News & Information
Texas House Select Committee Publishes Report on Opioids and Substance Abuse
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 01:08 PM

The substance abuse crisis in our nation and state prompted the Texas House of Representatives’ Speaker Joe Straus to appoint the Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse (Committee).  The House Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse was tasked by the Speaker of the House to “develop and present concrete principles and action items to reduce the scourge of opioids in Texas and to provide legislative solutions to address these issues, as well as examine other topics related to substance abuse in Texas.”

Rep. Four Price, the chair of the committee notes that the committee "conducted six robust hearings with over 70 invited expert witness testimonies.This led to the committee producing a detailed report outlining the current challenges, including recommendations that can make a positive impact if enacted by the Texas Legislature.”  TCA Scientific Affairs Department Coordinator, Dr. Craig Benton presented testimony at one of these hearings.

Groups Call on Congress to End Surprise Billing
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 12:08 PM

Nine groups representing health insurers, employers and consumers have called for federal legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers.

Surprise medical bills may arise when a patient unintentionally visits a doctor or healthcare facility that does not contract with the patient's health insurer. Surprise billing is common, with 4 in 10 insured adults reporting they received a surprise medical bill in the last year.

The groups—which include powerful lobbyists like the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, the National Business Group on Health, and Consumers Union—called on Congress to prohibit providers from billing patients for costs not covered by the health plan when the out-of-network visit isn't the patient's fault.But they also said Congress should ensure any policy enacted doesn't increase premiums or discourage providers from joining a health plan's network.

Hot Topic: RTX
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 11:54 AM

Resiniferatoxin (RTX) is a hot topic among those looking for opioid alternatives. How hot? It scores 16 billion units on the Scoville scale that measures the hotness of peppers and spicy food. That makes RTX 10,000 times hotter than the hottest known pepper, the Carolina reaper. 

Found in a species of the spurge flowering plants native to Morocco known as Euphorbia resinifera or resin spurge.  It occurs on the slopes of the Atlas Mountains.  RTX is not only fiery, it's accurate. It can target and destroy nerve endings for pain, and for pain only.  Unlike opiates, the chemical only attaches to a pain-sensing molecule called TRPV1. This means, if you have a pain in your toe, RTX wouldn’t numb your entire foot.  RTX directly interacts with afferent nerve cells without affecting other sensations such as touch, pressure. It is currently the most potent TRPV1 agonist known.  The dried latex of the plant has been used as ancient medicine since at least its first written record from the time of Roman Emperor Augustus.

ACA Publishes Diversity Statement
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 08:01 AM

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has published a statement on diversity that acknowledges the importance that cultural competency plays in the chiropractic profession’s ability to deliver quality health care, improve patient outcomes and engage in public health initiatives.

“ACA acknowledges cultural agility as a foundation for competent healthcare delivery to improve patient outcomes and engage in public health initiatives,” the statement reads in part. “ACA defines cultural agility as having enhanced skills and knowledge of the needs of a multicultural society and requiring a commitment to inclusion that begins with broader concepts of diversity.”

In its statement, ACA also notes that diversity encompasses, “without limitation, race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, age, disability, socioeconomic status and marital and parental status.”

Be Aware: Acute Flaccid Myelitis
Written by Editor   
Monday, December 10, 2018 06:58 PM

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a very rare condition that affects a person’s spinal cord marked by the sudden onset of weakness in the arms or legs. 

AFM can be difficult to diagnose because it shares symptoms with several other neurologic conditions. All suspected cases of AFM are reviewed by the CDC to determine if they meet the case definition. It can take about a month for the status of a case to be determined. CDC data shows a pattern of increased AFM cases in late summer to early fall of every other year beginning in August 2014. Texas providers have reported 46 cases of AFM since 2014. Most of the cases occur in children.

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