• 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. 
    • 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. 
    • New Law Protects Health Information
      A new law – backed by TMA and passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011 – soon will put some new teeth into medical record privacy enforcement in Texas. House Bill 300, by state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), prohibits selling protected health information and imposes fines of up to $1.5 million on entities that violate patient privacy rights.
    • 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. 
    • Stark Self Referral Laws and Regulations
      In 1989, Representative Fortney “Pete” Stark of California authored H.R. 5198, a bill that proposed to prohibit physician “self-referral” for certain clinical laboratory services.  The statutory provisions that passed related to clinical laboratory services became known as “Stark I.”  These basic provisions were amended in 1993 in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.   The amendments extended the referral ban to more physician services.  These amendments related to other physician services became known as “Stark II.”
    • TMA has information to assist your practice with ADA compliance
      History and background: On Jan. 26, 1992, the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “Act”) came into effect. The Act is a civil rights law that, generally, prohibits discrimination against persons based upon their disability, perceived disability, or for advocating for a person with a disability. 
  • Get the latest news on legal topics.

    • TMA Opposes Audiology Scope Expansion
      Audiologists lack the "medical training necessary to perform the same duties as physicians" and aren't able to "provide patients with the medical diagnosis and treatment options they require." That's the message TMA, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, 38 state and local medical associations, and dozens of specialty societies and national organizations sent in a letter to House and Senate leaders.
    • Aetna Seeks to Axe $120M Ingenix Class Settlement
      Late last year, Aetna Inc. announced a proposed class settlement of up to $120 million over its use of the flawed Ingenix database. The settlement covered physicians and health care professionals who delivered out-of-network services to Aetna subscribers any time between June 3, 2003, and Aug. 30, 2013, and received less than the billed charge.
    • TMA Knowledge Center Helps With Board Certification
      Does your board certification process require journal articles? The TMA Knowledge Center can help you by obtaining articles and performing custom research requests.
    • Rule Gives Patients Access to Lab Reports
      Patients no longer have to call their physicians to get the results of a lab test under a new federal rule that gives them direct access to the reports.
    • TMA Releases 2nd Edition of NPP Guide
      Last year, the Texas Legislature passed legislation that replaces site-based requirements for the delegation and supervision of prescriptive authority for nonphysician practitioners (NPPs) with a framework of delegation and supervision that uses customizable prescriptive authority agreements.