Womens Health

Section 3: Promote Efficient and Effective Models of Care - 01/24/2018

No one worries about the spiraling cost of U.S. health care more than physicians. Our current health care delivery system does too little to coordinate care for patients with expensive-to-manage chronic conditions. We don’t make the most effective use of allied health practitioners. We are requiring physicians to invest in high-dollar health information technology (HIT) systems without ensuring that the investment translates into better patient care.


Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Forum - 12/13/2017

The Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Forum provided opportunities for invited participants to receive updates on the maternal mortality and morbidity challenges specific to Texas, understand current state efforts to improve maternal health, and develop plans to address known barriers through collaboration of experts in medicine and public health.


TMA Forum Seeks Solutions to Texas’ Maternal Mortality Crisis - 09/27/2017

The Texas Medical Association and its Council on Science and Public Health will hold an invitation-only Maternal Safety Forum at the end of this month.


A Disturbing Trend - 09/26/2017

The Texas Department of State Health Services' Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force is attempting to find out why Texas' maternal mortality rate is on the rise.


Obstetricians 2017 Legislative Wins - 08/16/2017

As an obstetricians physician you won some key victories in the 2017 Texas Legislature. That’s because Texas Medical Association — now more than 50,000 members strong — did its part by representing all specialties across Texas, and working closely with physicians like you to protect your time, income, patients, and the community you serve.


Reporting Must Not Interfere With Physician-Patient Relationship - 07/28/2017

As we have stated numerous times, our members’ opinions fall on both sides of the abortion issue, and our comments do not address that personal and private matter. Our comments relate to the components of this legislation that create additional reporting requirements on abortion —requirements that call for details on deeply personal decisions and on medical care, and reporting that does not contribute to public health.


2015 Legislative Wins: Emergency Medicine Physicians - 07/06/2017

2015 Legislative Wins: Emergency Medicine Physicians


TMA's 2015 Legislative Victories Build on Past Successes - 07/06/2017

In a 2015 legislative session marked by new state leadership, new money, and big shifts in how Texas' major health care agencies oversee care delivery, the house of medicine remained as steady as ever in its mission to ensure physicians can give their patients the best care possible. That resolve paid off in significant victories that largely build on the Texas Medical Association's 2013 legislative successes.


Texas Physicians Helping Draft Maternal Patient Care Rules - 07/06/2017

Physicians from several state pediatric, maternal and general medical societies sounded off recently on draft proposed rules regarding the levels of care hospitals must provide maternity patients. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Perinatal Advisory Council (PAC) sought the input, which will be reviewed and incorporated, as appropriate, before being opened to formal public comment.


Have Your Say on Hospital Levels of Care for Maternity Patients - 06/01/2017

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Perinatal Advisory Council (PAC) are seeking physician input as they create rules on the levels of care hospitals must provide maternity patients.


Texas Medicine Inbox: June 2017 - 05/25/2017

Inbox — June 2017 Tex Med. 2017 113(6) 6. I read with great interest the commentary, "Epidural Use Disparities by Spanish Speaking People in Labor," by Estevan A. Apodaca, MD, a family medicine resident,


Get the Tools You Need to Treat Postpartum Depression - 05/15/2017

Texas clinicians now have a comprehensive online resource for screening, diagnosing, and treating postpartum depression.


RIP House Bill 1158 - 05/09/2017

Texas has the nation's highest maternal mortality rate. HB 1158 was designed to save women's lives by increasing access to information for at-risk women. Representative Cain talked it to death six days before Mothers Day.


Reduce Maternal Deaths by Targeting Causes - 04/13/2017

Tragically, suicide is one of the top causes of maternal deaths in Texas, underscoring the need for prenatal and postpartum care to ensure women are screened and referred to mental health services before symptoms get worse. Substance abuse is another significant contributor to maternal mortality, with the nationwide opioid epidemic fueling the crisis. Opioid use among U.S. pregnant women increased fivefold between 2000 and 2009. Opioids are a drug class that includes prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, and illicit substances such as heroin. As opioid use has increased, we have seen a parallel increase in the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) among newborns — a neonatal drug-withdrawal condition primarily caused by the mother using opioids. NAS has become a public health concern in Texas: between 2010 and 2014, rates of NAS in Texas increased by 51.3 percent.


Teen Mothers Should Have Access to Contraception - 03/30/2017

The teen birth rate has declined in recent years in Texas. However, about 20 percent of teen births are to teens who already have a child. We want our patients to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. We know there are a variety of socioeconomic and health risks associated with unplanned pregnancies of our young patients. Reducing barriers to contraception, including long-acting reversible contraceptives, helps guarantee fewer unplanned pregnancies and abortions, and more education and economic opportunities for these families.


Complications-Report Requirement Would Invade Patient-Physician Relationship - 03/30/2017

HB 2692 requires reporting of abortion complications, and it sets forth a list of what those reportable complications are. The bill also requires that the report of complications “meet the federal reporting requirements that mandate the most specific, accurate, and complete coding and reporting for the highest level of specificity.” A description of the complication is not the same as a specific diagnosis code. Furthermore, the bill does not define what coding it is referring to. Finally, this reporting requirement requires strict compliance; there are no exceptions for inaccurate or incomplete coding. In TMA’s view, these add up to an unworkable standard.


Legislation Could Infringe on Patient-Physician Relationship(1) - 03/08/2017

HB 35 directs the Health and Human Services Commission to adopt rules on disposal of embryonic and fetal remains. TMA’s members fall on both sides of the abortion debate so our comments today apply solely to concerns related to adopting legislation with the difficult goal of assuring appropriate disposal of embryonic and fetal tissue as proposed in HB 35. This issue is very complex — involving the very personal pregnancy experiences of thousands of families and also their physicians. Legislation in this area must involve communication and collaboration with physicians, health care facilities, and the public.


Legislation Could Infringe on Patient-Physician Relationship - 03/08/2017

HB 35 directs the Health and Human Services Commission to adopt rules on disposal of embryonic and fetal remains. TMA’s members fall on both sides of the abortion debate so our comments today apply solely to concerns related to adopting legislation with the difficult goal of assuring appropriate disposal of embryonic and fetal tissue as proposed in HB 35. This issue is very complex — involving the very personal pregnancy experiences of thousands of families and also their physicians. Legislation in this area must involve communication and collaboration with physicians, health care facilities, and the public.


Set State Agency Worksite Breastfeeding Policies - 03/06/2017

We believe requiring state agencies to develop worksite breastfeeding policies will help identify and reduce the barriers to breastfeeding for working mothers. We applaud Rep. González’s effort to support working women.


Texas Medicine Inbox: March 2017 - 03/01/2017

Inbox — March 2017  Tex Med. 2017;113(3):7. I read with great interest and astonishment the commentary in the November issue of Texas Medicine titled "Epidural Use Disparities by Spanish-Speaking Patients in Labor" by Estevan Apodaca, MD, and Swati Avashia, MD.  They asserted the disparity in epidural use they witnessed was part of health care's long history of providing inferior care to minority and marginalized patients. They concluded that this concerning trend was due to a lack of effort to educate the patient and that not doing so was an acceptable practice. They concluded the Spanish-speaking patient should have the same opportunity as the English-speaking patient to make an informed decision concerning labor pain management.  I am a maternal-fetal medicine physician in private practice. I have practiced obstetrics for 34 years, and I am on staff at several hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and in East Texas. I have never observed the deliberate mistreatment of Spanis...


TMA Physician Leader to Senators: Protect Safety Net, Women’s Health Programs - 02/17/2017

Dr. Van Ramshorst urged the committee to “protect vital Health and Human Services safety net programs, including Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program [CHIP], and women’s health programs.” He stresses that ensuring 4 million Texans have access to affordable preventive, primary, and specialty care is an investment in their health and in the state’s fiscal health. He lists adequately funding prenatal care to protect the health of pregnant mothers and their newborns, reversing the trend of increasing maternal mortality, and ensuring adequate pay for physicians who care for Medicaid patients among the benefits of sufficient funding, ultimately preserving access to care.


Fetal Tissue Disposal Rule Suspended Until Jan. 6 - 12/15/2016

Over the summer the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) posted draft revisions to its administrative rules on special waste from health care facilities and on Dec. 9 adopted the final rules.


Improve LARC Access With New Toolkit - 10/10/2016

You can help make long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) available to all Texas women with the help of a new toolkit developed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in conjunction with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist. LARCs provide a highly effective contraceptive option with high rates of patient satisfaction and continued use. Improving access to LARCs is a TMA priority.


Healthy Texas Women Program Began on July 1 - 10/10/2016

On July 1, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) launched Healthy Texas Women, a new program that provides family planning services, screenings, and immunizations for low-income women and girls. HHSC expects Healthy Texas Women, a combination of the Texas Women's Health Program and the Expanded Primary Health Care Program, to serve at least 300,000 women. HHSC says more than 5,000 health care professionals — up nearly 30 percent from 3,800 providers two years ago — all across Texas are part of Healthy Texas Women.


TMA Committee Weighs in on Women's Health Proposals - 10/10/2016

TMA's Committee on Reproductive, Women's, and Perinatal Health has submitted two comment letters to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) concerning DSHS’ plans for some women’s health services.