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Overdoses Still Climb Despite Big Drop in Prescription Opioids - 10/08/2021

The number of opioid prescriptions has dropped 44% since 2011, yet there are still more drug-related overdose deaths than ever – a clear sign policymakers should work to remove barriers to care for patients, according to the American Medical Association’s 2021 Overdose Epidemic Report.


Commentary: Hey Texas, Time to Stop Using the Word Provider! - 08/02/2021

The growing unwillingness to highlight the differences in training, education, and expertise between physicians and other health care professionals constitutes an increasing danger to not only our profession but also to patients, our health care system, and society as a whole. Patients deserve to know who is rendering their care. It is our hope that every physician reading this article will think and act in some way to speak up against the “provider” label and help reclaim the rightful title. Our profession is thousands of years old, so let’s not be the generation that destroys its own name. For the sake of those who follow in our footsteps, let’s take a stand together today.


Opioid Settlement Could Help Texas Tackle Addiction - 07/29/2021

Texas could receive as much as $1.5 billion under a multistate settlement over the national opioid epidemic, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced.


Opioids: Resources for Prescribing and Addiction Treatment - 07/20/2021

Get access to information about medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Online resources for prescribing opioids appropriately also are available.


Survey: Physicians’ Office Favored Over Retail Clinics, Urgent Care Centers - 06/23/2021

Retail clinics and urgent care centers may be as ubiquitous as Whataburger or Subway these days, but physicians’ offices “remain the public’s favored site of care,” according to a recent survey by Morning Consult.


Bad Scope Bills Defeated - 06/11/2021

Among other ill-advised proposals put forth during this year’s session, the House of Medicine stopped every troublesome attempt by nonmedical professionals to creep into the practice of medicine during this session.


TMA Opposes Proposed Title Change for Physician Assistants - 06/01/2021

The American Academy of PAs (AAPA) passed new policy last week changing the profession’s official title to “physician associate” rather than the traditional “physician assistant” (PA).


The Graveyard: Scope Bills That Are No Longer a Threat, Thanks to TMA - 05/17/2021

There are still 13 days left until the House of Medicine can officially breathe easy on lawmakers’ most misguided ideas. But thanks to the Texas Medical Association’s diligence at the Capitol, many of the most dangerous state bills of 2021 have officially gone to the Texas Legislature’s graveyard.


As Scope Defenses Continue, TMA Opposes Treatment Expansion for Midwives - 05/04/2021

Throughout the 2021 session, troublesome bills to expand nonphysicians’ scope of practice have collectively been a sleeping monster – kept dormant by the House of Medicine’s dogged advocacy efforts, but in constant need of monitoring should the beast awaken.


Buprenorphine Prescriptions Easier Under HHS Rule Change - 05/03/2021

Buprenorphine is widely seen as one of the most effective medications for treating opioid use disorder. But physicians trying to prescribe it have faced a big obstacle: The U.S. government required they first take a special eight-hour training course.


Legislative Hotline: Independent Prescribing for APRNs: A Bad Idea - 03/24/2021

The house of medicine sent a handful of its advocates into the ring to stop this year’s effort to give advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) more authority to perform medical acts without physician supervision.


A Busy Tuesday for Medicine: Dangerous Eye Surgeries, Extended Postpartum Coverage, Prior Authorization - 03/23/2021

Organized medicine sent an army of physicians – including TMA President Diana Fite, MD – to tell senators why a bill giving therapeutic optometrists the authority to perform a lengthy list of surgical procedures is a short-sighted idea.


Scope Expansion Bills Moving Forward. Help TMA Protect Health Care - 03/22/2021

Scope of practice will take center stage this week as the Texas Medical Association keeps its eye on and fights bad legislation that would give non-medical professionals the authority to practice medicine.


Protect Patient Safety With Physician-Led Health Care Teams - 02/03/2021

Texas needs more physicians and other health care professionals working in all parts of the state, especially in rural and border Texas. But the real gains in improving access to and coordination of patient care will come largely from solidifying and expanding the use of physician-led teams. Physician-led team-based care capitalizes on the efficiencies of having the right professional providing the right services to the right patient at the right time, with physicians managing the overall direction and coordination.


State Supreme Court Sides With Chiropractors on Neurological Test - 02/02/2021

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that chiropractors can perform a diagnostic test used to evaluate a patient’s eye movements, a setback for medicine in a 10-year court battle.


Buried in Paperwork - 01/14/2021

The Texas Medical Association reached a landmark agreement with advanced practice nurses and physician assistants on legislation to improve patients' access to care through an improved delegated model for team-based health care. The bill helps establish a more flexible and collaborative practice model that improves on current site-based restrictions.


VA Waives State Scope Laws for Nonphysician Practitioners - 11/11/2020

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is waiving state scope-of-practice laws in an interim rule that takes effect Thursday, effectively allowing VA nonphysician practitioners to practice across state lines at VA facilities without physician overs


Opioids: The Forgotten Epidemic? - 10/30/2020

COVID-19 inflamed the crisis; telemedicine helps Texas physicians cope with the fallout.


TMA Opposes Bill Defining Clinical Psychologists as Physicians in Medicare - 09/28/2020

A broad swath of organized medicine, including the Texas Medical Association, is asking congressional leadership to oppose a bill that legally would consider clinical psychologists to be physicians within Medicare, saying it “inappropriately” expands psychologists’ scope of practice.


Docs Must Supervise Delegation to CRNAs, TMA Tells Attorney General - 09/21/2020

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton should state that certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) require physician supervision when a physician delegates medical acts to them, the Texas Medical Association told the attorney general in response to a request for opinion.


Medicaid Changing Prior Authorization Criteria for Certain Opioid Prescriptions - 08/28/2020

Beginning Sept. 1, Texas Medicaid will implement updated clinical prior authorization criteria for opioid prescriptions for certain Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care patients.


The PMP Requirement Begins - 08/18/2020

With EHR integration in place, physicians must check the state prescription monitoring program (PMP) prior to prescribing an opioid starting March 1.


TMB Sets Rules on Acute-Pain Scrip Limit, Opioid CME - 07/31/2020

Texas’ pain management requirements underwent several important changes by law in the past year. Now, the Texas Medical Board has issued rules clarifying what prescribers must do to comply with those laws.


Some Clarity, Some Fog: AG Opines on Physician-Optometrist Relationship - 07/01/2020

An opinion by the Texas attorney general will keep the Texas Optometry Board (TOB) from exerting influence over the practice of medicine – to a certain point.


Prescription Monitoring Program: Is Your EHR Connected? - 06/12/2020

Beginning March 1, 2020, all prescribers must set up an account with the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program, known as PMP Aware, and check the PMP prior to prescribing opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or carisoprodol.