News

Here’s CDC Guidance for Vaccinations During COVID-19 - 07/01/2020

With so many changes in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, how can physicians and other health care professionals best administer vaccinations safely? To help answer that question, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently produced interim guidance for administering vaccines during a pandemic.


Caution Urged as Officials Continue to Monitor Coronavirus - 07/01/2020

State and federal health officials continue to monitor COVID-19. As of Tuesday afternoon, 159,986 cases and 2,424 deaths have been confirmed in Texas, according to a tracker for Texas COVID-19 cases published by the state Department of State Health Services.


How to Prescribe Controlled Substances Under COVID-19 Waivers - 07/01/2020

If you treat patients with chronic pain, you can temporarily prescribe certain controlled substances during a telemedicine visit under state and federal waivers issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Telemedicine and COVID-19 – What You Need to Know and Do - 07/01/2020

If you would like more help understanding the changes and how to utilize telemedicine to care for your patients, the Texas Medical Association has created several tools and resources for you.


Governor Expands Elective Surgery Suspension to Hospitals in Four South Texas Counties - 06/30/2020

Gov. Greg Abbott today suspended most non-emergent elective surgeries at hospitals in Corpus Christi and three Rio Grande Valley counties to help ensure capacity for COVID-19 patients.


TMA Urges Republican Party to Change In-Person Convention Plans - 06/30/2020

The Texas Medical Association today urged the Republican Party of Texas to rethink its plans to hold its biennial state convention in person amid a recent spike in COVID-19 cases across the state and the Houston area.


Telemedicine Payments Promised, Regulations Eased - 06/29/2020

To help Texas physicians safely and effectively treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, several changes to telemedicine visits have taken effect, including payment for services and which platforms can be used.


Considering Telemedicine in the Wake of COVID-19? - 06/29/2020

Much of America, Texas included, is engaged in a big “what if” conversation about what happens next with the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. Could telemedicine be part of the solution for your practice?


COVID-19 Deadlines for Doctors - 06/29/2020

Upcoming deadlines and extensions in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Telephone-Only Consultation Coverage and Payment Vary - 06/29/2020

The use of telemedicine has been expanded so physicians can safely and effectively treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some people don’t have smartphones with video capability, meaning visits will have to be done via old-fashioned phone calls. Which health plans cover telephone-only patient visits, and what exactly do they pay for?


Texas Medicaid, CHIP Extend Telemedicine Changes Through July - 06/29/2020

As requested by the Texas Medical Association, the Health and Human Services Commission has extended some Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) flexibilities through July 31.


Texas Needs More Action to Curb Tobacco Use, Health Organizations Say - 06/26/2020

While praising recent restrictions on smoking, e-cigarettes, and vaping products, a coalition of Texas health organizations called on state lawmakers to do even more to keep children from using those products.


PPE Distributed to Fort Worth-Area Physicians - 06/26/2020

Some North Texas physicians are about to receive desperately needed personal protective equipment thanks to a partnership between the Texas Medical Association, the Tarrant County Medical Society, and the North Texas Regional Advisory Council.


Texas Vaccine Registry to be Accessible Through EHRs - 06/26/2020

Texas physicians soon will have an easier time accessing and submitting vaccination records when using the Texas Immunization Registry (ImmTrac2), according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, which runs the registry.


What is This “TMA PPE Portal?” - 06/26/2020

The system the Texas Medical Association set up to connect community physicians with state supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been operating since May 1. But judging by calls to the TMA Knowledge Center, Texas physicians still have lots of questions about the TMA PPE Portal.


Watch Your TV for an Important TMA Reminder to Your Patients - 06/26/2020

Texas Medical Association physicians – and a very important message to your patients – are coming to a television station near you. TMA in May produced a public service announcement (PSA) to remind patients to seek treatment for any medical conditions – incuding COVID-19. TV stations in your city have told TMA they plan to air the PSA.


Governor Reinstates Business Restrictions As COVID-19 Cases Rise - 06/26/2020

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday once again limited several types of businesses and activities in an attempt to slow the rapid growth of new COVID-19 cases statewide.


Governor Suspends Most Elective Hospital Surgeries in State’s Largest Counties - 06/25/2020

Gov. Greg Abbott has suspended most non-emergent elective surgeries at hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties in response to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks.


Payers Extend Claims Filing Deadlines - 06/25/2020

Some health plans have relaxed their timely claims filing limits as part of their COVID-19 policies. Payers have adopted various temporary deadlines and extensions, so be sure you file within each payer’s timeline if you choose to delay filing claims.


Insurance Payments for Telemedicine Visits Extended to September - 06/24/2020

Texas-regulated insurers must continue to pay for telemedicine services, including mental health visits, at the same rate as in-person visits through Sept. 12, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) said today.


TexMed 2020 Was Canceled, But You Can Still Earn CME - 06/24/2020

Although Texas physicians couldn’t gather together for TexMed 2020 in May, some of the educational sessions and presentations that were scheduled for the annual conference are now available free to members in the Texas Medical Association Education Center. 


Rapid Rise in COVID-19 Along Border Concerns Area Physicians - 06/24/2020

Physicians from counties near and along the Texas-Mexico border gathered virtually Tuesday to explore ways to protect patients from COVID-19, which continues to spread rapidly throughout the region.  


Which Plans Pay for Telemedicine Services – and for How Long? - 06/24/2020

Temporary changes to state and federal rules, particularly regarding payment for services, have helped push up the new demand for and use of telemedicine. But what does each type of plan pay for visits? The Texas Medical Association has compiled information for various types of plans.


How Health Plans Are Covering COVID-19 Testing and Treatment - 06/24/2020

Many health insurers in Texas are waiving patient costs associated with COVID-19. Last week in a news release, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Insurance asked insurers and HMOs to cover testing consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, and telemedicine visits.


Here Is the Latest Information on How to Treat COVID-19 Patients - 06/23/2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Texas, our understanding of how best to treat patients has evolved. That’s why the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force has updated its frequently asked questions (FAQ) on COVID-19 treatment.