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#TakeBackDay April 24, 2021

The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. Encourage the gathering of unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs to dispose of safely during the upcoming event.

When: Saturday,  April 24, 2021 – 10 AM to 2 PM

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DEA Releases 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment

The 2020 NDTA is a valuable resource for all Americans, but especially those elected officials, law enforcement personnel, prevention and treatment specialists, and others who develop counter-drug policies, oversee law enforcement operations, and allocate resources.


The National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) is DEA’s annual comprehensive assessment of the threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs, the diversion and abuse of licit drugs, and the laundering of proceeds generated through illicit drug sales. 


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NarxCare Survey

TPS Member NarxCare Survey
We appreciate your input on the following survey. 
Complete it here

Local Chapter Nominations- Due 1/31/21!

Local Chapter Nominations

It is time to nominate local chapter Presidents and Vice Presidents! 

When nominating, consider that these individuals will be the leaders in navigating what topics are important to your local area, TPS membership, and our industry. They will promote networking and lead the dialogue on various topics. Topics may include: Medicine/ Legal/ Pharmacy/Federal and State Legislative and Regulatory Updates, as needed. 

 To be eligible, nominees must be current TPS members. Visit the directory to see if they are a member. 

 Please use the link below to submit your nominations for President and Vice President.

 Nominations are due by January 31, 2021.

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Opioid Treatment Programs 2021 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Opioid Treatment Programs: New for 2021

The calendar year 2021 Physician Fee Schedule final rule includes information for Medicare-enrolled Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs):

  • New covered services include FDA-approved opioid antagonist medications, specifically naloxone, for emergency treatment of opioid overdose, as well as overdose education provided in conjunction with opioid antagonist medication
  • New codes for nasal and injectable naloxone
  • Medicare Part B coverage of hospital outpatient or free-standing institutional OTP services; these providers will submit claims using the institutional claim form (837i electronically or CMS-1450 paper claim)

We updated the OTP webpages and the Enrollment (PDF) and Billing & Payment (PDF) fact sheets with this and other new information. 

Texas Launches Opioid Misuse Prevention Website to Fight Addiction, Overdoses

Texas Health and Human Services

Texas Launches Opioid Misuse Prevention Website to Fight Addiction, Overdoses

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services is launching a new website featuring videos, the latest information and helpful resources to promote Texas Targeted Opioid Response (TTOR), which is a statewide public health effort to fight against opioid addiction and overdose.

The new website,, is available in English and Spanish and provides tips for safe opioid use, as well as information about the dangers of misusing prescription opioid medications.

“One in five Texans has experienced an opioid overdose or know someone who has,” said Kasey Strey, TTOR Director at Texas Health and Human Services Commission. “We are dedicated to preventing prescription opioid misuse, overdoses and opioid use disorder. With awareness of the risks and how to take medications safely, Texans can prevent opioid misuse and help put an end to the opioid crisis.”

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Medical Renewal Season is Approaching - TPS Partner MDHealth Can Help!

CDC & HHS Request for Comment Management of Acute and Chronic Pain

CDC & HHS Request for Comment Management of Acute and Chronic Pain

It is vitally important for the members of the Texas Pain Society to submit comments to CDC & HHS by June 16, 2020.

You can use the TPS template letter here

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the opening of a docket to obtain comment concerning perspectives on and experiences with pain and pain management, including but not limited to the benefits and harms of opioid use, from patients with acute or chronic pain, patients' family members and/or caregivers, and health care providers who care for patients with pain or conditions that can complicate pain management (e.g., opioid use disorder or overdose)—hereafter called “stakeholders.” CDC will use these comments to inform its understanding of stakeholders' values and preferences related to pain and pain management options.

2020 Novitas Explore Medicare Education Symposiums

When: May 6 - 7, 2020

Where: Online

Register: Click Here

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DWC Issues Memo on New Telehealth Services

DWC news

New Telehealth Services Available

CMS has issued a new list of telemedicine and telehealth services that can be reimbursed through Medicare during the federally-declared Public Health Emergency for COVID-19. The complete list of covered services is available on the DWC telemedicine page.

Commissioner Brown has issued this memo on the changes.

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Commissioner's Bulletin on COVID-19

DWC news

DWC Issues Bulletin Suspending Certain Provisions and Rules Due to COVID-19

Commissioner Brown has issued a new bulletin on COVID-19 as it relates to the Texas workers' compensation system. Here are some of the items covered in the new bulletin:

  • work search compliance standards for supplemental income benefits;
  • testing, training, application, and recertification requirements for designated doctors; and
  • required medical exams.

View the full bulletin on the TDI website.

DWC Operations Update in Response to COVID-19

Division of Workers' Compensation bannerDWC news

DWC Operations Update in Response to COVID-19

Commissioner Brown sends an update to system participants about changes in DWC’s operations in response to COVID-19. Read more at

Health Care Professionals and Facilities, Including Abortion Providers, Must Immediately Stop All Medically Unnecessary Surgeries and Procedures to Preserve Resources to Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton


March 23, 2020

Health Care Professionals and Facilities, Including Abortion Providers,

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DEA Okays Telehealth to Prescribe Opioids Amid COVID-19 Emergency

The move to telehealth will make it easier for providers to prescribe an opioid or other controlled substance during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

telehealth prescribing of controlled substances

March 18, 2020 - Telemedicine has found yet another key purpose during the coronavirus public health emergency: the prescribing of controlled substances, such as opioids.

Per new clarification from the US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), healthcare professionals can now prescribe a controlled substance to a patient using telehealth technology.

This announcement comes in the wake of the public health emergency declared by HHS Secretary Alex Azar on January 31, 2020.

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TMB Waiver for Chronic Pain Patients Granted by Governor Abbott

Texas Medical Board Press Release


March 19, 2020

Media contact: Jarrett Schneider, 512-305-7018

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Telemedicine for Workers' Compensation

Telemedicine for Worker’s Compensation

Telehealth is a great tool in battling the spread of infections. Texas workers’ compensation allows for billing and reimbursement of certain telemedicine and telehealth services in place of regular on-site medical care. Ask your doctor about services they might provide.

Learn more on the TDI website.

TMB Responding to Gov. Abbott's State Disaster Declaration

Texas Medical Board Press Release


March 14, 2020
Media contact: Jarrett Schneider, 512-305-7018

Customer service: 512-305-7030 or 800-248-4062

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New Release on Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2018

This is the National Center for Health Statistics/CDC/HHS logo

NCHS Data Brief No. 356, January 2020

PDF Versionpdf icon (423 KB)

Holly Hedegaard, M.D., Arialdi M. Miniño, M.P.H., and Margaret Warner, Ph.D.

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John Zerwas, MD, Honored for Service as Texas Lawmaker


The American Medical Association on Tuesday awarded former Texas State Rep. John Zerwas, MD, its Dr. Nathan Award for Outstanding Government Service.

Dr. Zerwas, an anesthesiologist from Richmond, served in the Texas House of Representatives from 2007 to 2019. He stepped down in September to become The University of Texas System’s new executive vice chancellor for health affairs.

“A physician, an advocate, and a citizen-legislator, Dr. Zerwas has served the citizens and patients of Texas with distinction,” AMA Board Chair Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, said in a statement. “As a legislator, he stood on principle, and put science and evidence first when fighting for public health, his constituents, and the people of Texas. For his outstanding work and leadership, the AMA is pleased to present Dr. John M. Zerwas with the Nathan Davis Award.”


Insurance Carrier Scorecards Now Online

Division of Workers' Compensation banner

Insurance Carrier Scorecards Now Online

Workers' compensation system and individual insurance carrier scorecards with year-to-date performance information can now be viewed online. The scorecards provide summary information related to complaints, timely reporting and payment of initial temporary income benefits, and timely reporting of medical bills and reconsideration medical bills.

The scorecard is on the TDI website.