• Legal

    • TMA Offers Legal Information and Education

      Some of the most common, yet vexing, legal issues facing medical practices involve questions about medical records.  To whom may I release them?  How long do I have once a request has been made?  How long must I keep the records? What do I do when records are subpoenaed?  How much may I charge for copies? To that end, TMA has a variety of informational and educational resources to assist physicians and their staffs. 

  • Regulatory Compliance, Contracts, Ethics

    • Deadlines for Doctors

      Find out about upcoming state and federal compliance timelines and key health policy issues that impact Texas physicians.
    • Contracts

      Health care payment plan contracts and employment contracts can be a jungle of legal language; TMA identifies some of the contract clauses of which physicians should be aware. 
    • Ethics

      Look here for guidance on appropriate standards of conduct for the physician as well as links to ethics CME courses and tools such as the “do not resuscitate form” and physician directives. 
    • TMA HIPAA Resource Center

      TMA offers a variety of HIPAA resources, including the text of the regulations, standards, policies and procedures; HIPAA news; educational material; and links to HIPAA-oriented Web sites. 
  • Have questions about other legal issues?

    • Do your patients have questions about medical power of attorney?
      What duties does the health care provider have when presented with a principal's Medical Power of Attorney?  A principal's physician, health or residential care provider, or an employee of the provider shall follow a directive of the principal's agent to the extent it is consistent with the desires of the principal, the law, and the Medical Power of Attorney. 
    • 7 Things You Must Know Before Signing an Employment Contract
      A good contract by definition is one that is fair and reasonable and is a win-win situation for everyone involved. But how do physicians ensure they are getting a good contract before agreeing to work for a hospital or group practice?
    • HHSC Releases Marketing Guidelines
      The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) released "Texas Provider Marketing Guidelines" to help physicians and other health professionals assess their compliance with the rules, which took effect July 6.
    • New Information About Informed Consent
      Q: Are physicians required to use the disclosure and consent forms that the Texas Medical Disclosure Panel (TMDP) created for certain procedures? A: Use of these forms is not required. However, using them gives physicians an important measure of protection. TMA recommends that physicians always use them when applicable. Includes links to the forms.
    • Which Tests Need a CLIA Waiver Certificate?
      Q. I am a physician who performs urine dip sticks and finger sticks for blood glucose in my office as part of the patient’s visit. Am I considered to have a laboratory, and do I need a CLIA certificate?
      A. Yes, the testing you perform qualifies as waived laboratory testing, and you need a CLIA Certificate of Waiver. View the new tests that were added to the list by the FDA.
    • Informed Consent for Anesthesia and Other Procedures
      Physicians now need to inform patients of the risks and hazards of anesthesia and/or perioperative pain management (analgesia) and obtain their signed consent for these procedures. 
    • How Long Do I Have to Keep Patient Medical Records?
      Seven is the important number to remember in the Texas Medical Board rules for retention of medical records.
    • Medical Audits: What Physicians Need To Know
      One of the greatest challenges facing physicians and their staffs today is how to prepare for audits and financial reviews conducted by the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) and private payers and how to appeal adverse audit findings. The Physicians Advocacy Institute, Inc., (PAI) is pleased to present this White Paper as part of an effort to assist physicians and their practice staff in understanding and appealing medical audits by RACs and commercial payers. 
    • Delegating Prescriptive Authority — to How Many?
      What is the ratio for the number of advanced practice registered nurses or physician assistants to whom a physician may delegate prescriptive authority?
  • Get the latest news on legal topics.

    • Comptroller Mails Business Transaction Forfeiture Notices
      Physician practices subject to the franchise tax should be aware that if the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts hasn't received their franchise tax returns or approved their extension requests, they may receive a "Texas Notice of Intent to Forfeit Right to Transact Business."
    • TMB Puts Office-Based Anesthesia Inspections on Hold
      The Texas Medical Board (TMB) decided at its June meeting to put office-based anesthesia (OBA) inspections on hold "to make clarifications regarding inspection criteria and requirements," according to the board's July newsletter. TMB notified physicians in early June it would begin inspecting Texas practices registered with the board as providing OBA to ensure compliance with Chapter 192 of board rules.
    • When You Drop Your Patients’ Insurance …
      If I terminate my contract with an insurer, must I also notify patients covered by that insurer that I am terminating the patient-physician relationship?
    • Sunshine Act Review and Dispute Period Now Open
      CMS announced today that the Open Payments system is once again available for physicians and teaching hospitals to register, review and, as needed, dispute financial payment information received from health care manufacturers. The system was taken offline on August 3 to resolve a technical issue. To account for system down time, CMS is extending the time for physicians and teaching hospitals to review their records to September 8, 2014. The public website will be available on September 30, 2014.
    • Tax Fraud
      A nationwide identity theft scheme is targeting physicians and leaving the Internal Revenue Service liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds. As of June, more than 100 Texas Medical Association members notified the association someone had stolen their Social Security numbers and attempted to claim their tax refunds. The association has learned the crime's victims also include physician assistants, advanced practice registered nurses, dentists, podiatrists, and pharmacists. Texas is one of 49 states and the District of Columbia affected by this con.