The Texas Medical Board’s (TMB) new rule requiring practices follow minimum safe-practice standards has caused a lot of questions for physicians throughout the state.
To help ease any pain, the Texas Medical Association has published a white paper on the rule, which went into effect May 1.
As you’re probably aware, state laws and executive orders require you to report to state health officials all suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 as well as the results of any approved or authorized tests conducted at your facility.
But you might not be certain exactly what information you are required to report.
As some Texas counties have begun ordering businesses to require employees and customers to wear masks, physicians across the state also must comply with face-covering requirements – among other minimum safe practices – as required by the Texas Medical Board (TMB).
Physicians cannot be jailed by the attorney general or local law enforcement for violating Executive Order GA-19, according to a more recent executive order Gov. Greg Abbott issued Thursday.
The previous order – EO GA-19 – mandates that physicians comply with a Texas Medical Board (TMB) rule that requires physicians follow minimum safe-practice standards related to COVID-19.
In response to questions raised by physicians around the state, the Texas Medical Association Office of General Counsel and the TMA COVID-19 Task Force have drafted a new white paper and a letter addressing physicians’ legal and ethical responsibilities to patients.
The “Legal Pitfalls of Patient Termination” white paper is a detailed document that physicians may find useful in numerous situations.
Patient and Practice Safety
Governor Removes Jail Time as Penalty for Violating COVID-19 Order
TMB Requires Physicians to Follow Minimum COVID-19 Safety Standards
HIPAA Privacy and Novel Coronavirus (HHSC)
Key OSHA Standards for COVID-19 (US Dept of Labor)
The Texas Medical Board’s (TMB) emergency rule establishing minimum safe-practice standards related to COVID-19, and its frequently asked questions (FAQ) document on the rule, continue to generate a lot of questions from physicians.
Specifically, the provision requiring physicians, their delegates, and patients to wear masks when a physician or delegate is less than 6 feet from the patient has resulted in a lot of calls to the Texas Medical Association Knowledge Center.
In a medical practice, physicians, administrators, managers, and other staff may all be responsible for maintaining compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. The Texas Medical Association offers several resources, tools, and even discounts on compliance services to help keep your practice compliant.
The delays are done. March 2020 is here, and by law, physicians now must check PMP Aware – the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP) – before issuing any opioid, benzodiazepine, barbiturate, or carisoprodol prescription.
Recent questions about Compliance:
I think a HIPAA breach may have occurred. What do I do now?
Can offer discounts to my patients?
Am I required to provide an interpreter for my limited English proficiency patients?
Ask your question now
The Security Risk Assessment Tool by the ONC is a free tool designed to help practices with one to 10 physicians identify their risks and vulnerabilities with electronic protected health information (ePHI) and then implement appropriate security measures.
Enroll in Proactive LifeLock® Identity Theft Protection You have a home security system that alerts you if someone tries to rob your house. To be protected, you need an alarm system for your identity. compliance.
Some of your employees may have become newly eligible for overtime pay on Jan. 1.
The U.S. Department of Labor has increased the minimum salary for exempt employees to $684 per week – $35,568 annually – from the previous level of $455 per week ($23,660 annually). Any employee earning less than $684 per week is automatically nonexempt and thus eligible for overtime pay.
The federal requirements have not changed, but starting Jan. 1, breach notification requirements became even more stringent for Texas physicians or medical entities. The Texas Legislature dropped the threshold for breach reporting from 500 patients to 250. House Bill 4390 also requires medical entities to report breaches to the Texas attorney general’s office within 60 days of the breach.
Federal anti-kickback law has changed, and it’s gotten broader.
As a result, you may need to re-examine your practice’s compensation arrangements. That includes payments for laboratory referrals.
Minimize the risk your medical practice faces by establishing or maintaining an effective compliance program for HIPAA and coding and documentation practices.
Start now and gain the knowledge needed to achieve compliance. View all of the compliance courses available on the TMA Education Center.
TMA has a wealth of information available to members in our various white papers on compliance and legal topics. Learn about consent for treatment of minors, DEA investigations, access to medical records, termination of the physician-patient relationship, and many more topics.
View the White Papers
Looking for resources to promote health equity? TMA’s Social Determinants of Health Resource Center provides a wealth of information for physicians seeking to learn more about social factors that drive health outcomes. The resource center includes links to educational material, screening tools, care management resources and more.
View the Resource Center