Gov. Greg Abbott today suspended most non-emergent elective surgeries at hospitals in 11 state Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) because of a steady increase in COVID-19 patients. The proclamation does not affect surgeries or procedures at outpatient or ambulatory services facilities.
Remember the board game Risk, where the goal was basically to take over the world?
Well, let’s play Risk COVID-19, in which you try to guess which activities put people more at risk for contracting the coronavirus that causes the disease.
In many parts of our state, COVID-19 is making a terrifyingly strong return. Hospitals are activating surge plans to make room for more seriously ill patients – whether with COVID-19, other diseases, or significant trauma.
If we – and that includes physicians, hospital administrators, and other health care leaders – don’t handle this correctly, the consequences will be severe for us, our patients, and large swaths of the Texas health care system.
The physicians of Texas greatly appreciate Governor Abbott using the power of his office to warn Texans about the serious, ongoing threat of COVID-19 and to recommend that Texans take proven steps to protect themselves and their neighbors.
Texas has abundant hospital capacity to treat COVID-19 patients now and in the coming months, Gov. Greg Abbott said today. According to state health officials, 2,518 confirmed COVID-19 patients are currently in Texas’ hospitals. There are almost 15,000 hospital beds and 1,675 intensive care beds available, state figures show.
Nearly 600 front-line health care workers appear to have died of COVID-19, according to Lost on the Frontline, a project launched by The Guardian and Kaiser Health News that aims to count, verify and memorialize every health care worker who dies during the pandemic.
Americans should not be surprised that it took the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, under the knee of a white police officer to take the COVID-19 pandemic off the lead of every newscast, off the top of every mind, and off the tip of every tongue. Our great country was born with a big problem with racism. Today – 155 years after the end of the Civil War, 65 years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, 28 years after Rodney King implored us to “all get along” – our great country still has a big problem with racism.
Like most independent medical practice physicians struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin pediatrician Brian Temple, MD, had to make a critical choice: reduce salaries and work hours, or lose the staff and pediatric practice he and his partner had built over six years.
Standing in a near-empty auditorium in the Texas Medical Association (TMA) headquarters, Houston emergency physician Diana L. Fite, MD, today took the oath of office to become the 155th president of America’s largest state medical society. TMA installed Dr. Fite as president before a live and online gathering of the organization’s Board of Trustees and outgoing president David C. Fleeger, MD.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s phased plan to reopen Texas businesses, which starts today, places special emphasis on protecting the elderly and containing the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
I want to be clear to our members and to all those who interact with our members: The Texas Medical Association will not tolerate any discrimination based on race, or national or ethnic origin (or for that matter based on religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity) by or toward our members.
The TMA COVID-19 Task Force has issued a statement on homemade masks based mostly on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for both medical professionals and the general public.
As physicians across the state struggle with a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, during the COVID-19 pandemic, one physician has turned to a homemade solution.
As more reports come in on the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, TMA has convened a task force of public health experts to help Texas physicians prepare for the next phase. We’ve started by compiling all the news and information you need right now on our online resource center. Bookmark that page as we will update it continually.
How do umbrellas protect us from disease? Austin pediatrician Ari Brown, MD, a Texas Medical Association physician leader, uses an umbrella analogy to explain how community immunity works, in this video.
As lawmakers continue their work on a federal solution to surprise medical bills, the Texas Medical Association is on guard to make sure patients will be protected – and physicians get a fair shot to get paid properly.
Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau tries to count everyone in the U.S. – an endeavor that touches the medical world deeply. Among other things, the census shapes the direction of $675 billion in federal funding, including programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and several others that directly affect patients.
I call for our TMA to bring all of these groups together to directly address the issue of the uninsured in Texas, to plan a strategy, and to put it in motion.
The state’s new law allowing arbitration of payment disputes on certain out-of-network care carries concerns for physicians and uncertainty about what it will look like from an enforcement standpoint, a panel told the Texas Medical Association Winter Conference on Saturday morning.
One in four Texas voters say their health insurance company has refused to cover what their physician ordered for them or their families, a new statewide survey has found.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has adopted an emergency rule outlining the narrow circumstances when it will be legal for physicians to balance bill patients under the state’s new law that protects patients from surprise medical bills.
With the recent rise in severe pulmonary illness linked to vaping and e-cigarettes, state lawmakers took steps today to curb use of those products, particularly among children and teenagers.
Vaccines work to prevent people from catching infectious diseases. Here’s how: They introduce a dead or weakened version of the virus or bacteria to train our natural defenses to kick in. If our body faces a real threat from the live germ later, the immune system is armed to block it from harming us.
The bad news keeps coming for Texas’ uninsured rate. Between 2016 and 2018, Texas tied for the second-highest jump in the rate of uninsured children among all 50 states, according to a study released Wednesday by Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families in Washington, D.C.
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.
Opioid abuse and overdose deaths continue to rise in the U.S., with more than 46,000 opioid-related deaths in 2017, up from 5,000 in 2000, data show. But the problem can’t be explained in total deaths alone. The crisis also has changed in character since 2001, new data show.
A panel of medicine’s representatives in the Texas Legislature said Saturday that 2019 was a good year for medicine in Austin, but unfinished business remains for the next session in 2021.
Our U.S. senators and representatives are back home in Texas for the August recess, and Texas Medical Association President David Fleeger, MD, says their physician-constituents need to contact them to make sure they stop the surprise medical billing epidemic in a way that helps our patients – not big insurance companies.
The 2019 Texas Legislature enacted three new laws that will change the way physicians prescribe opioids, including House Bill 3284, which delays the mandate for physicians check the state’s prescription monitoring program, known as PMP Aware, for prescriptions tied to opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and carisoprodol. The bill pushes back the requirement from Sept. 1, 2019, to March 1, 2020.
Migrant parents and children housed in Texas detention centers must have access to basic necessities, including sufficient food, clean water, clean beds, and health and educational services. That is the message of a letter sent last week to state leaders and Texas lawmakers from several organizations, including the Texas Medical Association.
Addressing Texas’ maternal health crisis, improving Medicaid coverage and payment, and making health insurance work for patients are among the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) top priorities in its new advocacy agenda, TMA Healthy Vision 2025.
COVID-19 Resource Center