News

Caution Urged as Officials Continue to Monitor Coronavirus - 02/28/2020

Health officials continue to monitor the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19, but “the risk for all Texans remains low,” the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said.


Sparking a Conversation on Vaping - 02/28/2020

A panel of lawmakers and physicians participated in a state Parent Teacher Association (PTA) town hall event at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday. The panel discussed the vaping health epidemic; issues with implementation of a state law passed last year that raised the minimum age to use or purchase tobacco products – including vaping devices – to 21; and the need for support to help students quit.


These Medicine-Friendly Candidates Deserve Your Vote - 02/28/2020

TEXPAC, the Texas Medical Association’s bipartisan political arm, has endorsed nearly 150 candidates from both parties for the March 3 elections. TEXPAC’s four-step endorsement process leans heavily on the recommendations of local physician leaders.


Be Wise Grants Deadline Extended - 02/27/2020

Thinking about hosting a Texas Medical Association Be Wise – ImmunizeSM education event or shot clinic? If so, you’re in luck because the deadline to apply for a Local Impact Grant to help fund the event has been extended to March 15.


Medicaid Seeks Physicians for EHR Audit Appeals Panel - 02/27/2020

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is accepting applications for its Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Audit Ad Hoc Review Panel.


Feds Offer Strategies For Tackling EHR Burden - 02/27/2020

The federal government is hoping to give physicians a hand in managing the burdens of one of their foremost time-eaters: Electronic health records (EHRs). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week released a report titled Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs.


Healthy Life Requires More Than Just Good Health Care, Survey Says - 02/26/2020

People need good health care, but 57% of Texans know that isn’t everything when it comes to being healthy. Instead, factors like where people live, work, and relax have a bigger impact, most Texans told a recent survey.


Learn More About Texas Youth Health at Symposium - 02/26/2020

If you’re interested in learning more about keeping Texas teens healthy and you’d like to make new connections to thought leaders and your peers, make plans to attend the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s ninth-annual symposium, set for April 6-8 in San Antonio.


Improve Your Overall Wellness With TMA’s Help - 02/26/2020

If your goal is to improve your wellness this year, the Texas Medical Association Committee on Physician Health and Wellness can really help. The committee has created online courses, toolkits, and free exercises to encourage health and well-being for physicians, residents, and medical students.


Spread the Word: Texas Needs Organ Donors - 02/25/2020

The Texas Legislature in 2019 designated Wednesday, Feb. 26, “Texas Bone Marrow, Blood, and Organ Donation Registry Day." It's an effort inspired by Anh Nguyen Reiss, MD, a Houston obstetrician and gynecologist who died in 2016 of myelodysplastic syndrome. Her unsuccessful effort to find a bone marrow donor spurred greater education about the need for more donors of all types.


Which Presidential Candidate Stands for What Again? - 02/24/2020

A group of dedicated Harris County physicians has a cure for “too many candidates confusion disorder.” They compiled a simple table of the candidates’ positions on seven key health care policy issues based on the candidates’ official websites and The Washington Post’s “We’re Asking 2020 Democrats Where They Stand on Key Issues.”


PMP Checks Won’t Be Necessary for In-Facility Medications, TMB Says - 02/21/2020

Thanks to Texas Medical Association advocacy, the Texas Medical Boardhas refocused its guidance on when physicians will be required to check the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) before prescribing certain medications starting March 1.


Update: TMB Clears Up Questions About PMP Checks for Inpatient Care - 02/21/2020

Will you be required to check the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) when a patient is admitted to a hospital or emergency department? Will you be required to check PMP Aware upon admission? What if you need to prescribe those medications while the patient is in that facility? The Texas Medical Board issued guidance on those very questions this week.


Zika Update: Mosquito Repellent Covered Under State Health Programs - 02/20/2020

Mosquito repellant prescriptions are covered under Medicaid and other state programs, including the Healthy Texas Women Program. And although those programs require patients to have a prescription for mosquito repellant, patients don’t need to see a physician to get one.


Connect with Students, Physicians: Volunteer for TMA Foundation’s Gala - 02/20/2020

Volunteer now for the TMA Foundation Gala, which will be held in conjunction with TMA’s annual meeting, TexMed 2020, in May.


Reporting System Makes Documenting PMP Checks Easy - 02/19/2020

As you probably already know, beginning March 1, you’ll be required to check the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program, known as PMP Aware, any time you prescribe certain medications. To help you document those checks, PMP Aware allows you to download PDFs that you can add to a patient’s medical record.


TMA Opposes Attempts to Expand Audiologists’ Scope - 02/14/2020

Proposed federal laws that would give audiologists unlimited access to Medicare patients without a physician referral could lead to lasting, and expensive, harm to patients, medicine once again told U.S. Senate and House leadership this week.


Your Website + SEO = A Perfect Match - 02/14/2020

If you would like to learn how to build your online credibility and reach patients through effective SEO, tune into a free, 45-minute webinar by Officite, a Texas Medical Association endorsed vendor.


TMA Delivered For You In 2019 - 02/13/2020

From legislative wins in Austin to protecting patients and ensuring that physicians are fairly compensated for their care, the Texas Medical Association looked out for your best interests every day of the year in 2019. Here are TMA’s top 10 accomplishments during 2019.


TMA to Trump: Do Not Expand NPPs’ Scope of Practice - 02/12/2020

When President Donald Trump released an executive order earlier this month that would, in part, expand the scope of practice of nonphysician practitioners, the Texas Medical Association vowed to keep physicians at the head of the health care team. On Monday, TMA President David Fleeger, MD, took a major step to do that, urging President Trump and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to remove that language entirely.


John Zerwas, MD, Honored for Service as Texas Lawmaker - 02/12/2020

The American Medical Association on Tuesday awarded former Texas State Rep. John Zerwas, MD, its Dr. Nathan Award for Outstanding Government Service.


Submit 2019 QPP Data by March 31 to Avoid a 7% Medicare Payment Cut - 02/12/2020

The data submission period for Medicare’s 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP) is under way and closes on March 31. If you haven’t started the process, now is the time to ensure your data for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is in order and submit it in time to make corrections by the deadline, if needed.


Have Fun and Network at TMA Foundation Gala - 02/12/2020

The art of medicine and the artistic side of Fort Worth will be celebrated at the TMA Foundation gala, which helps support TMA’s health improvement, science, and quality of care programs, and family of medicine community health initiatives.


Medicaid Grant Could Pay for Your HIE Connection - 02/12/2020

Have you or your practice been considering connecting your electronic health record (EHR) to a health information exchange (HIE), but keep getting hung up by the cost? Well, here’s some good news. Three public HIEs recently were awarded contracts for a Medicaid grant that could pay for you to connect to their exchanges.


TMA Wants to Hear Your Thoughts on Practicing in Texas - 02/11/2020

Since 1990, the Texas Medical Association has asked Texas physicians for their thoughts on health care practice, the economic realities of practicing medicine in the state, and what issues they believe lawmakers should take on. Please answer this month’s survey and let us know how TMA can best advocate for you.