Magazine Story

GME Momentum: Preserving Texas' Steady Progress in Building Residency Positions - 04/08/2021

TMA fights state budget cuts to preserve Texas’ steady progress in building residency positions.


Texas Medicine Magazine - 04/02/2021

Texas Medicine Magazine


Texas Medicine Back Issues - 04/02/2021

Back Issues


Talk to Patients About: Vaccines and Cancer - 04/01/2021

Vaccines are one of medicine’s best tools against cancer. The shots for human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B prevent a range of cancers and save thousands of lives each year. But anti-vaccine advocates have tried – incorrectly – to paint just the opposite picture in several ways.


Keeping Children Safe: Prevention a More Prevalent Approach to Address Child Abuse, Neglect - 04/01/2021

Physicians, especially pediatricians and family doctors, are trained to recognize signs of abuse and neglect and are legally obligated to report them. That is a vital approach for combatting the problem. However, physicians and other child abuse experts are turning more and more toward prevention.


Routine Screen: Regular Testing Needed to End HIV Epidemic - 04/01/2021

Testing is one of the best ways to combat HIV infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine testing for patients between the ages of 13 to 64. Yet, fewer than 40% of eligible people have ever had an HIV test, according to a 2019 CDC study.


Threat Level High: Ransomware a Bigger Threat - 04/01/2021

COVID-19 has made a booming illicit business – ransomware – boom even louder. And the more medical practices and organizations fall victim to ransomware cyberattacks, the more illustrative it becomes how important it is to prevent such an attack.


Federal Fairness? Congressional Measure Addresses Out-of-Network Payments - 04/01/2021

Congress in December 2020 passed surprise-billing legislation as part of a wide-ranging coronavirus relief bill, tying a bow on federal lawmakers’ primary health care focus just prior to COVID-19. Texas already had set up its own system for state-regulated plans in 2019 with Senate Bill 1264, which took effect last year.


Shelter in a Storm: Liability Legislation Would Protect Physicians in Disaster - 04/01/2021

The Texas Alliance for Patient Access (TAPA) announced in early March that Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) would soon file COVID-19 liability legislation that would enhance liability protections to shield more physicians from lawsuits for care delivered during pandemics, hurricanes, and other catastrophic events that inject chaos into their good-faith medical efforts.


Medicine Trains Its Sight on Scope Expansions - 04/01/2021

A court decision siding with chiropractors is the latest of many scope tests in the legislature and the law.


Another Great Match: Most Texas Medical Graduates Matched With Residency Positions - 04/01/2021

Texas medical students have enjoyed some highly successful Match Weeks in recent years, but 2020 was the best since the Texas Medical Association Council of Medical School Deans began tracking match data in 2014.


Staying the Course: Medicine Enters an Unprecedented Session at the Texas Legislature - 02/28/2021

The way the Texas Legislature conducts business during the 2021 session may look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Texas Medical Association’s commitment to improving health care remains the same. Some of those goals are up against deep cuts to state agency budgets. At the same time, however, the pandemic has created opportunities for medicine to bend lawmakers’ ear on some of its longstanding goals, including advancing access to care, vaccines, health coverage, and telemedicine.


Accelerating RPM: COVID-19 Speeds Adoption of Remote Patient Monitoring - 02/28/2021

Before March 2020, remote patient monitoring (RPM) was a tool endocrinologist Thomas Blevins, MD, used to help patients with diabetes track and regulate blood sugar levels and report the results back to him. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many doctors to turn to telemedicine, Dr. Blevins and the nine other physicians on staff at Austin Diabetes and Endocrinology had to rev up their RPM use.


Wrong Directive: Legal Shifts on End-of-Life Care Concern Physicians - 02/27/2021

Challenges to Texas laws governing end-of-life care, whether through legislative rewrites or judicial override, are nothing new. The recent success of those challenges is. In particular, two recent erosions have physicians like Houston palliative care specialist Mark Casanova, MD, chagrined and concerned about the future of doctors’ role in end-of-life treatment.


Outrageous Overreach Medicine Fights Broad Documentation Requests - 02/27/2021

When Andrew Indresano, MD, got a subpoena in January 2019, he found it “a little shocking” and “really invasive.” The Fort Worth orthopedic surgeon wasn’t even part of the personal-injury lawsuit for which he was being asked to produce a backward-looking swath of documents.


Leading Innovation: Physician Entrepreneur Develops App to Engage Patients - 02/27/2021

In 2015, Austin cardiologist Manish Chauhan, MD, decided to finally act on an idea he’d been knocking around for a while – something to fill a void he’d witnessed when it came to engaging patients in their care.


Spotlight on Vaccines: Pandemic May Open Gateway to Improve Vaccination Rates in Texas - 02/27/2021

The uneven rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in December created at least one bright spot for Texas physicians: It highlighted how the state could make vaccination more efficient.


No Escape: COVID-19 Continues to Exacerbate Physician Burnout - 02/09/2021

The malaise in physician practice long known as burnout – a term doctors increasingly balk at – has been exacerbated by the pandemic, as an extensive survey by the Physicians Foundation recently showed. It’s created its own stressors and made existing ones worse.


Hungering for a Solution: Physicians Can Help Tackle Food Insecurity - 02/01/2021

Not long after COVID-19 hit Texas last March, pediatricians at Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) began screening patients for food insecurity. The timing was coincidental but fortunate given the pandemic’s economic toll.


A Class By Themselves: Texas’ Newest Med Schools Adjust to COVID-19 - 02/01/2021

Texas opened two new medical schools in July – the University of Houston College of Medicine in Houston and Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Conroe. Thanks to COVID-19, both opened under circumstances that would have seemed bizarre just a year ago.


Talk to Patients About: Vaccines and SIDS - 02/01/2021

Over the years, several vaccines have been blamed for SIDS, including those for pertussis, tetanus, diphtheria, Hemophilus influenzae type B, polio, and hepatitis B. This misconception has triggered a lot of scientific study to find out if vaccines could, in fact, cause SIDS. However, multiple studies and safety reviews have concluded that the answer is no, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


When the Fight Becomes Personal: Physicians Share Their Stories of Contracting COVID-19 - 02/01/2021

It’s no surprise that many physicians were among the more than 1.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas last year. Texas Medicine spoke with three Texas physicians who contracted COVID-19 to learn how the disease affected them physically and impacted their outlook as caregivers.


Commentary: Hard Lessons Learned - 02/01/2021

Every pandemic is different, but I think there are some hard lessons we’ve learned during this process that we would be wise to take to heart. Below are what I consider three of the most important ones.


Commentary: This Is Not a Drill - 02/01/2021

On Jan. 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus, later named “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2), in the U.S. At the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) we realized it was only a matter of time before the virus arrived in Texas. By Jan. 31, we activated the DSHS State Medical Operations Center to prepare for the coming crisis.


The Customer Is Always Right? Patient-Reported Outcome Measures Have Fans and Detractors - 01/26/2021

For too long, some doctors say measures of a physician’s quality of care have been about process: the average length of a patient stay, for example, or a patient’s readmission rate. The bottom line is results, and that’s why a shift to patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures is necessary. However, even proponents of PRO measures note that collecting the information from patients for those metrics places burdens on physicians, and some remain skeptical of bonuses and penalties tied to a measure that derives from a subjective factor: what patients think.