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Public Health: Tobacco Triumph - 07/22/2019

Texas physicians got the kind of huge win on tobacco issues they haven’t seen in decades – a law to keep tobacco products away from young people.


Insurance: Network Solutions - 07/22/2019

Charting Medicine’s Statehouse Progress TMA went into this session looking to attack insurer network inadequacy and health plans’ use of care impeding prior authorization demands. On both fronts, medicine scored solid legislative wins that will make it


Charting Medicine’s Statehouse Progress: A Successful Legislative Session for Physicians - 07/22/2019

Legislation is just one piece of a healthy Texas. But it’s a big piece, and when the Texas Medical Association told the lawmakers of 2019 how it should fit, those legislators largely shaped it to what physicians and patients need. TMA scored on a wide range of goals to improve the state’s medical landscape during this year’s session of the Texas Legislature. In public health, the house of medicine convinced lawmakers that raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 was the right thing for the state’s present and future. Medicine also successfully persuaded the legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott to improve insurance network adequacy and directories, which will help with surprise medical bills.


86th Texas Legislature Letters and Testimonies - 07/19/2019

During this legislative session, TMA councils and committees are locking down and promoting health care policies to ensure Texas’ patients have access to affordable and high quality health care. Here are TMA’s testimonies, comments, and letters to state lawmakers.


85th Texas Legislature Testimonies and Letters - 07/19/2019

TMA physician leaders already are working on behalf of their profession and their patients to improve Texas health care system. During this legislative session, TMA councils and committees are locking down and promoting health care policies to ensure Texas’ patients have access to affordable and high quality health care. Here are TMA’s testimonies, comments, and letters to state lawmakers.


Measles Update: 17 Cases in 12 Texas Counties in 2019 - 07/18/2019

Public health officials are investigating two reported cases of measles in El Paso, bringing the state's total to 17 cases since the beginning of 2019.


What if Someone Walks Into My Office With Ebola? - 07/18/2019

How do I protect my patients and staff if someone presents with symptoms of Ebola and similar infections?


CDC Releases Updated Ebola Monitoring Protocol - 07/18/2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was expected to release new guidance on monitoring travelers from Liberia to the United States for potential Ebola infection. With the World Health Organization's designation of Liberia as "Ebola free" in May, CDC has developed a "step-down" screening protocol for low-risk travelers to the United States from Liberia.


Hard Hats for Little Heads Event Ideas - 07/18/2019

Ideas for a Successful Event


Newborn X-ALD Screening: What You Need to Know - 07/18/2019

If you don't know about adrenoleukodystrophy, or if you just want more information about ALD, including the newborn screening follow-up process and how to confirm diagnosis and treatment for X-ALD, be sure to attend a webinar presented by the Department of State Health Services scheduled for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 31.


Texas Losing Ground in Disease-Prevention Battle, Physicians Warn - 07/17/2019

Some Texas physicians say the anti-vaccination movement is creating skepticism that could undermine the state’s ability to prevent a widespread disease outbreak. The state has fended off outbreaks in the past because a majority of Texans are vaccinated, but soaring vaccine exemptions could leave Texans vulnerable.


TMA’s Top 10 Victories this Legislative Session - 07/09/2019

The Texas Medical Association scored on a wide range of goals to improve the state’s medical landscape during this year’s session of the Texas Legislature, which concluded in May.  TMA’s Vice President of Advocacy Darren Whitehurst tells us what we need to know about medicine's victories in the TMA Legislative News Hotline’s Top 10 Issues videos.


New Laws Improve Texas' Opioid Prescription Process - 07/09/2019

The 2019 Texas Legislature enacted three new laws that will change the way physicians prescribe opioids, including House Bill 3284, which delays the mandate for physicians check the state’s prescription monitoring program, known as PMP Aware, for prescriptions tied to opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and carisoprodol. The bill pushes back the requirement from Sept. 1, 2019, to March 1, 2020.


Retiring the R-Word: The Right Thing to Do - 07/03/2019

The AMA House of Delegates last month adopted policy that would put the first three phrases on the verboten list for physicians. Kudos to the delegates for recognizing that words, especially in the mouths and pens of powerful people like physicians, really do matter.


Time Is Running Out to Apply for a TMAF Grant - 07/03/2019

Helping your community to be healthier couldn’t be easier. Just apply for a Texas Medical Association Foundation grant that can help fund an immunization clinic, health fair, smoking cessation program, and more. To apply for a grant, submit a letter of intent by July 15, and a completed application by July 31. Applicants will be notified of grant decisions the week of Sept. 16.


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.


Talk to Patients About: Pneumococcal Disease - 07/02/2019

Your patients might not have heard of pneumococcal bacteria, but they probably know some of its serious conditions: Pneumonia, meningitis, sinusitis, blood infections, and ear infections.


Talk to Patients About: Meningococcal Disease - 07/02/2019

Talk to Patients About: Meningococcal Disease


Health Care is Difficult to Afford, More Than Half of Texans Say - 07/02/2019

Health care is the toughest living expense for most Texans to afford, and many skip or postpone tests, medications, and basic procedures because of the cost. And that very well could be bad for their health, especially for the millions who lack insurance. Those are the findings of a statewide poll on the affordability of and access to health care in Texas published last month by the Episcopal Health Foundation.


Talk to Patients About: Flu - 07/02/2019

Flu is serious, and the vaccine can prevent or minimize the illness.


Defend Yourself From Diphtheria: Bacterial Infection Can Stop Breathing - 07/01/2019

Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system and damages the heart, nerves, and kidneys. It can hinder or stop breathing, and causes fatigue, sore throat, fever, and swollen neck glands. The infection can be deadly without any medical treatment. Several immunizations are available to protect people against this disease.


Keeping Kids Safe in and Around the Water: New AAP Guidelines - 07/01/2019

Drowning is the leading cause of death in children 1-4 years of age, and is the second leading cause of death in children under 14. In the March 2019 issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a revised policy statement on “Prevention of Drowning.”


Prescribing Changes in Texas: Know What You Need to Know - 06/28/2019

By now you might know that state lawmakers recently passed a number of changes to how prescriptions for certain pain medications must be written and processed, as part of a larger effort to fight prescription fraud and abuse. TMA will outline what prescribers can expect as a result of these advocacy efforts in a free live webinar on July 31.


Don’t Change Poverty Level Adjustment, TMA Tells Feds - 06/27/2019

Possible changes to how the federal government determines the national poverty level could negatively affect the well-being and health care options for large portions of the population, a coalition of 10 state medical associations, including the Texas Medical Association, told the nation’s chief statistician this week.


Legislative Hotline: Governor Signs Key Prior Authorization Bill - 06/26/2019

The work of the 86th Texas Legislature passed its final stage at midnight Sunday, the deadline for Gov. Greg Abbott to to sign, veto, or allow bills to become law without his signature. Among those he signed this weekend was Senate Bill 1742, which requires greater transparency with prior authorizations and mandates that utilization reviews be conducted by a Texas-licensed physician in the same or similar specialty as the physician requesting the service or procedure. It also requires health plan directories to clearly identify which physician specialties are in-network at network facilities.