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TMA White Paper Explains New Rules on Non-Urgent Procedures

By David Doolittle

Originally published on Texas Medical Association‘s website.

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) on Tuesday adopted emergency rules to follow Gov. Greg Abbott’s revised executive order that lifts restrictions on certain non-urgent, elective surgeries and procedures that had been in place since late March.

To help you understand the changes, and to further clarify a TMB frequently asked questions (FAQ) document on the changes, the Texas Medical Association Office of the General Counsel has updated its white paper on the new orders.

The TMA white paper includes background on Governor Abbott’s restrictions, provides details on each new executive order, and looks at TMB’s recommendations for physicians trying to decide whether to perform a surgery or procedure.

In addition, the TMA COVID-19 Task Force has created a document that provides links to COVID-19 resources, including state and federal guidance as well as specialty societies that have published resource pages.

You can find both documents on TMA’s COVID-19 resource page, which is regularly updated with new information, tools, and resources.

TMA Supports Governor’s Science-Based Plan to Reopen Texas

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement on reopening Texas.


“Texas physicians are pleased that Governor Abbott is taking a gradual, science-based approach to reopen the Texas economy safely. We applaud the governor for placing four outstanding physicians on his recovery strike force and for stating in such a straight-forward manner, ‘We must be guided by the data and the doctors. We must put health and safety first.’

“We obviously look forward to the safe reopening of those portions of our health care system that have been shuttered as we took the steps necessary to slow the spread of this virus. The health of patients not affected by COVID-19 is an overwhelming concern. Telemedicine has been an important tool, but it does not substitute for hands-on examinations of growing children or diagnosing complex health problems. Many of our patients have put off desperately needed surgeries or procedures that can no longer be delayed.

“We cannot throw the switch overnight, however, or we risk a rapid return of a terribly contagious disease that has not yet reached its peak and is still killing dozens of Texans every day. Moving forward on safely reopening our state will require:

  1. Ongoing and consistent compliance with the social distancing practices that have worked so well, so far, at containing the virus in Texas;
  2. Reliable, affordable and widely available testing for our patients, physicians and other health care personnel, and those who have come in contact with COVID-19-positive patients, so we can identify and contain new cases as quickly as possible;
  3. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for non-hospital based/community physicians, nearly two-thirds of whom say they have less than one week’s supply of the most critical supplies, according to a TMA survey conducted late last week;
  4. A huge immediate expansion in our state and local public health infrastructure and workforce so we can track down, isolate, and monitor Texans newly infected with this virus – and anyone who may have contracted it from them; and
  5. A way to cover the health care costs of the millions of Texans who don’t have or recently lost health insurance.

“We appreciate that Governor Abbott has solicited the experts and listened to their advice. We must follow the science. We need to have adequate PPE, and we’re not there yet. We need to have adequate testing, and that’s not available yet in physician offices or in the wider community. And we need to have the ability to track down positive cases based on those tests, something our overextended public health system won’t be able to do in the immediate future.

“Patience has been a critical factor behind our successes so far. We must remain patient, calm, and vigilant. Until we have a vaccine, social distancing remains the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As the governor said, we must make sure we don’t reopen only to have to shut down again.”

Great Women of Texas – December 2019

By Paul K. Harral

Originally published in the Fort Worth Business Press. Reprinted with permission.

Susan R. Bailey, MD, an allergist/immunologist, has a long history of service in helping guide organized medicine at the local, state and national level. She has served as board chair and president of the Tarrant County Medical Society, and as vice speaker, speaker and president of the Texas Medical Association.

Bailey was elected president-elect of the American Medical Association in June 2019, and will officially take office in June 2020 as the third consecutive woman to hold the position.

Previously, she served as speaker of the AMA House of Delegates for four years and as vice speaker for four years. She has been active in the AMA since medical school when she served as chair of the AMA Medical Student Section.

Bailey has been in practice in Fort Worth for more than 30 years.

She completed her residency in general pediatrics and a fellowship in allergy/immunology at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, and is board certified in allergy and immunology, and pediatrics and has been awarded the title of Distinguished Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Bailey received her medical degree with honors from the Texas A&M University College of Medicine as a member of its charter class, and was later appointed to the Texas A&M System Board of Regents by then Gov. George W. Bush, the first female former student to become a regent.

She has been named a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University and of Texas A&M University College of Medicine.

“With her leadership and tenacity, she has fought for patients and physicians at all levels to get the best care possible,” said nominator Kathryn Narumiya of the Tarrant County Medical Society. “In addition to running a practice, Dr. Bailey is passionate about creating policies that benefit our citizens and make our communities healthier. Bailey has received nationwide recognition for her efforts and is truly a Great Woman of Texas.”

Bailey is married to W. Douglas Bailey, has two sons and one grandson, and is an elder and longtime choir member of University Christian Church.


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