TB Program News and Announcements
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Tuberculosis and Refugee Health Services Branch will begin accepting requests to co-host phlebotomy trainings at regional and local health departments across Texas starting February 2016.
The goal of the trainings is to enhance regional and local tuberculosis (TB) programs’ capacity to collect blood specimens for TB screening. Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRA), a blood test is the standard method to screen for TB in Texas.
Trainings will be provided at no cost to regional and local TB programs and community based organizations that screen populations at high risk for TB. Travel costs are not included.
For each scheduled phlebotomy training, DSHS will:
- Provide a certified phlebotomist trainer;
- Prepare training announcements;
- Create a registration web link;
- Prepare an agenda;
- Provide continuing education credits (view approved credits);
- Provide testing supplies (except sharps containers); and,
- Provide Phlebotomy Training Informed Consent form.
The co-host TB program will:
- Provide a suitable training room;
- Distribute training announcements to staff and local agencies;
- Provide sharps containers; and,
- Dispose of biohazard materials.
The class size requirement is 7-15 participants. If the minimum number of participants is not met ten days before the class start date, the course may be canceled.
The two-day training curriculum includes a didactic and practice sessions. Participants must attend both days from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and accept the Phlebotomy Training Informed Consent prior to registration.
Health departments interested in co-hosting a training should complete and email the attached TB Phlebotomy Training Request form to DSHS Tuberculosis and Refugee Health Services Branch or fax to 512-533- 3167. For questions, please contact Raiza Ruiz or call (512) 533-3154.
The Tuberculosis and Refugee Health Services Branch encourages local health department TB programs to enroll in Medicaid.
If you were enrolled as a TB Medicaid Provider prior to January 1, 2013, you are required to re-enroll prior to September 25, 2016 to continue billing for services.
The Application to enroll or re-enroll may be downloaded from our forms page.
The updated Texas Tuberculosis Work Plan for FY16 is now available. The document outlines the framework and all required activities to promote consistent TB practices statewide. It also meets DSHS internal audit recommendations, delineates required activities for all local health department contractors and serves as the framework to evaluate TB programs’ performance.
The revised Standing Delegation Orders and Standing Medical Orders for Tuberculosis Prevention and Control for FY2016 are now available.
The SDO/SMO and services are written instructions, orders and procedures prepared by the Department of State Health Services Tuberculosis and Refugee Health Services Branch to promote consistent evaluation and treatment practices for persons with suspected or confirmed TB disease or latent TB infection.
The revised Standing Delegation Orders and Standing Medical Orders for Tuberculosis Prevention and Control are effective September 1, 2015.
In 2014, 1,269 cases of tuberculosis (TB) were reported in Texas, a rate of 4.7 per 100,000 population. TB can affect anyone but is more likely to be diagnosed in persons born in a foreign country where TB is prevalent, persons living with diabetes or HIV/AIDS, persons who abuse alcohol and other drugs, persons who live in congregant settings (including prisons and other detention centers), the homeless, and health care workers. Learn more...
TB in Correctional Facilities
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Tuberculosis Services Branch collects, compiles and analyzes tuberculosis screening activity reported by jails meeting Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 89 criteria. The Annual Tuberculosis Screening Report reflects these screening results for jails meeting the statutory criteria and is now available for viewing or download.
Congregate Setting Target Testing
On May 13, 2014, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Tuberculosis and Refugee Health Services Branch released new guidelines for congregate setting target testing. The guidelines were issued in recognition of the importance of screening activities among high-risk populations and treatment for TB infection as essential components in TB elimination programs. Submission of a Congregate Setting Target Testing Monthly Report is now required under these guidelines.
Cohort Review Implementation
In March 2013, the Tuberculosis Services Branch implemented the cohort review system in Texas. A cohort review is a systematic and retrospective review of the management of TB cases and contacts. It is an effective management tool that identifies trends impacting outcomes and provides the impetus for developing systems that enhance program performance.
It is the policy of the Tuberculosis Services Branch that in order to promote optimal case management and contact investigation practices statewide, DSHS health service regions and contracted local health department TB programs will hold quarterly cohort reviews. DSHS health service regional TB programs will work with low morbidity public health jurisdictions to implement the cohort review process. The Health Service Regions' Tuberculosis Cohort Review Infrastructure form ( 67 KB) provides the reporting framework for the cohort reviews.
Please refer to the Cohort Review Policy ( 45 KB) for further information.
The followings tools are available to conduct the cohort review and report findings to DSHS Tuberculosis Program Services Branch:
For help completing the summary form, download An Overview of the Cohort Review Summary Form ( 141 KB).