned.


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.


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.


Physicians Alarmed by Sharp Spike in Accidental Overdose Deaths Fueled by Illegal Drugs - 08/16/2022

A surge in accidental opioid overdose deaths in Texas is showing no signs of slowing down, and Texas physicians warn the rise in illegally produced drugs laced with fentanyl are to blame. They also say increasing the availability of life-saving, overdose-reversing drugs like naloxone, as well as addiction treatment programs, can help.


TMA Proposes Five Goals to Improve Health Care Affordability in Texas - 08/16/2022

Texas Medical Association Board Trustee John Carlo, MD, had a blunt message for Texas lawmakers in recent testimony before the House Select Committee on Health System Reform.


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. 


State of Public Health in Texas Focus of Distinguished Speaker Event - 08/10/2022

John W. Hellerstedt, MD, Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner, will address the state’s public health priorities at a Distinguished Speaker Series event hosted by the Texas Public Health Coalition (TPHC) and the Texas Medical Association (TMA).


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.


Talk to Patients About: Human Papillomavirus Vaccine - 07/29/2022

The vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most effective life-saving measures in medicine, and yet it has long suffered from poor public perception.


Untangling ImmTrac2: TMA Aims to Build on Immunization Registry Reforms - 07/29/2022

The Texas Medical Association is hopeful state lawmakers will be spurred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to address ImmTrac2's shortfalls, bolstering public health protections and easing physicians' administrative woes.


Long COVID's Long Shadow: Physicians Respond to an Influx of Long-COVID Patients - 07/29/2022

Long COVID has strained an already overburdened health care system and requires both multispecialty clinics and primary care physicians to meet demand.


Ten Years Later: TMA Advocacy Nets Investments in Women’s Health - 07/27/2022

A decade ago, the Texas Legislature made a funding decision that devasted low-income women’s access to health care and the physicians and community clinics that care for them. After 10 years, with the help of TMA advocacy and the formation of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, funding for family planning and overall women’s health is in significantly better shape.


Coming Soon at TMA: “The State of Public Health in Texas” - 07/26/2022

Join the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Public Health Coalition – in-person or via streaming – as John Hellerstedt, MD, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, reports on “The State of Public Health in Texas” on Thursday, Aug. 11, from noon to 1 pm CT.


CDC Authorizes Novavax Adult COVID Vaccine - 07/22/2022

There’s now a fourth COVID-19 vaccine option available in the U.S. after the federal government gave emergency use authorization to the Novavax vaccine for adults.


Texas’ Expanded Medical Cannabis Program: What You Need to Know - 07/19/2022

Legal uses for medical cannabis in Texas have reached an all-time high. Soaring even higher is interest in the Texas Compassionate Use Program under which physicians can prescribe it.


Senate Evaluates Post-Pandemic Strategies on Mental Health - 07/01/2022

In the face of “grim” research around the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on mental health, the Texas Medical Association is telling state lawmakers to respond with robust regulatory support of telehealth and investments to improve all Texans’ access to care.


State Transferring Millions for School Safety, Mental Health Programs After Uvalde Shooting - 07/01/2022

Quickly following a series of legislative hearings to address the Uvalde shooting, Texas leaders have announced the transfer of more than $105.5 million within the state budget to fund a series of school safety and mental health programs through August 2023.


What's Next for Prior Authorization: Texas' 'Gold Card' Law Winds Through Rulemaking - 06/29/2022

Physician advocates, alongside the Texas Medical Association, are looking to this fall’s legislative races as they monitor the rulemaking underway to implement the "Gold Card" law and prepare to push for additional reforms during the 2023 legislative session that kicks off in January.


Talk to Patients About: Natural Immunity vs. Vaccine Immunity for COVID-19 - 06/29/2022

Catching COVID-19 can provide people with a degree of immunity from being reinfected with the disease in the future. This prompts some to opt against vaccination and instead risk getting sick to obtain this “natural immunity” on the assumption they will get a mild case and it will protect them from future illness.


Vaccine Equity Gains: COVID-19 Vaccine Rate Disparities Narrow Amid Physician-Led Outreach - 06/29/2022

When the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began in mid-December 2020, many physicians, advocates, and community leaders worried the health disparities laid bare by the pandemic would repeat themselves.  But improved data collection and innovative outreach efforts – many of them led by Texas physicians and medical students – have helped close these gaps.