Magazine story

Talk to Patients About: Meningococcal B - 05/20/2019

Meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine is the new kid on the block for children and adolescents, having won Food and Drug Administration approval in 2014. This presents a problem for physicians: Because there is an older vaccine for the other types of meningococcal bacteria, many patients who’ve had that vaccine wrongly believe they’re also protected against MenB.


Profile: Beekeeper John Haley, MD - 05/20/2019

When Garland ophthalmologist John Haley, MD, is not wearing a white coat taking care of patients, you might find him in a beekeeper’s suit tending to his six beehives.


False Impression: Medicine Says Medicare Report Inflates Success of Quality Program - 05/20/2019

High participation, “significant strides,” overwhelming success. That was the picture the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services painted in a March report on the first year of the Quality Payment Program. But a closer look by the Texas Medical Association raises serious doubts about CMS’ numbers, transparency, and cheerleading – so much so that TMA and seven other state medical associations are asking the agency to rescind the report.


Working Toward Wellness: TMA’s Physician Health and Wellness Exchange Tackles Burnout - 05/20/2019

TMA’s Physician Health and Wellness Exchange helps physicians find ways to fight burnout.


Medical Futility Law Sustained - 05/20/2019

Court tosses out challenge to ethics committee review of end-of-life care.


Final Verdict? Case Tests Court's Ability to Overturn a Jury Verdict - 05/20/2019

It was an overwhelming, 12-0 verdict – a jury’s unanimous rejection of a negligence case against a Laredo physician. Then, a judge took that decision away and ordered a new trial – not because of jury misconduct, or any procedural stumble that usually negates a court decision. It was taken away, essentially, because the judge said so.


Inspiring Choices: Mentorship Can Boost African-American Representation in Medicine - 05/20/2019

African Americans are underrepresented in medicine. Mentorship can help them choose medical careers.


Medicare Muzzle? New Rules May Make Physicians Reluctant to Speak Up - 05/20/2019

New Medicare rules on local coverage determinations may make physicians reluctant to speak their minds.


What’s Killing Texans? Fixing Texas' System for Tracking Deaths - 05/20/2019

Distorted death statistics inaccurately portray how people are dying, with significant public health implications. System changes and physician education could help.


An In-Your-Face Confrontation With the Anti-Vaccine Movement - 05/10/2019

Call it fate, karma, destiny. It was written in his stars, in his professional DNA. It had to happen. Houston pediatrician and microbiologist Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, just had to write Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism.


Texas Medicine Magazine - 05/02/2019

Texas Medicine Magazine


Out in the Cold: Health Plan Blamed For Major Prompt-Pay Mess - 05/01/2019

Molina Healthcare of Texas isn’t the only insurer to give physicians prompt-pay problems, and it won’t be the last. Some of the practices trying to recover payments blame not just the health plan, but also the extended response time from the state regulator overseeing insurance products and conduct: the Texas Department of Insurance, which says it’s hiring staff and making other changes to improve that response.


Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization in Texas 1999 to 2010 - 05/01/2019

The primary purpose of the study was to examine the role public sector payers (Medicare and Medicaid) and providers (Texas state mental health hospitals) play in psychiatric hospitalization, using Texas annual hospital discharge files from 1999 to 2010. Psychiatric hospitalization, as defined by a primary behavioral health diagnosis (ICD-9 diagnoses 290-314.99) averaged 146,876 discharges per year, approximately 5.24% of all hospitalizations in the state. Children younger than 18 years accounted for 27,035 discharges per year. The top 4 diagnostic groups were depression (29%), bipolar disorder (22%), schizophrenia (18%), and alcohol-drug disorders (14%). More patients with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders were served by the public sector, while more patients with depression or alcohol-drug disorders were served by private insurance. Interestingly, patients with bipolar disorder were distributed relatively evenly across both payment groups and ages. Length of stay decreased fr...


Q&A: SeattleMamaDoc Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, Headlines TexMed 2019 - 05/01/2019

Digital innovator, Seattle pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, will share her expertise at the May 17 opening general session at TexMed 2019 in Dallas. The title of Dr. Swanson’s talk: “How Technology is Transforming Health Care and the Physician-Patient Relationship.” Her answer to that question: “Rapidly and at a pace that’s hard for us to keep up.”


Texas Medicine Back Issues - 05/01/2019

Back Issues


Talk to Patients About: Hepatitis B - 04/30/2019

There are six different vaccines for hepatitis B in the United States, so there’s no shortage of tools to prevent it. Yet in 2016, more than 1,698 people in this country – and more than 780,000 worldwide – died from this viral liver infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization.


Battling Burnout - 04/25/2019

The state most susceptible to burnout is Texas, which registered the lowest morale rate in the Physicians Foundation’s “2016 Survey of America’s Physicians.” Pockets of organized medicine are stepping up to address burnout, to give physicians a place to talk about their problems and grievances, and to rekindle their professional fire.


Federal Bill Would Limit Opioid Scrips for Acute Pain - 04/22/2019

The proposed three-day limit on opioid prescriptions for acute pain would be one of the more impactful provisions for pain doctors and their patients. Exceptions would include prescriptions for chronic pain, cancer care, hospice or end-of-life care, and pain treatment that’s part of palliative care.


Out of the Shadows - 04/22/2019

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


Talk to Patients About: Tetanus - 04/17/2019

Almost all U.S. tetanus cases occur among people who are unvaccinated or did not receive a booster shot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Closing a Loophole: Medicine Works to Clarify MOC Law - 04/17/2019

It was an important law that gave physicians new life, greatly restricting the discrimination they can face based on their maintenance of certification (MOC) status. And yet, opponents may have found a way to circumvent the 2017 legislature’s Senate Bill 1148.


Pushing the Envelope: Match Day, Medicine’s Rite of Passage - 04/17/2019

On March 15, more than 200 medical school seniors, as well as their friends and family, gathered outdoors in Webber Plaza behind the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston. The students were about to learn where they’d be doing their residency training.


Most Valuable Team: Managing Nonphysician Staff Efficiently Can Boost Patient Care and Bottom Line - 04/17/2019

Because state laws and insurer billing requirements governing physician delegation and supervision can be tricky to navigate, practices must stay up to date to avoid potential penalties.


Taking Medicine's Temperature: TMA's 2018 Survey of Texas Physicians - 04/17/2019

TMA’s 2018 Survey of Texas Physicians asked members about their legislative priorities, payer relationships, and practice environment, scope of practice concerns, and much, much more. TMA conducted the email survey in monthly installments between January and August 2018. Here are some highlights.


A Focused Leader: Incoming TMA President David Fleeger, MD - 04/17/2019

Incoming TMA President David Fleeger, MD, sets his sights on protecting the patient-physician relationship and equipping physicians for sea changes affecting medicine.