Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Messages from TPS President Dr. Tammy Camp: https://txpeds.org/messages-tps-president-dr-tammy-camp

For information on parenting resources related to COVID-19, please visit our Parent Resources page.

Upcoming Events:

  • April 2nd (Thursday) The Business Impact of Covid-19  on Pediatric Practices (Part 3): 6pm central - Register here. Topics that will be addressed include:
  • SBA's Paycheck Protection Program (Forgivable Loan Program)
  • Data Trends
  • Future Impacts (Short & Long Term)
  • Well Visit Update
  • Legal Issues
  • and much more...

Recordings from Past Events:

Printable Materials and Communication Toolkits:

Personal Protective Equipment and Testing:

             Includes information such as the following:
                  -Laboratory Testing
                  -Contact information for Local Health Entities for disease reporting and/or local assistance
                  -Guidance re: infection control & personal protective equipment (PPE) with links to additional CDC guidance.
                  -Instructions on Requests for Assistance from DSHS (PPE, etc.) :

                     “Hospitals and healthcare professionals should follow their normal process of trying to locate emergency medical    supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other healthcare resources with their regular vendors and exhaust all possible options. These options may include contacting any sister facilities for coordination, reaching out to local partners or stakeholders, looking at any possible reallocations within the Public Health Region, Healthcare Coalition, Regional Advisory Council regions, or other medical supply agencies, given established priority groups. If hospitals and healthcare professionals cannot obtain any PPE from their vendor(s) and have exhausted all alternative options, they should send their official requests to their local office of emergency management via the STAR process. Please ensure you provide all relevant details for your request, to include type of item, POC information, and delivery address.”

Telemedicine:

  • TMA List of Telephone Only Consultations and Payments: Lists payers and what they are currently covering. https://www.texmed.org/TexasMedicineDetail.aspx?id=53117&utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=TMT&_zs=gCJgK1&_zl=lv8g5
  • TMA Telemedicine Webpage: Provides a wide variety of information regarding providing telemedicine during the Coronavirus pandemic including how to get started, the latest updates, and information on different payer policies. https://www.texmed.org/Telemedicine/
  • HHSC Telemedicine Information for Medicaid and CHIP: Select Medicaid and CHIP Services dropdown on website: https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-provider-information
  • AAP Telehealth information: AAP Guidance: Telehealth Payer Policy in Response to COVID-19 (outlines policy changes aiming to alleviate barriers to telehealth care) and webinar on telehealth and guidance on structuring your practice during the pandemic.
  • Texas Department of Insurance: 3/18/20 Notice from TDI:

    "Governor Greg Abbott waived certain regulations and directed the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) to issue an emergency rule to help doctors across Texas continue to treat their patients while mitigating the spread of COVID-19. State actions include:
              
    -TDI filed an emergency rule requiring insurers to pay the same amount for telemedicine services, including   covered mental health services, as they do for in-person services. The rule applies to in-network services for state-regulated health plans.
    -Governor Abbott suspended a state law limiting insurance coverage for medical visits and consultations by phone.
    -The Governor approved the Texas Medical Board's (TMB) request to suspend state rules blocking the use of phone consultations to establish a physician-patient relationship. Before the change, telemedicine services could be provided only after the physician-patient relationship had been established during an in-person visit...

    State-regulated plans cover about 15% of the Texas market, including plans purchased through Healthcare.gov. The insurance cards for state-regulated plans have either 'DOI' (for department of insurance) or 'TDI' (Texas Department of Insurance) printed on them."

         Governor’s news release
         TDI emergency rule
         FAQs on TDI rule

Well Child Visits:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Texas Department of State Health Services:

Texas Health and Human Services Commission:

  • March 27th Notice re: Ambulatory Surgical Center Services and Reporting Requirements:

    "GL 20-2012 IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Services and Reporting Requirements in Response to COVID-19

    GL 20-2012 related to ASC services and reporting requirements in response to COVID-19 has been posted. ASCs are now permitted to:

  • Expand their services beyond surgical services,
  • Keep patients longer periods of time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.                                     
  • Licensed ASCs must IMMEDIATELY do the following:
  • Report the number of functioning ventilators and other respiratory support equipment it has, and any other information as required, to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), using the form found at this link: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/d8a40549d4f64694b9022854a09d4884.
  • Please read the letter at the link and if you have questions regarding the letter, contact HCQ_PRT@hhsc.state.tx.us.
  • March 27th Notice: Albuterol Shortage Prompts Change in Preferred Status- Please see the notice below from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission: "On March 21, VDP changed the preferred drug list status of certain Albuterol products from non-preferred to preferred. This is a temporary change to address reported drug shortages for short-acting agents in the bronchodilators, beta agonist drug class. The full list of drugs is available on the VDP website.

This change allows providers to prescribe these drugs without requiring a non-preferred prior authorization and allow        people on Medicaid continued access to necessary medication. VDP will continue to update providers on the status these drugs.

Contact vdp-formulary@hhsc.state.tx.us for questions or more information."

Texas Medical Board:

Texas Department of Insurance:

  • 3/18/20 Notice from TDI:

"Governor Greg Abbott waived certain regulations and directed the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) to issue an emergency rule to help doctors across Texas continue to treat their patients while mitigating the spread of COVID-19. State actions include:

Governor's Office:

Declaration of State of Disaster for All Texas Counties ( 3/13/20): https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-holds-press-conference-on-coronavirus-declares-state-of-disaster-for-all-texas-counties

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering:

American Academy of Pediatrics:

"As COVID-19 continues to spread in communities, pediatricians can prepare to handle suspected cases in their patient population in the same way they prepare for other infectious disease outbreaks, such as influenza or RSV. The same principles apply:

-Keep children out of the health care system if it's not necessary
-Advise individuals to stay home if they are sick.
-Review infection-control measures. This can include asking patients with symptoms to call ahead, so they can be evaluated in isolation from other patients.
-Collaborate with hospitals and health systems on local response and to prepare for surges. 
-Check with local and state health departments for information on specific local and state responses.

We have also heard from members that children and adolescents in their practice have expressed fear and anxiety about the outbreak. Pediatricians can be a calm, reassuring voice that can help alleviate these fears. 

As a general pediatrician myself who has been in practice through especially severe RSV and flu outbreaks, I understand how important it is to remain reassuring to worried parents, clear in my guidance and practical and transparent in my approach to talking to patients who are old enough to understand what's going on.

David Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Council on Disaster Preparedness and Recovery, recommends keeping the conversation straightforward and direct, while avoiding graphic details. More information is available in the HealthyChildren.org article on talking to children about disasters and other events in the news.  He also offers advice specific to COVID-19 in this interview for CNN.

AAP also offers general information for parents on COVID-19 in the HealthyChildren.org article authored by H. Cody Meissner, M.D., FAAP. This article will be updated to reflect the most recent information as the outbreak evolves. 

AAP continues to be in close communication with leaders at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. We are committed to providing you with updates and information about practice recommendations and infection-control measures as it is developed.  

Updated information will also be posted on the Red Book Online Outbreaks page and in AAP News."

Texas Medical Association:

World Health Organizaiton:

National Institutes of Health:

National Library of Medicine: