Magazine Story

Growing Residents: Texas Med Schools Find Ways to Create More GME Slots - 05/29/2020

Texas’ plan to grow and keep more physicians in state is coming to fruition, but it will require constant nurturing to reach harvest. The latest crop will come out of a collaboration between one of the state’s newest medical schools, in Fort Worth, and Baylor Scott and White All Saints Medical Center. The program will create as many as 150 new residency positions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area through 2027. Collaborations between medical schools and health care institutions will add to those numbers in coming years.


Tort Reform on Trial: Houston Case Challenges Noneconomic Damage Cap - 05/29/2020

Houston case poses challenge to key tort reform limit on noneconomic damages.


Running Out of Reasons: Low Payments, Hassles Leave Physicians Wondering: Why stay in Medicare? - 05/29/2020

Texas physicians who deal with Medicare’s substandard payments and world-class administrative hassles are feeling underappreciated. The latest report from the committee that advises Congress on Medicare payment policy may exacerbate that feeling. In March, the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) released its annual report assessing payments to physicians, among other sectors. MedPAC recommended no changes to the 2021 Medicare physician fee schedule, meaning no increase in physician payments.  


Buying Time: Comptroller Delays Medical Billing Tax Until October 2021 - 05/29/2020

Comptroller delays medical billing tax until October 2021, giving TMA a chance to work out a legislative fix.


Editor's Note: Stick With the Science - 05/29/2020

I was sure I had contracted COVID-19 in November on a trip to Boston. Could one little antibody test give me that confidence? Turns out, no.


New TMA Leaders Chosen Amid Historic Pandemic - 05/29/2020

Despite the suspension of the Texas Medical Association House of Delegates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, special provisions in TMA’s bylaws allowed for limited elections to take place on May 2, including that of Edinburg internist E. Linda Villarreal, MD, as president-elect. And Diana L. Fite, MD, took office as planned as TMA’s 155th president.


Q&A: Preparing for Pandemic, An Interview with Umair Shah, MD, Harris County Public Health - 05/29/2020

Umair Shah, MD, Harris County Public Health executive director, on how COVID-19 has exposed gaps in the public health system.


Paying the Price for PPE - 05/29/2020

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic threw the market for personal protective equipment (PPE) into chaos. So physicians and county medical societies across Texas found they had to go big or go home when it came to obtaining those critical supplies.


Talk to Patients About: Why Will It Take So Long for a COVID-19 Vaccine? - 05/29/2020

Of all the solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, a vaccine is the most attractive. With just one shot, people could transform the disease from a global disruptor to an easily manageable public health problem. But vaccines can’t be whipped up overnight.


The Class of COVID-19: Texas Medical Students Struggle with Uncertainty - 05/29/2020

Texas medical students struggle to fight the pandemic in their own way while adjusting to a lot of uncertainty.


Palpable Fear: COVID-19's Toll on Physician Morale and Mental Health - 05/29/2020

As COVID-19 ravaged human lives, it also took a toll on physician morale and mental health.


Need Help Treating Pediatric Patients With Mental Health Problems? - 05/20/2020

The restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic have created unique challenges for children and teens, including isolation from friends and classmates, uncertainty about the future, and concerns about health and safety.


The Next Phase of Cancer Care - 05/13/2020

The success of cancer treatments brings new issues to light, including how physicians — both specialists and primary care physicians — can support patients once active treatment is over. Survivor care plans, though not as common as they should be, are an important part of any survivor's aftercare. The plans include a summary of the patient's diagnosis and treatments, as well as a course of action for screenings, office visits, and lifestyle recommendations.


Cyber Crimes - 05/13/2020

Since it began offering cyber liability coverage in December 2011, the Texas Medical Liability Trust has received more than 150 cyber liability claims, most of which involved breaches of electronic protected health information. TMLT's cyber liability insurance will protect practices financially should a breach occur. The insurance covers a breach notification to customers and business partners, expenses for legal counsel, information security and forensic data services, public relations support, call center and website support, credit monitoring, and identity theft restoration services.


A Boost for Behavioral Health: New State Programs - 05/13/2020

The Child Psychiatric Access Network (CPAN) plans to start operations in May, giving pediatricians and family physicians across Texas free telemedicine-based consultation and training on community psychiatry. CPAN is a key part of a much larger mental health initiative created by the 2019 Texas Legislature called the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium. Aside from CPAN, the consortium also will help public schools respond to mental health needs among students; expand the psychiatric workforce by paying for psychiatric positions and fellowships; and provide money for research on mental health in Texas.


Breaking Down Barriers: New State Effort Helps Get LARCs to Women Who Need Them - 05/13/2020

In November 2019, HHSC named boosting the use of LARCs as goal No. 1 for improving the health of women and children. The announcement came when HHSC released its first-ever annual business plan, “Blueprint for a Healthy Texas.”


Texas Physicians Adjust to Electronic Communication - 05/12/2020

  Texas physicians adjust to electronic communication.


TMA Brings its Fite: Incoming TMA President Diana Fite, MD - 05/04/2020

Incoming TMA President Diana Fite, MD, plans to take on low Medicaid pay and the litany of intrusions taking time away from patient care and contributing to physician burnout


Texas Medicine Magazine - 05/01/2020

Texas Medicine Magazine


Back to the Heart - 04/30/2020

Cancer survivor Lee Tomlinson will stress compassionate care at TexMed 2020.


“Absurd” Contract Dodge Rejected: Court Lets Cancer Center’s Debt-Collection Suit Proceed - 04/30/2020

Appeals court denies “free speech” challenge to cancer center’s debt-collection suit.


Texas Medicine Back Issues - 04/30/2020

Back Issues


No Double-Dipping: Tacking Settlement Money onto Negligence Awards at Issue - 04/30/2020

Like many broad legislative measures, Texas’ 2003 medical liability reforms continue to be a target for opponents long after being signed into law. The Texas Medical Association is fighting again to defend them. The measure under siege this time prevents patients who file negligence or other lawsuits from adding to their damage award through family members’ settlements stemming from the same case – that is, no “double-dipping.”


Clear as Mud? Federal Rule Will Mandate Hospitals to Post Prices on a Menu of Services - 04/30/2020

From electronic health records to quality reporting, today’s physicians deal with plenty of distractions from patient care. Starting in 2021, hospital-employed physicians may find themselves adding another one: explaining to patients the difference between their hospital’s multiple published prices for the same service.


The Temperature's Rising: Preparing for the Health Effects of Climate Change - 04/30/2020

In Texas, climate change has been blamed for contributing to the severity of several weather and health events, including the 2011 statewide drought, the 2012 outbreak of West Nile virus in Dallas, Hurricane Harvey in 2017, and the steadily increasing prevalence of vector-borne diseases like Zika and chikungunya. Here are some of the most important climate-related health problems Texas physicians can expect according to climate scientists and the physician experts Texas Medicine spoke to.