DCMS News & Announcements

Click on the titles below for detailed information. In addition to the highlighted items below, stay connected with the weekly DMJ Newsletter. To subscribe or for questions, email communications@dallas-cms.org.

5/17/2024
The launch comes weeks after Walgreens' brand was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April.
5/17/2024
Lifting current restrictions could dramatically expand the number of doctor-owned hospitals, now estimated at 250-265 nationally, according to Physician-Led Healthcare for America (PHA), which advocates for POHs.
5/17/2024
The FDA issued a Warning Letter to Cue Health after an inspection revealed that the company made changes to these tests and that the changes reduced the reliability of the test to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus.
5/10/2024
Dallas pediatric cardiologist Lee Ann Pearse, MD, has been active in organized medicine her entire career. She was a member of TMA’s Council on Socioeconomics and Council on Legislation, and a district chair of TEXPAC, TMA’s Political Action Committe
5/10/2024
The draft legislation proposes the creation of a “Medicare Drug Shortage Prevention and Mitigation Program” that would encourage improved contracting and purchasing practices in the drug supply chain. The program would begin in 2027, according to the
5/10/2024
H5N1 is taking up a lot of brain space for epidemiologists, virologists, and veterinarians alike. Alarm bells are going off, many questions are thrown around, and frustration is brewing. Concern has percolated to the public.
5/3/2024
TMALC alumni represent a variety of specialties and practice settings – the main requirement for participation is a desire to learn, grow, and have a positive impact on the field of medicine. Deadline to apply is June 20, 2024.
5/3/2024
The USPSTF recommends biennial screening mammography for women aged 40 to 74 years. The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening mammography in women 75 years or older.
5/3/2024
The Texas Medical Association’s advocacy for medicine-friendly policy also continues apace during the interim, with the association closely monitoring several of these charges.
4/12/2024
The proposal “includes an array of provisions that range from raising cybersecurity standards to allowing people to opt out of algorithms that could be used to make medical decisions.”
4/12/2024
This study aimed to understand inflammatory processes that underlie long COVID and was not designed for biomarker discovery.
4/12/2024
The U.S. CDC on Friday issued a health alert to inform clinicians, state health departments and the public of a case of avian influenza in a person who had contact with dairy cows presumed to be infected with the virus.
3/22/2024
The application will be open for the remainder of the extended data submission period, which closes April 15, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET.
3/22/2024
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to inform clinicians and public health officials of an increase in global and U.S. measles cases.
3/22/2024
TMA and its allies advocated for House Bill 3359 by Rep. Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood), which passed unanimously in the final days of the session. The law, as written, strengthens network adequacy requirements for state-regulated PPOs and EPOs and
2/7/2024
A group of lawmakers from the United States House of Representatives and Senate have sent a letter urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with Congress to maintain expanded access to telehealth.
2/7/2024
Syphilis, once nearly eliminated in the US, continues to resurge, reaching the highest rate of new infections recorded since 1950. In 2022, there were more than 207,000 cases diagnosed, which represents an 80% increase since 2018, and 17% over the pr
2/5/2024
Proposed policies would continue to ensure the strength and stability of Medicare Advantage and Part D programs.
1/29/2024
House Bill 1998 (HB 1998) requires all licensed physicians in Texas to have their fingerprints on file for criminal history background checks. Most physicians initially licensed since 2018 have already met this requirement as part of their license ap
1/29/2024
Between December 1, 2023 and January 23, 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was notified of 23 confirmed U.S. cases of measles, including seven direct importations of measles by international travelers and two outbreaks with m
1/29/2024
As a direct result of advocacy from the AMA and other physician organizations, CMS has taken significant steps toward rightsizing the prior authorization process.
1/26/2024
“Looking to avoid physician burnout? A new study suggests taking vacation time and avoiding work while on vacation could be a good place to start.”
1/26/2024
CNN (1/12, McPhillips) reported, “The United States started the new year awash in respiratory illness, with high levels of flu, Covid-19 and RSV across most of the country.”
1/26/2024
The data submission portal for Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) recently opened to eligible clinicians for the 2023 performance year.
1/15/2024
The climate of respiratory health in the United States (coined “influenza-like illnesses” by CDC) is very high. Over the holidays, exponential growth finally kicked into gear.
1/15/2024
3,291,543 Texans enrolled in HealthCare.gov as of December 23rd, 2023, a substantial increase from the previous year’s enrollment.
1/15/2024
New York Times (1/10, Richtel) reports, “Prescriptions for drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder surged during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly among women and patients ages 20 to 39, according to new research compiled by
1/8/2024
The Texas Medical Board (TMB) revision relieves certain practices that prescribe opioids from the rigorous audits or investigations that apply to designated pain management clinics.
1/8/2024
Two AI developers have announced new agreements with the academic medical center, both related to improving the delivery of oncology services.
1/8/2024
We need 1,000 Texas physicians to send a strong message to Congress to enact both bills to fix Medicare. It takes just seconds – just a couple of clicks – to send a powerful message.
12/23/2023
Amid the peak of respiratory virus season in the U.S., a highly mutated form of SARS-CoV-2 is spreading and contributing to rising cases nationwide: JN.1. Here are some questions patients might have about the JN.1 COVID-19 Omicron subvariant, along w
12/23/2023
Beginning in January, physicians will be able to receive more accurate payment for complex visits with Medicare add-on code G2211. But the Texas Medical Association continues to push for additional guidance as confusion over the code’s use persists.
12/23/2023
Physicians must enroll as an ordering or referring clinician to prescribe treatment to Medicare patients, unless already enrolled in Medicare Part B or planning not to bill Medicare for services. Here’s how to qualify.
12/15/2023
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this Health Advisory to alert healthcare providers to low vaccination rates against influenza, COVID-19, and RSV.
12/15/2023
On December 15, 2023, the Departments reopened the Federal IDR portal to process all dispute types, including previously initiated batched disputes, new batched disputes, and new single disputes involving air ambulance services.
12/15/2023
The bill, sponsored by physician lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives, would prohibit the fees payers routinely charge as a condition of electronic payment. The move follows yearslong advocacy by TMA and others in organized medicine.
12/8/2023
Dr. Rao was among the hundreds of practicing physicians who gathered near Capitol Hill this week for the 2023 AMA Interim Meeting.
12/8/2023
Honorees in D CEO's 10th annual program included the Lifetime Achievement award given to Texas Oncology CEO R. Steven Paulson, and the Outstanding Healthcare Advocate award given to Baylor Scott & White Health's Dr. Robert Fine.
12/8/2023
The New York Times reports that this winter “marks the first opportunity to see how the R.S.V. vaccines work for older adults in the real world – provided those at highest risk go get vaccinated.”
12/1/2023
Following the expiration of waivers enabling out-of-state telehealth visits, patients tended to stop seeing the physician rather than switch to in-person care, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.
12/1/2023
The toolkit contains prewritten letters to the editor, social media graphics and captions, two flyers and a slate card for physician offices with a QR code for patient use, and action alerts.
12/1/2023
Within one year of starting treatment, 42.3% of those taking tirzepatide - the active ingredient in Mounjaro and Zepbound - had lost at least 15% of their weight, compared with 19.3% among patients taking semaglutide.
11/17/2023
A House subcommittee on Wednesday passed restrictions to PBM business practices a week after a key Senate committee passed similar reforms, increasing the chances of those measures being included in future government-spending bills.
11/17/2023
The climate of respiratory health in the United States (coined “influenza-like illnesses by CDC) reached the “epidemic” level threshold this week. This year continues to land somewhere between pre-pandemic years and last year.
11/17/2023
A sweeping ban on COVID-19 vaccine requirements for all private businesses, including hospitals, is the latest blow to medically vulnerable Texans who rely on others’ immunization to shield themselves from highly transmissible viruses.
11/10/2023
Vaccine appointments for kids remain limited, and Novavax shots are hard to come by. DCMS has been notified by DCHHS, that the county can provide COVID-19 vaccines to all ages and to those with or without insurance.
11/10/2023
Urge your U.S. representative to cosponsor the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act, House Resolution 2474, to fix the broken Medicare payment system and ensure physicians receive inflationary updates.
11/10/2023
Under a new law passed by the 2023 Texas Legislature, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) is set to roll out fingerprinting requirements for criminal history background checks as a part of physicians' licensure renewal.
11/3/2023
Provides a summary of the key viral respiratory illness findings for COVID-19, influenza, and RSV from the past week and access to additional information and figures.
11/3/2023
Starting Nov. 1, physicians and NPPs who care for Medicare patients and don’t use the Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) must use a revised form to enroll or update their information.
11/3/2023
In 2013-14, the federal law raised Medicaid primary care physician payments to Medicare rates, which Dr. Scranton says spurred increased access to care for Medicaid patients – some 30% to 40% of her patient population.
10/20/2023
The Texas Department of State Health Services and Texas Health and Human Services Commission are partnering to create new tools to analyze the causes and effects of drug poisonings.
10/20/2023
With the backing of the Texas Medical Association and 172 other health care organizations, the American Medical Association recently launched a survey of U.S. physicians to better understand practice expenses and more.
10/13/2023
As of 2020, 12 states, including New York, were pursuing joint state-federal Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) contracts to incorporate value-based payment into their Medicaid programs.
10/13/2023
Medicaid recipients who are eligible to receive additional time to complete their renewals were notified on or around Oct. 10 via mail or posted electronically in their Your Texas Benefits account.
10/13/2023
RSV season is ramping up, and doctors are hoping a new shot to prevent the virus in young children will ease the caseload this year. However, some pediatricians are facing challenges getting supply.
10/6/2023
The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury are seeking public input on how best to ensure coverage and access to over-the-counter (OTC) preventive services, including the benefits of requiring most health insurance plans to
10/6/2023
Physicians who must register or renew their registration for a Drug Enforcement Administration license will face new requirement. To register, they will have attest to taking a one-time, eight-hour training on how to treat patients with opioid or oth
10/6/2023
Among the challenges is a scarcity in amoxicillin, which the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention considers a “first-line therapy” for bacterial ear infections and other common illnesses in children.
9/29/2023
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that average premiums, benefits, and plan choices for Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Part D prescription drug program will remain stable in 2024.
9/29/2023
While the FDA acknowledged reports of adverse reactions from semaglutide, an active ingredient of Ozempic, the regulator did not specifically cite Ozempic or its manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, as the cause of these reports.
9/29/2023
The city joins Cambridge, Mass. and the Washington, D.C. area as epicenters of the new agency. A Biden administration initiative, Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health will work toward medical breakthroughs in treating diseases like cancer, Al
9/22/2023
As of Sept. 1, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy offers statewide integration of the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) and NarxCare into electronic health records (EHR) and pharmacy management systems for two years at no cost to physicians.
9/22/2023
On Friday, October 27, join the Dallas Bar Association, Dallas County Medical Society, Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, UT Southwestern Medical Center, SMU Dedman School of Law. Registration is open.
9/22/2023
Costs for common medical procedures were up to 58 percent higher when they were performed in a hospital outpatient department compared to a doctor’s office, an analysis from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association found.
9/15/2023
During this COCA Call, CDC presenters will provide updates about the latest recommendations and clinical considerations for administering influenza, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines to adults 60 years and older.
9/15/2023
Everyone over 6 months is eligible for an updated Covid-19 vaccine this fall. We have frustratingly scarce scientific guidance on timing.
9/15/2023
Following successful physician advocacy during the 2023 legislative session, the attached Medicaid rates increases are now reflected for women’s health services.
9/8/2023
Practices that used Mimecast's secure message portal to submit claims issues, questions, or appeals to Humana between July 17 and Aug. 28 will need to resubmit those reports due to a technical error.
9/8/2023
The upcoming COVID-19 booster is expected to be available in the United States as early as next week -- potentially as soon as Sept. 13 -- and is expected to protect against severe disease and death from currently circulating variants.
9/8/2023
Since the last BA.2.86 update, lab and epidemiological data have trickled in. Many of us took a big sigh of relief after seeing specific results over the weekend.
9/1/2023
Your Local Epidemiologist answers a few of the questions that have hit their inbox over the past few days regarding COVID-19, flu, RSV, the vaccines for all, and their availability.
9/1/2023
Behavioral health and chronic conditions are the primary diagnoses associated with in-person follow-ups for the same clinical reason after a telehealth visit.
9/1/2023
Texas payers After a pandemic-induced hiatus, the Texas Medical Association recently resumed in-person meetings with Texas’ major payers to solve physicians’ payment policy problems, a practice that dates back more than 25 years.
8/25/2023
The approval allows the vaccine to be given to women 32 to 36 weeks into a pregnancy to prevent lower respiratory tract infection and severe disease in infants until they are six months old, the company said.
8/25/2023
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released draft guidance for comment that outlines the requirements and procedures for certain aspects of the new Medicare Prescription Payment Plan.
8/25/2023
SARS-CoV-2 continues to mutate. This is expected, as this is what viruses do to survive. There was ~20% possibility of another “Omicron-like event” in 2023.
8/18/2023
Wondering where your 5% incentive payment is for participating in an advanced alternative payment model (APM) in the 2021 Quality Payment Program (QPP)?
8/18/2023
Physicians have long complained about onerous prior authorization requirements, which often delay care and sometimes have catastrophic consequences. Medicine's advocacy for improvements seems to be paying off.
8/18/2023
New covid booster shots with an updated formula targeting XBB subvariants of the virus is expected to hit the market in late September, pending regulatory approvals by the Food and Drug Administration.
8/11/2023
The pill, zuranolone (Zurzuvae), is a neuroactive steroid that acts on GABAA receptors in the brain responsible for regulating mood, arousal, behavior, and cognition, according to Biogen, which, along with Sage Therapeutics, developed the product.
8/11/2023
DCHHS does not disclose additional information about the patient. This is the second WNV human death reported in Texas this year.
8/11/2023
Statement by Rick W. Snyder II, MD, Texas Medical Association (TMA) president, in response to the ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on TMA’s fourth No Surprises Act lawsuit.
8/4/2023
DCMS recently partnered with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to host a webinar that provides the information physicians and their staff need to help patients through this process.
8/4/2023
Presenters will give a comprehensive overview of timing and promotion of vaccines people should receive during pregnancy to protect themselves, their pregnancies, and their babies. Date: Thursday, August 10, 2023; Time: 2-3 PM ET.
8/4/2023
Federal lawmakers are pushing forward a bipartisan bill that would force some Medicare insurers to speed up their prior authorization decisions, but it may ultimately conflict with separate rules set by the agency that oversees Medicare.
7/28/2023
If the plan is enacted, it could help end decades of whack-a-mole between government regulators and insurance companies.
7/28/2023
Continuous Medicaid coverage ended in April. Many of the roughly half-million people stripped from the rolls don’t even know they’ve lost coverage yet.
7/28/2023
Vaccine fatigue is already here, although many Americans will be urged to get three different shots this fall.
7/21/2023
Half a million Texans — mainly children, but also disabled adults and women who recently gave birth — have lost coverage since then, leaving them in limbo without access to medical treatment.
7/21/2023
Under the management and oversight of CDC, the Bridge Access Program – for a limited time – will allow adults who are uninsured or underinsured to receive free COVID-19 vaccinations.
7/21/2023
Change is already on the horizon and many developments have left many wondering (and sometimes worrying) what role AI will have in the future of health care.
7/7/2023
New bipartisan legislation would provide new Medicare-supported graduate medical education (GME) slots—and mitigate the 124,000-physician shortfall set to rock the U.S. by 2034.
7/7/2023
The FY 2024 ICD-10-CM Coding Guidelines and FY 2024 Conversion Table are now available online. The FY 2024 Present on Admission (POA) Exempt Code List will be posted when available.
7/7/2023
Whether you have symptoms or not, repeat testing after 48 hours may be required to rule out COVID infection, researchers from the UMass Chan Medical School found.
6/30/2023
advocates see the price discrepancies as an inefficiency that needs fixing, while hospital advocates say reimbursement reductions would devastate the care they provide.
6/30/2023
Texas physicians have not seen a Medicaid payment increase in more than a decade, except for a brief, temporary one that took place in 2013-14 under the Affordable Care Act.
6/30/2023
CDC is collaborating with the Texas and Florida state health departments with ongoing investigations of locally acquired mosquito-transmitted Plasmodium vivax malaria cases. There is no evidence to suggest the cases in the two states are related.
6/23/2023
The 2023 scorecard, which uses most-recently-available 2021 data, does not include data to reflect the implications of abortion restrictions or bans that states enacted after the fall of Roe vs. Wade in June of last year.