Magazine Story

Talk to Patients About: ACIP - 09/24/2020

 Two federal agencies oversee the way vaccines reach the U.S. public. But only one of them guides physicians on the best way to use those vaccines. That agency is the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the way private companies develop and produce vaccines.)


Can You Hear Me Now? Communicating Across the COVID-19 PPE Chasm - 09/24/2020

In the era of COVID-19, clinicians face myriad new communication challenges: muffling masks; glaring face shields; heightened anxiety and fear amongst patients, families, and clinicians; and increased use of telehealth and virtual communication.  


Commentary: The Covid-19 Registry - 09/24/2020

As COVID-19 continues to affect our communities, it is essential to understand the impacts of this outbreak. A new national data platform, developed right here in Texas, can help us do just that: the COVID-19 Registry (registry.rice.edu/covid19).


Opioids: The Forgotten Epidemic? - 09/24/2020

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


Champions of Medicine: TEXPAC-Endorsed Incumbents Head to November Elections - 09/24/2020

Each election, TEXPAC, the Texas Medical Association’s nonpartisan political arm, throws its support behind candidates who have demonstrated their support for a medicine-friendly agenda.


Mismatch Game: PMP Errors Could Harm Patient-Physician Relationship - 09/24/2020

Now that Texas prescribers must check a patient’s history in the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP) before prescribing opioids, plus three other drug classes, the errors are becoming more apparent.


Mixed Bag: Some Payers Capitalize on COVID Chaos; Others Help Make Care Easier - 09/24/2020

Physicians believe some payers are taking advantage of COVID chaos with their drug policies, but also see some plans taking steps to make care easier during the pandemic.


Pandemic Pressures:COVID-19 Poses Serious Behavioral Health Challenges - 09/24/2020

The mental health fallout caused by COVID-19 radiates throughout Texas. In this issue, we look at four of the biggest challenges physicians are responding to as more people say that worry and stress related to coronavirus have negatively impacted their mental health.


A Perfect Match? COVID-19 Forces GME Programs, Med Students to Adjust Resident Selection Process - 09/21/2020

COVID-19 has forced GME programs and medical students to make last-minute adjustments in the resident selection process.


An Unfortunate Legacy: COVID-19 Reveals Long-Standing Health Inequities - 09/10/2020

COVID-19 reveals longstanding health inequities among minority patients.


Talk to Patients About: Texas School Vaccines - 09/07/2020

Regardless of whether education takes place virtually or in-person, Texas school vaccination rules remain in effect for the 2020-21 school year, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. All Texas public schools (and most private schools) and colleges require students to have certain shots before they can attend classes at the beginning of a school year.


Commentary: Health and Climate Connected - 09/02/2020

Human health is inextricably connected with the health of the environment. Our actions to reduce the threats of climate change and global warming are key to our well-being and survival.


Commentary: Follow the Evidence on Climate Impact - 09/02/2020

While the World Health Organization estimates that climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year worldwide from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress, these estimates are based on assumptions using models that have not been validated using real world, observational data.


Farewell Lou Goodman (1948-2020) - 09/02/2020

Louis J. Goodman, PhD, former TMA executive vice president and CEO of 22 years, passed away on Friday, July 31. He was 71.


Dulling the Pain of Future Damages: High Court Ruling Addresses Periodic Payments - 09/02/2020

Texas Supreme Court decision carries new implications for periodic payment of future medical expenses.


Same Old Hurdles: Pharmacy-Mandated Obstacles to Filling Opioid Scrips - 09/02/2020

PMP requirement doesn’t lower pharmacy-mandated obstacles to filling opioid scrips.


A Social Shift: COVID-19 Disparities Prompt Emphasis on Value-Based Care - 09/02/2020

COVID-19 disparities prompt Medicare to call for stronger emphasis on value-based care.


Texas Medicine Magazine - 09/01/2020

Texas Medicine Magazine


Texas Medicine Back Issues - 08/31/2020

Back Issues


About Texas Medicine - 08/24/2020

General information about Texas Medicine.


On Pause for the Pandemic: Health Issues Sidelined Amid COVID-19 Response - 08/20/2020

Any physician can look out over the COVID-19 landscape and see important areas of health care tied to their specialty that are being downplayed or ignored as resources pour into fighting the pandemic and scared patients chose not to come to their doctors’ offices.


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.


Road to Recovery: COVID-19 Tests, Bends, and Breaks Texas Practices - 08/03/2020

Ricardo Garza, MD, was still walking the tightrope: standing, but unable to withstand another gust of wind. COVID-19 swept away about 35% of the San Antonio solo cardiologist’s practice revenue, and that was just what he could calculate as he waited for insurers to process straggling claims. But he had returned to in-office operations without any layoffs. While some practices are surviving – and trying their best to prepare for future threats – others weren’t so lucky. On-the-ground experiences align with the Texas Medical Association’s Practice Viability Survey in showing COVID-19 was, and still is, a disruptor unlike any other – challenging or torpedoing the viability of various practice types.


Surge Response: How the Panhandle Handled One of the State’s Biggest COVID-19 Outbreaks - 08/03/2020

IN TEXAS, COVID-19 outbreaks have been especially pronounced in three types of facilities: nursing homes, jails or prisons, and meatpacking plants. The Amarillo area has plenty of all three. But it was the meatpacking plants that drew national attention to Amarillo’s COVID-19 problems. The city, which straddles Potter and Randall counties, has numerous plants that employ 12,000 to 15,000 people. In early April, Amarillo’s two hospitals began filling up with COVID-19 patients who worked at a plant in neighboring Moore County. Two weeks later, workers from a plant in Potter County flooded in.  


Quarantine’s Quandary: Some Texans Unable to Self-Isolate - 08/03/2020

As the state ramps up “contact tracing” as a key part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to stop the spread of COVID-19 and return Texas to economic normalcy, some health officials say physicians can help those for whom quarantine and isolation are a challenge.