Related Stories

How to Make Innovation a Primary Part of Primary Care - 06/12/2019

As health care continues to evolve, practices should seek out innovative ways not only to treat patients but also to build a network of professionals and resources that promote a community’s overall well-being. That’s why for the past six years, the Texas Primary Care Consortium has hosted an annual summit designed to increase knowledge of important topics in primary care transformation and to give participants an opportunity to meet, share experiences, and make connections.


Physicians Wanted for State Medical Advisory Board - 06/11/2019

If you’re interested in lending your medical expertise to cases involving driver’s licenses or concealed handgun licenses, the Department of State Health Services is seeking physicians to serve on the Medical Advisory Board


Legislative Top 10: Improving Mental Health Care Squeaks into Law - 06/11/2019

Political maneuvering late in the Texas Legislative session saved efforts to improve the effectiveness of and access to behavioral health care in Texas. Today’s TMA Legislative News Hotline video looks at the moves to save Senate Bill 10, which will provide community-level health treatment programs, and mental health research.


Texas Doctors Seek to Help Trafficking Victims, Protect New Mothers - 06/07/2019

Texas doctors hope policy proposals put forth now can help stop human trafficking and protect women having a baby by extending their health insurance coverage. The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates policymaking body will take up these and other resolutions this weekend and in the coming week during the national medical association’s annual meeting, in Chicago.


With a Grain of Salt - 06/04/2019

Most salt we consume today comes as a preservative in foods that we buy. Table salt and salt added while cooking contribute to about 10% of salt consumption. This helps me talk salt to my patients, informing them that the real salt that one needs to cut is the salt that’s in packaged food items.


Potentially Deadly Meningococcal Disease is Preventable - 06/03/2019

It travels fast and can leave its victims with permanent complications or death within a matter of hours. Meningococcal disease is serious – and preventable – according to the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Texas Medicine magazine.


What’s Killing Texans? Fixing Texas' System for Tracking Deaths - 05/28/2019

Distorted death statistics inaccurately portray how people are dying, with significant public health implications. System changes and physician education could help.


Emergency Triage, Treatment, and Transport - 05/21/2019

The Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport Model already has proven to be a groundbreaking leap in the right direction toward aligning EMS as a true part of the health care field. As programs begin and outcomes are measured, hopefully it will be the first steps of many.


Aging Network 101: Directing Patients to Community Services - 05/17/2019

Many community-based social service agencies provide free or low-cost direction, referrals and resources for older adults. Research shows resources such as senior centers or Area Agencies on Aging can improve patient health outcomes.


Ensure Patients Are Taking Steps Toward Healthy Aging - 05/09/2019

May is Older Americans Month, and this year’s theme – Connect, Create, and Contribute – highlights ways older adults can interact with their community. Negative habits can add up over a lifetime and limit a person’s ability to connect. Physical activity and healthy eating are crucial to aging and living well, yet more than 80% of adults do not meet the physical activity guidelines for aerobic and strengthening exercises.


Infections Reported After Umbilical Cord Blood Injections - 05/08/2019

Eight Texas patients developed bacterial infections soon after receiving an umbilical cord blood derived stem cell product from mid 2017 through September of 2018, state health officials said in an advisory.


Digital Communication Tools Can Help Address Health Care Disparities - 05/07/2019

Some of you are probably wondering how a radiologist like me can play a role in furthering health equity. Information technology is at the heart of radiology’s daily practice, and employing technology through clinical-decision support tools like the Radiology Support, Communication, and Alignment Network (R-SCAN) is where radiology can play a significant role on the health care team.


Get Rewarded For Your Practice’s Behavioral Health Models - 05/07/2019

Have you integrated mental or behavioral health care into your practice? Is your practice’s model simple, innovative, and easy for a variety of primary care practices to copy and use for themselves? Are you interested in winning $10,000 for work you’ve already done? If the answer to all of those questions was yes, consider entering the Texas Academy of Family Physicians’ Behavioral Health Integration Innovators Competition.


Integrating Mental and Physical Health - 05/07/2019

Physicians strongly support a greater statewide focus on academic mental health and substance use research, and recognize the promise of new research opportunities presented through HB 10 and the institute. We are pleased to see HB 10 calls for a statewide research framework focused on preventing, identifying, and treating many serious and costly conditions, including depression, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders.


“Conversion Therapy” Is Not Evidence-Based Care - 05/02/2019

The care for each of our minor patients must be built in an environment that supports an open, safe, and confidential patient-physician relationship – but also upon evidence-based care that supports the child’s development. We believe House Bill 517 sets a clear standard that families must be aware that practices to change sexual orientation that are not evidence-based can be harmful. We encourage your support for this important legislation.


The Texas Mental Health Care Consortium Will Benefit Texas Children - 05/02/2019

Senate Bill 10 establishes a Texas Mental Health Care Consortium among health-related institutions of higher education and the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council to enhance collaboration and alignment between these institutions and improve effectiveness of and access to behavioral health care.


Help Aging Texans Age Well - 05/01/2019

Throughout Older Americans Month, Texas Medicine Today will share information from HHSC to help older Texans live and age well and live independently. Are you concerned a patient’s social network is shrinking, they’re not getting enough exercise, or they’re at risk of falling? See how you can help older Texans age well.


Hepatitis B Infection Can Cause Liver Damage, Cancer - 05/01/2019

The bottom line: Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection that can be short-term or long-term. Some people can die from it or suffer other serious diseases like cancer, while others experience no symptoms. People can become infected through sexual contact, by sharing needles, or from an infected mother passing it to her baby at birth.


Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization in Texas 1999 to 2010 - 05/01/2019

The primary purpose of the study was to examine the role public sector payers (Medicare and Medicaid) and providers (Texas state mental health hospitals) play in psychiatric hospitalization, using Texas annual hospital discharge files from 1999 to 2010. Psychiatric hospitalization, as defined by a primary behavioral health diagnosis (ICD-9 diagnoses 290-314.99) averaged 146,876 discharges per year, approximately 5.24% of all hospitalizations in the state. Children younger than 18 years accounted for 27,035 discharges per year. The top 4 diagnostic groups were depression (29%), bipolar disorder (22%), schizophrenia (18%), and alcohol-drug disorders (14%). More patients with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders were served by the public sector, while more patients with depression or alcohol-drug disorders were served by private insurance. Interestingly, patients with bipolar disorder were distributed relatively evenly across both payment groups and ages. Length of stay decreased fr...


Improving Children’s Access to Mental Health Care - 04/30/2019

Senate Bill 10 establishes a Texas Mental Health Care Consortium among health-related institutions of higher education and the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council. Its purpose is to enhance collaboration and alignment between these institutions and improve effectiveness of and access to behavioral health care. As a Texas physician, I can speak to our overall behavioral health workforce challenges, and as a Texas pediatrician, I can speak to the particular challenge of connecting children with mental health supports.


Learn How To Build Your Community’s Primary Care Foundation - 04/24/2019

Despite the many challenges faced by primary care practices in Texas, many find innovative ways to provide timely, accessible, and person-centered care to their patients and communities. The seventh-annual Texas Primary Care Consortium Annual Summit, scheduled for June 20-21 at the Renaissance Austin Hotel, will showcase many of these practices and many of these innovations.  


Streamlining Newborn Screening Consent - 04/23/2019

While SB 1404’s stated intent is to streamline the disclosure and consent for long-term storage process for newborn screening, our organizations are concerned about potential unintended consequences.


Helping Teachers Protect Children From Abuse and Neglect - 04/22/2019

Children with cognitive and other disabilities are at least three times more likely to experience some form of maltreatment, abuse, or neglect than children without special needs. We appreciate Rep. Gonzalez’ proposal, which acknowledges that children with special needs may be at greater risk of abuse and maltreatment – and that this requires a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of abuse.


Don’t Eliminate Fitness Assessments in Schools - 04/22/2019

Fitness assessments continue to be a critical tool for monitoring obesity in our state. We share the committee’s goal to improve schools’ ability to focus on student achievement, and would like to underscore for the committee both the academic benefits to physical activity4 and economic gains that could be realized from reducing obesity statewide.


Out of the Shadows - 04/22/2019

Lubbock physicians shine a light on sex trafficking and get victims needed care.