Magazine story

Ready for Business: MBA programs broaden physicians' skills - 09/28/2022

A growing number of Texas physicians obtain MBA degrees to sharpen their business acumen, understand finance, and prepare for leadership roles.


The Next-Gen Practice: How Millennials Are Transforming Medicine - 09/28/2022

Millennials, now the largest living adult generation in the U.S., are searching for on-demand care, transparent pricing, and more supportive workplaces, providing the impetus for new practice models and for existing practices to adapt.


You've Got Direct Mail: Direct Messaging Offers Practice Benefits - 09/28/2022

Direct messaging is a low-cost, electronic communication method similar to email that allows physicians to exchange protected health information over the internet in a secure, HIPAA-compliant manner.


Making a SAFER EHR: This MIPS measure can help - 09/28/2022

Physicians have not always been big fans of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), but one aspect of MIPS can help physicians protect electronic health records (EHRs) from errors, hacking, and similar problems.


Moving People Together - 09/26/2022

Institutional racism creates obstacles to medical care. TMA’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force aims to remove them.


Physicians Need High-Value Health Information Exchange to Spur Adoption - 09/23/2022

Although health IT has progressed exponentially in the decade since the Health Information Technology and Economic Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was implemented, physicians are still challenged when it comes to interoperability. 


What's New in Value-Based Care - 09/23/2022

Once dubbed unicorns, value-based care (VBC) models that eschew fee-for-service payment in favor of rewarding quality have materialized; the Texas Medical Association aims to be on the crest of this wave with the formation of its new Task Force on Alternative Payment Models.


Strength in Numbers: Women Physicians Seek to Change the Culture of Medicine - 09/22/2022

In Texas, women accounted for 36% of active physicians as of September, just under the national rate of 37% and more than double their share 25 years ago. They now outnumber men among Texas medical school enrollees, suggesting they may account for most of the physician workforce in future decades.


Pandemic Pressures:COVID-19 Poses Serious Behavioral Health Challenges - 09/20/2022

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.


Under Construction: Alternative Payment Models Pose Challenges for Specialists - 09/12/2022

Many physician specialists face a conundrum: Without a dedicated alternative payment model in place for their specialty, there's little incentive for them to break away from the fee-for-service paradigm.


Reaching for the Cure: Texas Medicaid Doesn't Cover Hep C Drugs Until Patients Are Seriously Ill - 09/07/2022

Infectious disease specialist Ogechika Alozie, MD, has a ready-made solution for patients diagnosed with hepatitis C now that five medications can rid patients of this deadly disease. But for Texas Medicaid patients, there’s a catch. The program does not pay for the cure based just on a diagnosis. Instead, Medicaid pays only after a blood test, biopsy, or sonogram shows the liver is so badly damaged that it’s on the verge of cirrhosis. At that point, patients who get the medication will be cured of their hepatitis C but more vulnerable to other deadly illnesses, like liver cancer.


Talk to Patients About: Tetanus - 09/01/2022

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.


Hurricane Harvey: One Year Later - 09/01/2022

Studies of the public health, mental health, and environmental effects of the storm could take years to complete. Meanwhile, physician practices share their own lessons learned.


Information Unblocked: Rules Requiring Docs to Give Patients Prompt Access to EHRs Prove Mostly Useful - 08/24/2022

The information blocking regulations stemming from the 21st Century Cures Act, which Congress passed in 2016, broaden patients' access to their electronic medical records and have proven mostly useful since taking effect in April 2021.


MIPSperceptions: Study Confirms Doctors’ View of Medicare Program as Burdensome - 08/22/2022

Physicians’ perceptions of Medicare’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) have run along these and other unflattering lines since MIPS first launched in 2017. But a Physicians Foundation-funded study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine sought to better quantify how physician practice leaders perceive MIPS, one of the two participation tracks in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program. (The Texas Medical Association has representation on the Physicians Foundation’s board of directors.)


Generational Pull: Vivek Rao, MD, Has Passion for Medicine in His DNA - 08/15/2022

Odessa allergist Vivek Rao, MD, comes from a family of physicians and inherited their passion for organized medicine.


Talk to Patients About: Polio - 08/08/2022

Polio once terrified Americans. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the virus crippled around 35,000 Americans a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because polio often attacked abdominal muscles used to breathe, many died or permanently needed a respirator called an iron lung.


Texas Medicine Magazine - 08/01/2022

Texas Medicine Magazine


Getting Another Shot: Physicians Combat Post-COVID Vaccine Hesitancy - 07/29/2022

Thousands of Texas children are getting back-to-school vaccinations before starting the new academic year. As they do, Texas physicians see evidence that skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccines has turned into skepticism about all types of vaccines, infecting once-healthy public perceptions about childhood immunizations.


Countering Controversy: How to Have Difficult Conversations with Patients - 07/29/2022

New CME from the Texas Medical Association shows physicians how to address tough topics with patients.


Making a Comeback: Texas Leads the Nation in Congenital Syphilis - 07/29/2022

Texas leads the nation in congenital syphilis cases, and physicians are key to bringing both syphilis and congenital syphilis under control again.


Pay Now or Pay Later? Supreme Court Adds Clarity Around Negligence Awards - 07/29/2022

Case by case, courts are clarifying a piece of Texas’ tort reform law that’s meant to keep physicians from paying part of a medical negligence award in one prohibitive and devastating gulp.


The Only Alternative: Medicaid Practices May Not Be Viable Without Value-Based Care - 07/29/2022

For years, the Texas Medical Association has pushed for a significant Medicaid physician pay bump every year that the Texas Legislature meets, without success. As long as that streak continues, physicians looking to make Medicaid more worthwhile for their bottom line have to find another way. Value-based systems – and the alternative payment models that drive them – have been the path Medicaid managed care organizations and practitioners have been methodically walking in recent years.


Value-Based Care for All: Practices of All Sizes Can Make the Switch - 07/29/2022

Moving away from fee-for-service requires taking on risk as well as hiring staff, launching new programs, and investing in data analysis, but practices of all stripes have made the switch successfully.


Talk to Patients About: Human Papillomavirus Vaccine - 07/29/2022

The vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most effective life-saving measures in medicine, and yet it has long suffered from poor public perception.