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Texas News

News stories from the past 60 days.

Scale of Opioid Epidemic in Texas Likely Obscured by Bad Data, Experts Say
Nov 17, 2017 - Because Texas state law only requires counties with a population greater than 1 million to have medical professionals sign death certificates, there is speculation that this has led to under-reporting of opioid overdose deaths. Only 15 of 254 Texas counties have medical examiners who determine if a body needs an autopsy. Other counties rely on non-medically trained justices of the peace to make that determination. Although Texas does not rank particularly highly among other states for opioid overdoses, it has four of the top five cities with the highest prescription painkiller abuse and ranks second in the country for healthcare costs associated with opioid abuse.
Source: The Daily Texan
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USDA Helps Rural Communities Thrive With Health, Safety Outreach
Nov 13, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced that it would be supporting health education projects for individuals and families in rural areas through the Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grant Program. These grants were awarded to extension agents and land-grant universities in nine states with a focus on prevention and reduction of opioid abuse and chronic disease prevention and management.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture
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CMS: Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Programs: Announcement of Decision To Lift the Temporary Moratorium on Enrollment of Non-Emergency Ground Ambulance Suppliers in Texas Federal Register
Nov 3, 2017 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing the lifting of a temporary enrollment moratorium on non-emergency ground ambulance suppliers in Texas. This notice also applies to non-emergency ground ambulance suppliers in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Texas. Suspension of the temporary moratorium took effect September 1, 2017, as part of an overall effort to improve Hurricane Harvey disaster response efforts.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS Offers Medicare Enrollment Relief for Americans Affected by Recent Disasters
Oct 30, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is giving individuals who have been impacted by the wildfires in California and the recent hurricanes additional time to enroll in Medicare Part B and premium-Part A if they were unable to make a request during the initial and special enrollment periods.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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Partnerships Between Rural Hospitals and Academic Surgery Departments Can Reduce Costs and Patient Transfers
Oct 25, 2017 - A research team from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has developed a new methodology to reduce rural area surgical costs, improve quality of care, and increase revenue for rural hospitals and academic surgical programs. By establishing partnerships between rural hospitals and academic surgery departments, each entity can benefit from the other's resources. The study, which was presented at the 2017 American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress, focuses on improving patient satisfaction through reduced costs, fewer transfers, and quality local service.
Source: American College of Surgeons
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Last Updated: 11/20/2017