• 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. 
    • Negotiate a Physician Salary With Eyes Wide Open
      With more physicians going into employment in a large group or hospital arrangement, it is important they understand the pros and cons of various compensation methods they might be offered in an employment contract.
    • 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.

    • FDA Allows Normal Saline Importation to Alleviate Shortage
      A critical shortage of 0.9-percent sodium chloride injection (normal saline) that threatens patients' safety prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow B. Braun Medical Inc., of Bethlehem, Pa., to temporarily distribute the drug in the United States from its manufacturing facility in Germany.
    • Judge Sides With Aetna Against Texas Clinics
      Aetna is collecting $8.4 million from a small hospital and three clinics after a Texas judge ruled the facilities overbilled the insurer for two years.
    • Physicians Get Green Light to Treat Families for Infectious Diseases
      Texas physicians may now prescribe medications and vaccines to close contacts of their patients to prevent the further spread of infectious diseases. The Texas Medical Board announced the change to its rules in the July 25 issue of the Texas Register.
    • Hydrocodone Products Reclassified as Schedule II
      Over TMA's objections, the Drug Enforcement Administration last month published a final rule in the Federal Register reclassifying drugs that contain hydrocodone combinations from Schedule III to Schedule II. The change will take effect Oct. 6.
    • Virtual Kidnappers Target Texas Physicians
      TMA wants to alert you about a disturbing development that hit the family of medicine in the past several weeks. On separate occasions, individuals contacted physicians in San Antonio, El Paso, and Corpus Christi and claimed to have kidnapped the doctor’s child with the intent to extort money from the physician.