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Telemedicine’s Tipping Point: Pandemic Exposed Longstanding Coverage Issues - 01/20/2022

Dr. Atkisson found that telemedicine addressed one of the most pressing issues facing her profession: a dire shortage of psychiatrists that predates the pandemic.


So-Called “Mild” Omicron Still a Serious Threat, Physicians Warn - 01/14/2022

As the massive spike of COVID-19 cases continues, Texas Medical Association physicians urge vigilance against the threat the omicron variant poses in Texas. The degree of infectiousness and lack of best and most available treatment worries Texas physicians about what the next few weeks will bring, and they say important medical advice bears repeating.


“Turn It Off” to Help Mental Health, Physicians Suggest - 01/14/2022

Physicians are concerned about more people suffering mental and behavioral health problems, especially as the pandemic lags on. Doctors see connections between people’s suffering and overuse of electronic devices, especially among young people who seem addicted to their phones and other screens. To combat these issues, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) is launching a new initiative, Turn It Off Today, to encourage families to pledge to take a break from electronic devices.


Physicians Encourage Masking and Vaccination of Students - 01/14/2022

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President E. Linda Villarreal, MD; Texas Pediatric Society (TPS) President Seth D. Kaplan, MD; and Texas Public Health Coalition (TPHC) Chair Jason V. Terk, MD, as Texans plan for kids to return to school. The physician and health care groups are calling for children to be protected from COVID-19 due to spikes in cases and hospitalizations from the COVID-19 delta variant. They recommend parents and families follow new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for masking everyone in schools, grades K-12 – regardless of vaccination status – and to vaccinate all children aged 12 and up who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, to protect them and their families.


Governor Approves Bill to Reduce Prior Authorization Hassles - 01/14/2022

Care for countless Texas patients will happen more quickly by reducing health insurers’ bureaucratic delays, thanks to a bill Gov. Greg Abbott allowed to become law this weekend. The Texas Medical Association  prioritized curbing health insurers’ onerous prior authorization practices this legislative session, resulting in passage of House Bill 3459 by Rep. Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood), and Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway), with considerable support by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound).


Kids 12 and Up: Get a COVID Shot, Physicians Urge - 01/14/2022

As Texans return to work, school, and play thanks to more people getting the COVID-19 vaccine, physicians are now urging vaccination for children 12 years old and older. Texas Medical Association (TMA) COVID-19 Outpatient Workgroup physicians created a new infographic flyer urging parents to protect their adolescents and children against a disease that’s killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions of people worldwide.


New Resource Helps Kids Manage COVID-19-Related Stresses - 01/14/2022

Texas physicians have unveiled a new tool to help parents support their children whose behavioral health is suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s upheaval.The Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) School Reopening Workgroup, the Texas Pediatric Society (TPS), and members of TMA’s Committee on Behavioral Health produced “Your Child’s Feelings Matter,” a resource in English and Spanish to help parents recognize and support their children’s reactions to school disruptions and other changes the pandemic has forced upon their young lives.


The Doctor Is In: Parents, Don’t Miss Kids’ Routine Care, Vaccinations - 01/14/2022

Across Texas and the nation, many parents are anxious about taking their children to the doctor for fear of exposing them to COVID-19, but physicians are here to offer reassurance and a reminder. While the fear is justifiable, Texas doctors advise parents that routine well visits are safe and important for their child’s health, and assure them “the doctor is in.”


What’s Better, Immunity From a Shot, or From the Disease? - 01/14/2022

Although suffering through a disease sometimes gives you immunity from catching that same disease later in life, vaccinating against diseases instead is the safest way to protect yourself and your loved ones.


I Got My Shot; Why Am I Sick? Physicians Explain - 01/14/2022

The bottom line: Vaccines are our best protection against disease, but in some situations vaccinated people can still get sick. In the case of influenza, several factors can cause this. Nonetheless, physicians stress vaccines are the best form of protection, shielding many individuals from the disease or at least reducing the severity of symptoms, and preventing hospitalization or death.


Texas Physicians Explain Herd Immunity Needed to Fight Contagious-Disease Hotspots - 01/14/2022

A community with enough vaccinated people can protect each other from the spread of contagious disease. Herd immunity – also known as community immunity – protects those who are not immune and those who cannot or choose not to get vaccinated.


Care Connections: TMA Foundation Grants Tackle Public Health Problems - 01/03/2022

TMA Foundation grants offer a lifeline to Texas physicians tackling public health problems.


PAC-ing a Punch for Medicine: Involvement in TEXPAC Lays Foundation for Legislative Victories - 01/03/2022

TEXPAC leaders say legislative victories happen because of grassroots, physician-driven efforts to elect friends of medicine to office. TEXPAC helps generate those victories with a dogged, systematic evaluation of candidates who have the profession’s best interests at heart, endorsing and funding the ones who demonstrate their medical mettle. It’s the Party of Medicine, not of Democrats or Republicans; a candidate’s stances on TMA’s top issues, and the impressions of TEXPAC physicians in a candidate’s district, are what carry the most sway.


Surgeon General: Mental Health of Young People Suffering Due to COVID-19 - 12/14/2021

COVID-19 took a population of young Americans already reeling from a variety of mental health challenges and “exacerbated the unprecedented stresses young people already faced,” according to a public advisory issued by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD.


Take a Break from Electronic Devices During Holidays, Physicians Suggest - 12/14/2021

As families spend time with loved ones this holiday season, physicians say immersing oneself in electronic devices like phones and laptops can stand in the way of creating bonds and feeling connected. To combat this, Texas doctors recommend everyone “turn it off.” TMA launched a new initiative, Turn It Off Today, to encourage families to pledge to take a break from electronic devices.


Compact for Care: Texas Joins Interstate Agreement for Out-of-State Licensure - 12/01/2021

The rise of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a change in state law that will not only help make certain telemedicine services permanent but also give out-of-state physicians an easier pathway to join the Texas workforce.


Ten Years Later: TMA Advocacy Nets Investments in Women’s Health - 12/01/2021

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.


Turn It Off Today Toolkit - 11/30/2021

TMA invites Texas families to pledge to Turn It Off Today, and take break from electronic devices. 


Help Families Manage Screen Time – and Mental Health – With TMA’s “Turn It Off Today” Campaign - 11/29/2021

When a disturbing mental health trend emerged in the Lubbock emergency room (ER) where Eman Attaya, MD, works, it sparked the Texas Medical Association’s newest educational program to help families better control how much their kids interact with electronic devices: Turn It Off Today.


Making the Right Call: CPAN Helps Physicians Improve Behavioral Health - 11/24/2021

IN THE 19 MONTHS since the Texas Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN) has been up and running, it’s kept any number of minor problems from becoming major ones.


TMA Helps Craft Amendment Guaranteeing In-Person Visitation in Nursing Homes - 11/15/2021

In overwhelmingly voting for nursing home residents to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation, Texas voters aligned themselves with a critical balance the Texas Medical Association helped lawmakers strike between the need for crucial emotional support in those settings and keeping public health threats at bay.


State Plan Tackles Mental Health Coverage - 11/09/2021

Four years after the Texas Legislature passed legislation aimed to improve health plan coverage of mental health conditions and substance use disorders, a state workgroup has released a strategic plan to improve compliance with the law’s protections to put coverage of those treatments on par with other types of health care.


Caring for Generation COVID: Pandemic Takes Increasing Toll on Kids' Mental Health - 11/03/2021

In addition to the devastating COVID-19 surge fueled by the delta variant, pediatricians like Valerie Smith, MD, and other specialists caring for children point to a shadow pandemic among young patients. The proportion of mental health-related visits for children is on the rise.


Pediatric Groups Declare “Emergency” in Child Mental Health Care - 11/02/2021

COVID-19’s psychological toll has been particularly heavy on children and adolescents. That prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association to declare a “national state of emergency” in children’s mental health.


TMA Airs Pro-Vaccine Ads During Political Conventions - 11/01/2021

“Vaccines defend what matters – our health, jobs, families.” A new Texas Medical Association (TMA) ad campaign featuring that message will air during the Democratic and Republican conventions to remind Texans of the many ways vaccinations protect us.