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New Screening Guidelines Approved to Improve Early Detection of Diabetes and HIV - 01/24/2023

Medicaid and most group health plans will implement updated screening guidelines for diabetes during and after pregnancy, beginning in 2024, thanks to changes recently approved by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.


Key Issues - 01/24/2023

At the heart of TMA's agenda for the 2023 Texas legislative session is protecting the practice of medicine and the patient-physician relationship.


Record State Budget Opens Door for Health Care Investment - 01/23/2023

The 88th Texas Legislature kicked off earlier this month, and the Texas Medical Association is already tracking nearly 700 bills, including promising proposals to reduce prior authorization requirements and concerning ones regarding scope expansion.


Monkeypox Cases Resurface; CDC Urges Vigilance - 01/05/2023

With cases of monkeypox recently reported in several countries that don’t normally have that virus – including at least one confirmed case in the U.S. – federal health authorities are advising physicians to be on the lookout for the characteristic rash usually associated with monkeypox.


TMA Moment in Time: First Tuesdays at the Capitol - 01/05/2023

TMA’s signature advocacy event offers invaluable facetime with lawmakers.


Eight Simple Ways to Get Involved in TMA Advocacy - 12/14/2022

Your strong voice is needed to improve the practice of medicine today and for future generations. That's why it's important for all members of the family of medicine to get involved. You don't have to be an advocacy expert. All you need to do is follow these eight steps.


Texas Physicians Warn: Don’t Let Accidental Overdose Ruin Your Holidays (and Your Life) - 12/13/2022

The holidays are a time of joy and celebration for many, but they could turn tragic if someone takes one pill they should not. Substance misuse – especially unwittingly taking street drugs that contain fentanyl – can destroy a life. A very small amount of illegally manufactured fentanyl (IMF) can be deadly.


Newborn Screening Kits Expire Dec. 31; Cost Updates Expected Spring 2023 - 12/08/2022

Newborn screening kits with a nine-digit serial number beginning with 20 (e.g. TX 20-XXXXXXX) will expire on Dec. 31, and physicians are encouraged to use the kits to collect specimens and to ensure their stock is up to date after the end of the month.


'They Came in Droves': Former TMA President Douglas Curran, MD, Starts an FQHC - 12/04/2022

Former TMA President Doug Curran, MD, fulfilled a long-time dream of expanding care by cofounding the East Texas Community Clinic, a federally qualified health center.


The Down and Dirty on Wastewater Surveillance: COVID-19 Gives it a Boost - 12/04/2022

Wastewater epidemiology has been around for about two decades, but it didn't really take off in Texas until COVID-19 came along.


Physicians Serve as Lead Clinicians to Support Mental Health Intervention - 11/17/2022

The impact of adverse childhood events (ACEs) can be lasting and costly on patient health and medical outcomes. In the United States, more than 20% of adults report experiencing three ACEs during their youth, potentially increasing the risk of negative, chronic health consequences and challenges such as alcoholism, depression, unemployment, heart disease and substance abuse, among many others.


CDC: “Brie” Mindful of Listeria Outbreak Linked to Cheese - 11/01/2022

Don’t cut, bake, or serve recalled cheeses this holiday season.


DSHS Survey to Inform Legislative Policy on COVID-19 Vaccines in Texas - 11/01/2022

As part of 2021 legislative mandate, the Texas Department of State Health Services is funding a survey to collect feedback from physicians and health care professionals regarding access to COVID-19 vaccines.


Mental Telehealth Paves the Way: Pandemic Flexibilities Expand Access to Care - 11/01/2022

Texas physicians say pandemic-era behavioral telehealth regulatory changes have already proven beneficial – and could be maximized with additional policy reforms, like payment parity for all telehealth visits; in the meantime, the gains of the past few years have forged a path toward future telehealth expansion beyond behavioral health.


Midterms Are Here: The Health of Our Communities Is on the Ballot - 10/31/2022

One of the most important things any of us can do for our health and the health of our communities is to vote. The Health and Democracy Index analyzed 12 public health indicators in relationship to state voting policies and demonstrated a clear relationship between inclusive voting policies and better health outcomes.


Physicians Urge Texans to Safely Return Unused Prescription Medication - 10/27/2022

Texas physicians recommend people with unused or expired prescription drugs at home dispose of them safely this weekend, so they are not accidently consumed. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is organizing its biannual prescription drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 29. Prescription drugs can be returned anonymously at pop up locations across the state.


Health Plans Begin Implementing Prior Auth Exemption Process - 10/19/2022

With an Oct. 1 deadline on the horizon, health plans have begun implementing Texas’ new prior authorization exemption process requiring them to issue the first so-called “gold cards” by that date.


Address Delayed Care Pileup, TMA Tells House Panel - 10/17/2022

The COVID-19 pandemic strained an already overburdened primary health care system in Texas, making it vital that state lawmakers back measures that encourage patients to see a physician and catch up on delayed care before it gets even worse, Tyler pediatrician Valerie Smith, MD, told the Texas House of Representatives Select Committee on Health Care Reform.


Compact for Care: Texas Joins Interstate Agreement for Out-of-State Licensure - 10/13/2022

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.


Prepare for Disasters With TMA’s Help - 10/08/2022

The Atlantic hurricane season has begun, and physicians who may be affected by a hurricane or other tropical storm need to be prepared. For help doing so, look to TMA's Disaster Preparedness and Response Resource Center.


Medicine-Friendly State Senator to Speak at TMA Winter Conference - 10/08/2022

State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), chair of the powerful Committee on Health & Human Services for the current session of the Texas Legislature, will be the keynote speaker during the Texas Medical Association’s virtual Winter Conference.


Texas Physicians Weigh in on Federal Surprise Billing Solution - 10/08/2022

As Texas prepares to implement an arbitration process to address surprise medical bills, Texas physicians are helping the U.S. Congress work on a federal solution. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health tackled surprise billing in a hearing last week to consider the No Surprises Act, draft legislation put together by two committee members.


Legislative Hotline: Governor Signs Key Prior Authorization Bill - 10/07/2022

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.


Keeping Pace: Monkeypox Poses Public Health Challenges - 10/03/2022

In yet another test to the state’s public health response efforts, monkeypox – rarely seen outside of countries in Africa – has spread rapidly since late spring, and Texas physicians and other health care professionals likely unfamiliar with the virus should remain vigilant for the possibility of cases among their patients.


“Gold Card” Final Rules Heed Some, But Not All, TMA Recommendations on Prior Auth Exemption Process - 09/09/2022

Texas physicians have anxiously awaited – and advocated for – relief from onerous prior authorizations, which is now closer than ever.