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Help Texas Improve Health Outcomes for New Mothers and Infants - 12/03/2019

As a physician, you’ve seen first-hand some of the health challenges new mothers and their infants face, not only during pregnancy but in the days and months after birth. But if you’re interested in learning more about those challenges, and best practices for preventing and caring for them, plan to attend the 2020 Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies Summit in late February.


More Funds for Medicaid, Women’s Health Needed, TMA Tells HHSC - 12/02/2019

Bolstering Medicaid and enhancing women’s health services are once again on the Texas Medical Association’s agenda as it makes recommendations to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for the agency’s 2022-23 budget requests.


Leveraging LARCs: Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives Part of Texas’ Solution to Unwanted Pregnancies, Maternal Deaths - 11/16/2019

Today LARCs are one of the safest and most-effective types of reversible birth control, but their reputation took a huge hit in the 1970s thanks to the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device (IUD). Memories persist of news reports about the shield’s many defects. This mistrust of LARCs — along with other obstacles to their wider use — hamper progress toward a wider goal for Texas medicine: improving maternal health and reducing maternal deaths across the state.


Recertification Required for Healthy Texas Women Program - 10/28/2019

If you provide health care services through the Healthy Texas Women (HTW) program, or if you want to begin providing HTW services, the annual recertification period is just around the corner.


No Cannabis for Pregnant Women or New Mothers, FDA Warns - 10/22/2019

Texas physicians are encouraged to help the U.S. Food and Drug Administration spread the word to pregnant and breast-feeding mothers to avoid using cannabis and cannabis-derived products.


Prevention of Opioid Abuse Through Education - 10/15/2019

HB 405 was written to require collaborative efforts and involve many stakeholders who are involved in the health and well-being of mothers and infants across our state. This is the best way to ensure that as many women as possible hear about NAS and its harmful outcomes. Creating more awareness of what causes NAS and potential impacts of the condition will only help our state become a better place for all mothers and babies. HB 405 would help bring needed attention and resources to help educate our state on NAS.


Grand Rounds Presentation To Focus on Early Warning Systems for Maternal Death - 10/03/2019

There are steps that can help curb the number of maternal deaths, including early recognition and response to abnormal vital signs through early warning systems. If you’d like to learn more about maternal early warning systems, make plans to attend a Department of State Health Services’ Grand Rounds presentation next week.


Federal Dollars Bolster Texas Efforts to Combat Maternal Mortality - 09/13/2019

 A pair of Texas agencies won separate multi-million dollar grants from the U.S. government to help curb maternal death and illness in the state. 


AIMing to Save Lives: More Standardized Care Could Bring Down Texas' Maternal Death Rate - 09/12/2019

Texas’ maternal death rate is still high, and public health officials are betting that more standardized care will bring it down with guidelines set up by the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM).


Help Prevent Unwanted Teen Pregnancies in the RGV - 08/06/2019

If you would like training on Nexplanon and IUD counseling, insertion, and removal, the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is offering a free workshop Aug. 28 in Brownsville. The training will run in conjunction with the South Texas Adolescent Health Summit.


Get Up to Date on New Fetal Death Reporting in Texas - 07/23/2019

Currently, Texas physicians must report fetal deaths on paper forms. But beginning Aug. 1, those records will be filed electronically to the Texas Electronic Vital Events Registrar, also called TxEVER. To help physicians prepare for the transition, the Texas Department of State Health Services will host a physician-only webinar from 6:30 to 7:30 pm July 30.


Maternal Health Problems in Central Texas Underscore Statewide Crisis - 07/03/2019

Central Texas has significant maternal health challenges, including the highest rate of maternal death among black women, in part because of barriers to health care coverage and because resources are underused, according to a report by the nonprofit Texans Care for Children.


Legislative Top 10: Lawmakers Take Steps to Keep Texas Mothers Alive - 06/12/2019

Today’s TMA Legislative News Hotline video looks at Senate Bill 750, which requires the state Health and Human Services Commission to expand the Healthy Texas Women program for new mothers beyond the current prevention services it provides. The bill awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature.


Improving Birth Outcomes by Designating Facility Levels of Care - 05/07/2019

The neonatal and maternal designation standards are new. It takes time – and patience — to find the right balance. As the state and stakeholders navigate the process, we urge lawmakers to stay focused on the original purpose of establishing neonatal and maternal levels of care in the first place – to provide a statewide system that promotes safe, high-quality, medically appropriate care to improve birth outcomes for mothers and babies.


Allow Pregnant Moms to Take Their Kids to Medical Appointments - 04/30/2019

Prenatal and postpartum care are vital to the health and well-being of mothers and babies, yet transportation is a barrier for many of our most “at-risk” patients and their babies. This barrier leads to missed appointments, which is associated with increased medical costs for patients, disruption of patient care and patient-physician relationships, delayed care, and increased emergency room visits. HB 25 is an attempt to address this problem by creating a pilot program that would streamline nonemergent medical transportation services in Medicaid.


Physicians to Return to Pack Capitol for “First Tuesdays” - 03/28/2019

Hundreds of Texas Medical Association (TMA) lab coat-clad Texas physicians and medical students, and TMA Alliance members will fill the Capitol for First Tuesdays at the Capitol advocacy day on April 2.


More Physicians to Flood Capitol on March “First Tuesdays” Advocacy Day - 03/09/2019

Building on the great turnout and success of the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) initial First Tuesdays at the Capitol advocacy day in February, TMA expects about twice the attendance for the March “white-coat invasion.” As many as 400 lab coat-clad Texas physicians and medical students, and TMA Alliance members will fill the Capitol to urge legislators to support good patient care on March 5. They will dedicate the TMA building to TMA Executive Vice President and CEO Louis J. Goodman, PhD, who is retiring, and some will attend a Tobacco-21 news conference.


Maintain Level of Care Standards for Neonatal and Maternal Hospitals - 03/08/2019

The neonatal and maternal designation standards are new. It takes time – and patience – to find the right balance. As the state and stakeholders navigate the process, we urge lawmakers to stay focused on the original purpose of establishing neonatal and maternal levels of care in the first place – to provide a statewide system that promotes safe, high-quality, medically appropriate care to improve birth outcomes for mothers and babies.


Protect the Reproductive Health of Texas’ Young Women - 03/06/2019

We know a variety of socioeconomic and health risks are associated with unplanned pregnancies of our young patients. With parental consent, reducing barriers to contraception – including long-acting reversible contraceptives – helps guarantee fewer unplanned pregnancies and associated health risks and fewer abortions, and more education and greater economic opportunities for our patients.


Texas Needs HB 10 and the Texas Behavioral Health Research Institute - 02/27/2019

With our state’s current focus on preventing maternal mortality and morbidity, we have the opportunity to focus attention on addressing issues for pregnant and postpartum women. While we have made strides in screening efforts for postpartum depression (PPD), there is still a significant gap in providing treatment for women after a positive screening through primary care and obstetric and gynecological visits. Through HB 10’s child-psychiatry access line infrastructure, primary care physicians or obstetricians-gynecologists (OB-Gyns) could easily connect with experts in the field for teleconsultation on PPD. This connection would allow the current workforce to treat women in a clinical setting they can already access.


Finding Ways to Save New Moms - 02/26/2019

TMA’s Maternal Health Congress looks for answers to Texas’ maternal mortality rate.


TMA Leaders Outline Initiatives to Protect Texas Mothers, Children - 02/21/2019

The Texas Medical Association will call on Texas lawmakers to support initiatives designed to improve maternal and children's health during this year's legislative session, according to the chairs of two TMA committees who spoke at Winter Conference in Austin on Saturday.


Expanding Access to Care Saves Lives - and Money - 02/11/2019

On a variety of indicators, Texas is the envy of other states, including job creation, entrepreneurial zeal, and its bevy of world-renowned universities and medical centers. Yet while Texas undoubtedly excels in many sectors, on the issue of access to care for working Texans and their children, there is still much room for improvement.


Rubella Endangers Pregnant Women, Their Developing Babies - 02/07/2019

Rubella can be deceptively mild, causing no symptoms in up to half the people who get the viral illness. But if pregnant women get the disease, it can kill, causing miscarriages and stillbirths, or can leave the babies with lifelong disabilities.


Maternal Illness and Deaths, Coverage Expansion Top Saturday’s TMA Conference - 02/07/2019

How to protect women from severe illness and death surrounding childbirth; ensuring Texans are vaccinated against diseases; covering low-income Texans with insurance so they can access care; top medical issues in the legislature; ethical considerations of “do not resuscitate” (DNR) law; and the state’s changing demographics and how to care for Texas of the future. Doctors will address these pressing issues and more during the 2019 Texas Medical Association (TMA) Winter Conference, in Austin.