Stories written by Sean Price

TMA-backed Bill Could’ve Curbed Flu Deaths - 02/22/2018

A bill last year would have strengthened infection-control programs in long-term care facilities, including requiring those facilities to make flu testing available. It died in committee.


TMA Sends Almost $750,000 to Harvey-Affected Physicians - 02/09/2018

Thanks in part to the generosity of Texas physicians, TMA has provided almost $750,000 in assistance to 53 practices damaged by Hurricane Harvey.


Women Outnumber Men in Texas Med Schools’ Class of 2021 - 02/05/2018

For the first time in 14 years, more women than men enrolled in Texas’ medical schools in fall 2017, an increase that reflects first-year enrollment figures nationwide.


Can Texas' Physicians Be as Diverse as Texas? - 02/03/2018

The United States and Texas have a chronic shortage of doctors, but the shortage of minority physicians is even more acute. To address this, and the health disparities that come with it, Texas medical schools are working to increase minority enrollment, but challenges remain.


CDC: South Texas Saw Spike in Zika-Related Birth Defects - 02/01/2018

U.S. regions where Zika is most prevalent ― including South Texas ― saw a 21-percent jump in Zika-related birth defects in the last half of 2016 compared with the first part of that year, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  


Obit: TMA Loses a Key Player in Liability Insurance Reform - 01/30/2018

Austin gastroenterologist William G. Gamel, MD, a TMA past president whose service to medicine included helping bring liability insurance reform to Texas, died Dec. 14. He was 81.


Medicaid Credentialing Made Simple - 01/10/2018

A new partnership by the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Association of Health Plans will soon streamline the process of getting credentialed ― and recredentialed ― for Medicaid health plans.


Does Texas Need More Medical Schools? - 01/10/2018

By 2020, Texas will be opening three new medical schools. Will there be enough residency positions for all the new students?


Can Texas Do Death Better? - 01/10/2018

Filling out death certificates can be confusing for Texas physicians, and vital health information often gets left off of forms. Because of this, officials don’t have accurate information on how Texans are dying.


Texas HPV Vaccination Rates Lagging National Rates, Study Shows - 12/08/2017

Texas is rapidly falling behind the rest of the country in vaccinating young people against human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a report released this week by The University of Texas System Office of Heath Affairs.


Bad Medicine - 11/20/2017

How can physicians safely get rid of old medications and encourage patients to do the same? For generations, people have flushed old prescriptions down the toilet or have held on to them. But these methods can lead to a potentially dangerous situation. 


Expecting the Unexpected - 11/17/2017

Anything From a Simple Power Outage to a Category 5 Hurricane Can Shut Down a Medical Practice. How Can Physicians Make That Shutdown as Temporary as Possible? Practice Management Feature — December 2017 Tex


Crisis in the Country - 11/01/2017

Since 2010, Texas has seen more rural hospitals close than has any other state, leaving huge gaps in health care; however, the state's rural areas have options for maintaining health care facilities.


Marketing Is Not a Luxury ― Marketing Is a Necessity - 10/26/2017

Physicians who work in small practices constantly face a basic marketing question: What's the best way to sell myself and my business to the community? Because few physicians studied business principles, many won't know the answer. That's why the Texas Medical Association is publishing a book titled Marketing Smart: A Guide for Medical Practices.


Borrowing Trouble? - 10/25/2017

Education debt is a growing problem that heavily influences which students choose the medical field and discourages many low-income and minority students.


What You Need to Know About ACEs - 09/28/2017

Medical evidence shows that the more abuse and neglect children endure, the greater their chances for developing physical and mental health problems over time. Adverse childhood experiences can be a contributing cause for health behaviors that place an individual at risk for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, depression, and heart disease.


Heavy Resistance - 09/27/2017

Prior authorizations started as a way to control the cost of prescription drugs. But in recent years, they've ballooned into an industry within the medical industry ― one that touches almost everything doctors do for patients. Agreements between health plans and participating physicians now regularly include rules that allow insurers to require prior authorization on the medical need for surgery, imaging, and medication ― in fact, just about every kind of treatment or test.


The Problems of Parental Leave - 09/21/2017

The United States is the only major industrialized country in the world to not require paid parental leave. Numerous studies have shown that allowing parents time with a newborn makes the child and the parents healthier, both physically and mentally. Many physicians, especially those who work in practices with five or fewer doctors, worry about how to pay for parental leave for themselves and their staff.


Fulfilling a Dream - 09/02/2017

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine has largely dispensed with lectures and focuses more on group learning and practical experience. This and other innovations dovetail with the school's focus on public health, which is vital in a region notorious for high poverty and chronic health problems.


Public Health's Lean Year - 07/25/2017

Medicine's agenda advanced on many fronts in the 2017 Texas Legislature, but it made only modest gains in public health. The most significant came in a package of reforms and budget increases for mental health care. Other victories included the passage of House Bill 62, a statewide ban on texting while driving, and House Bill 3576, which provides resources to the Texas Department of State Health Services to track, study, and prevent the spread of Zika. Medicine kept several bad public health bills bottled up in committee.


Thinking Big - 07/25/2017

Most public health measures languished in the 85th Texas Legislature, but those for mental health care stood out as a giant exception. Lawmakers passed more than a dozen bills aimed at improving mental health care. And at a time when most state budgets were slashed, funding for mental health care rose ― by a lot.


It Changes Their Lives - 07/25/2017

Organ transplants are acknowledged to be the best ― often the only ― treatment for organ failure; however, the very success of organ donation has created a seemingly never-ending discrepancy between demand and supply.


Lessening the Grip - 07/20/2017

The Texas Legislature took a giant step toward lifting the burden of maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements on most Texas physicians by approving Senate Bill 1148. The new law will prevent the Texas Medical Board from using MOC as a requirement for doctors to obtain or renew a medical license. SB 1148 also bars hospitals and health plans from requiring physicians to obtain MOC for credentialing or contracts, though there will be some exceptions.


Investing in Education - 07/19/2017

During the 85th legislative session, Texas lawmakers helped pave the way for two possible new medical schools, while ensuring that graduates have more options for residency positions.


Funding Cancer Research - 07/19/2017

During the 85th legislative session, Texas lawmakers approved sunset legislation that will prolong the life of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) from 2021 to 2023.