Related Stories

We Need to Come in Force: Physician-Lawmakers Look Ahead to 2021 - 09/18/2019

A panel of medicine’s representatives in the Texas Legislature said Saturday that 2019 was a good year for medicine in Austin, but unfinished business remains for the next session in 2021.


Get Your Patients to Vote Against Cancer - 09/18/2019

A measure to extend Texas’ place as a leader in the fight against cancer is on the ballot, and you should encourage your patients to get out and vote. To help spread the message about Proposition 6, which extends funding for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), TMA has created a push card that you can place in your waiting room.


Doctors Drive New Opioid Laws - 09/18/2019

Several new laws will affect how physicians practice and how they prescribe controlled substances, including a delay on required checks of the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP); a limit on opioid prescriptions for acute pain; and a new electronic prescribing requirement coming in 2021.


TMA Can Take Lead in Addressing Social Determinants of Health - 09/16/2019

Despite widespread knowledge about the impact of social determinants of health – such as housing and food insecurity – the U.S. health care system does a poor job of taking those factors into account when caring for patients, the co-founders of The Health Initiative, a Boston nonprofit, told physicians at the Texas Medical Association's Fall Conference on Saturday.  


Opioids and Pharmacy: PMP Extension Granted - 09/16/2019

When it came to opioids and pharmacy matters, some of the major pieces of medicine’s 2019 agenda came down to something everyone wishes they had more of: time. Physicians need it to get comfortable with a mandate to check the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP). Patients need it to make sure the pain medications they’re prescribed do what the drugs are supposed to do. The legislature listened, and TMA achieved wins on both counts, as well as on increased transparency from pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).


House Bill 3703 (86th Texas Legislature) and Expansion of Texas’ Compassionate Use Act - 09/12/2019

In its 2019 session, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3703 (Rep. Stephanie Klick), effective immediately, expanding the list of diseases that may be treated with low-tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) cannabis. The bill also broadened the types of specialty physicians who may qualify to register with the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas to recommend treat-ment with low-THC cannabis to patients.


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).


New Web Page Helps You Help Prevent Student Concussions - 09/11/2019

To help you prevent and/or care for traumatic brain injuries, the Texas Medical Association has created a web page about student-athlete concussions to raise awareness among physicians, student-athletes and their parents, and coaches.


Opioids, Telemedicine, Legislative Update to Highlight TMA Fall Conference - 09/10/2019

Physicians Meet to Address Health Care Priorities. Navigating the opioid crisis, using telemedicine to expand a medical practice and help more patients, and top issues from the 2019 Texas Legislature highlight the 2019 Texas Medical Association (TMA) Fall Conference. 


Firearms Safety: A Growing Public Health Threat - 09/04/2019

Michael Bagg was bothered by how his fellow students at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston reacted to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which killed 58 people. He started talking with a classmate about ways to address firearms that would improve safety while also respecting the rights of gun owners. Together, they came up with a preclinical curriculum for an elective class on firearms safety that has been taught at the school for the past two years. The course, which more than 100 students have attended, addresses topics such as the treatment of injuries and threat identification.


Out of the Shadows - 09/04/2019

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


A Qualitative Approach to Understanding HIV-Related Stress in Texas - 09/03/2019

Much of the southern United States is characterized by unique social, structural, and political systems that may relate to increased stress and poor health outcomes for those living with HIV. Notably, research indicates that Texas has higher survival rates for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) than general southern trends, which might suggest that Texans living with HIV experience HIV-related stressors and coping strategies influential to health differently than those living elsewhere in the South. This study used grounded theory and semi-structured interviews to increase understanding of HIV-related stress in Texas. Participants (N=20) were 12 people living with HIV in Texas and 8 HIV-care providers in Texas. Results indicated 5 emergent stress-related themes: housing strain, substance use, limited financial abilities, relationship dynamics, and internal pressures and psychosocial resiliency. Results also highlighted some of the potential...


Clearing the Air on Cannabis: New Texas Laws Create Challenges for Physicians - 09/03/2019

Before the 2019 Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3703, the medical use of cannabidiol (CBD) products in Texas was confusing for physicians and authorized only a narrow group of patients: people with intractable epilepsy. Thanks in part to the new state law, it’s still confusing and includes a somewhat larger group of patients – all patients with epilepsy as well as those with seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), autism, terminal cancer, and incurable neurodegenerative diseases. Confusion has been fueled by another 2019 measure: House Bill 1325 legalized the production and sale of hemp and some products derived from hemp that have high levels of CBD, which is non-euphoric and has low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), the psychoactive element in marijuana.


One Health Conference to Explore Connection Among Humans, Animals, and the Environment - 08/30/2019

If you are interested in being a part of the increasing collaboration between medical and veterinary professions, make plans to attend Harris County Public Health's One Health Conference next month in Houston.


Prepare for Hurricane Season With Facebook Live Discussion - 08/22/2019

If you want to get a head start on what this year’s hurricane season could bring, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission will hold a Facebook Live talk at 12:15 pm (CT) on Aug. 26.


Tying Immigration to Medicaid Foolish, TMA President Says - 08/20/2019

The Trump Administration's new rule seeking to limit access to green cards for immigrants who receive Medicaid and other government benefits will discourage people from seeing their physicians, worsening medical problems and harming public health, says Texas Medical Association President David C. Fleeger, MD.


TMA Supports Evidence-Based Care for LGBTQ Youth - 08/20/2019

The Texas Medical Association aggressively opposes any "potentially harmful, unproven therapies," such as conversion therapy, that are designed to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ young people, TMA President David Fleeger, MD, said in prepared testimony to the Texas Medical Board on Friday.


Physicians to Address Care Issues at 14th Border Health Conference - 08/15/2019

Top physicians and other health care leaders will meet in Laredo, Texas, to discuss critical health care needs and the challenges that face communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, during the 14th Annual Border Health Conference.


Conference to Explore Border Health Challenges - 08/15/2019

At the convergence of two countries and two cultures, Texas’ border with Mexico has unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to health care.But what are those challenges, and how can the opportunities there be used to overcome them? Explore those questions and more at the 14th annual Border Health Conference, scheduled for Aug. 22 at the La Posada Hotel in Laredo.


Report Positions TMA Response to Firearms Violence - 08/13/2019

“The physicians of Texas continue to grieve with our fellow Texans over yet another heinous episode of gun violence,” Texas Medical Association President David C. Fleeger, MD, said. “This is more than a public safety problem – this is a public health crisis. Thus, it will require public health type solutions.”


Migrants in Texas Detention Centers Need Basic Care, TMA President Says - 08/12/2019

Migrant parents and children housed in Texas detention centers must have access to basic necessities, including sufficient food, clean water, clean beds, and health and educational services. That is the message of a letter sent last week to state leaders and Texas lawmakers from several organizations, including the Texas Medical Association.


Talk to Patients About: Hib - 08/12/2019

Talk to your patients about Haemophilus influenzae type b – or Hib, which, despite its name, does not cause influenza. However, Hib causes several severe illnesses, particularly meningitis, mostly in children younger than 5.


Charting Medicine’s Statehouse Progress: A Successful Legislative Session for Physicians - 08/06/2019

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. 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.


New Laws Improve Opioid Prescription Process in Texas - 08/06/2019

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.


When Do New Opioid Prescribing Requirements Take Effect? - 08/02/2019

To combat the ongoing opioid crisis, state lawmakers passed several measures that change how physicians and other health care professionals will prescribe opioids. However, provisions of the laws take effect at different times, so prescribers should be aware of the deadlines and effective dates of each requirement. Below is a chart showing when each provision takes effect.