• 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. 
    • Be Careful With Covenants Not to Compete
      Almost every contract has an escape hatch — but you might have to escape to a place you don't want to be.
    • TMA/PAI Offer Physician Ranking, RAC Help
      The Physicians Advocacy Institute, Inc. (PAI) has two new sets of tools to help physicians with some of the toughest problems they face right now. 
    • 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.

    • 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
      Act now if you want to review Sunshine Act data reported about you before it is available to the public. The review and dispute period for payments reported is July 14 through Aug. 27, 2014.
    • HHSC Transitioning to New Medicaid Claims Administrator
      The Texas Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) is working to move the Medicaid claims administration contract from Xerox to Accenture. HHSC is reviewing Accenture's readiness to take over the contract, which also includes processing claims for the Children with Special Health Care Needs Services Program and vendor drug services.
    • Get Claims Paid Promptly With TMA Live Webinars
      Since their inception in 1991, Texas' prompt pay laws have helped ensure commercial health plans pay a practice's clean claims promptly and correctly.
    • Cyber Crimes
      Since it began offering cyber liability coverage in December 2011, the Texas Medical Liability Trust has received more than 150 cyber liability claims, most of which involved breaches of electronic protected health information. TMLT's cyber liability insurance will protect practices financially should a breach occur. The insurance covers a breach notification to customers and business partners, expenses for legal counsel, information security and forensic data services, public relations support, call center and website support, credit monitoring, and identity theft restoration services.