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Newborn Screening Kits Expire Dec. 31; Cost Updates Expected Spring 2023 - 12/08/2022

Newborn screening kits with a nine-digit serial number beginning with 20 (e.g. TX 20-XXXXXXX) will expire on Dec. 31, and physicians are encouraged to use the kits to collect specimens and to ensure their stock is up to date after the end of the month.


'They Came in Droves': Former TMA President Douglas Curran, MD, Starts an FQHC - 12/04/2022

Former TMA President Doug Curran, MD, fulfilled a long-time dream of expanding care by cofounding the East Texas Community Clinic, a federally qualified health center.


The Down and Dirty on Wastewater Surveillance: COVID-19 Gives it a Boost - 12/04/2022

Wastewater epidemiology has been around for about two decades, but it didn't really take off in Texas until COVID-19 came along.


Counting on Women’s Health: Texas Takes Steps to Fix Maternal Mortality Data - 11/23/2022

There is a lot of confusion about how cases of maternal death and illness are counted in Texas, and the work of unraveling that confusion falls on the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee.


Physicians Serve as Lead Clinicians to Support Mental Health Intervention - 11/17/2022

The impact of adverse childhood events (ACEs) can be lasting and costly on patient health and medical outcomes. In the United States, more than 20% of adults report experiencing three ACEs during their youth, potentially increasing the risk of negative, chronic health consequences and challenges such as alcoholism, depression, unemployment, heart disease and substance abuse, among many others.


CDC: “Brie” Mindful of Listeria Outbreak Linked to Cheese - 11/01/2022

Don’t cut, bake, or serve recalled cheeses this holiday season.


COVID-19 Now a Major Cause of Maternal Death, GAO Report Says - 11/01/2022

An analysis by the Government Accountability Office provides the first glimpse into the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women, and – not surprisingly – the disease has become a leading cause of death among them, says Houston obstetrician-gynecologist Rakhi Dimino, MD, chair of the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Reproductive, Women’s, and Perinatal Health.


Physicians Urge Texans to Safely Return Unused Prescription Medication - 10/27/2022

Texas physicians recommend people with unused or expired prescription drugs at home dispose of them safely this weekend, so they are not accidently consumed. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is organizing its biannual prescription drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 29. Prescription drugs can be returned anonymously at pop up locations across the state.


Prepare for Disasters With TMA’s Help - 10/08/2022

The Atlantic hurricane season has begun, and physicians who may be affected by a hurricane or other tropical storm need to be prepared. For help doing so, look to TMA's Disaster Preparedness and Response Resource Center.


Medicine Pushes For Expanding Medicaid Coverage to New Moms - 10/07/2022

Federal lawmakers must pass a bill that would allow states to provide 12 months postpartum coverage to mothers who lose Medicaid coverage two months after giving birth, and would provide a bump in Medicaid matching dollars for those states, medicine and others said in a letter this week.


Maternal Deaths: First U.S. Data Since 2007 Shows Serious Problems Persist - 10/07/2022

Texas’ rate of maternal deaths is slightly above the national level, long-awaited new data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows.


Keeping Pace: Monkeypox Poses Public Health Challenges - 10/03/2022

In yet another test to the state’s public health response efforts, monkeypox – rarely seen outside of countries in Africa – has spread rapidly since late spring, and Texas physicians and other health care professionals likely unfamiliar with the virus should remain vigilant for the possibility of cases among their patients.


Texas' Plan to Promote LARCs Released - 09/08/2022

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) on Thursday will release the state's five-year strategic plan for promoting long-acting, reversible contraceptive devices (LARCs), which are seen as key to reducing the state's high maternal mortality rate. 


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.


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.


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: 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.


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.


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.


Maternity Deserts: Fewer Rural Hospitals Delivering Babies - 06/29/2022

A rural health care shortage is nothing new to Texas physicians and patients, but the problem has become especially difficult for women seeking maternity care in lightly populated regions like West Texas.


Texas Ranked Worst State for Access to Prenatal, Maternal Care - 06/10/2022

A recent study ranked Texas 50th among all states in access to high-quality prenatal and maternal care, and one of the main reasons is the difficulties women face in getting health care coverage both before and after their hospital stay to give birth, says Houston obstetrician-gynecologist Rakhi Dimino, MD, chair of the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Reproductive, Women’s and Perinatal Health.


Monkeypox Cases Resurface; CDC Urges Vigilance - 06/09/2022

With cases of monkeypox recently reported in several countries that don’t normally have that virus – including at least one confirmed case in the U.S. – federal health authorities are advising physicians to be on the lookout for the characteristic rash usually associated with monkeypox.


Infant Formula Shortage: What Physician Practices Need to Know - 05/31/2022

The recent nationwide shortage of baby formula has prompted many families to contact their child’s physician for help finding formula, or with questions about safe alternatives.


CDC Probing Monkeypox Case in Dallas - 05/24/2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a case of monkeypox in a person who was diagnosed with the virus after traveling from Nigeria to Dallas.


Low-Dose Aspirin No Longer Widely Recommended to Prevent Heart Disease - 05/16/2022

Low-dose aspirin does not help prevent cardiovascular disease like once thought, and physicians should prescribe it in a relatively narrow set of circumstances.