Stories from Texas Medicine, June 2022

Information Unblocked: Rules Requiring Docs to Give Patients Prompt Access to EHRs Prove Mostly Useful - 08/24/2022

The information blocking regulations stemming from the 21st Century Cures Act, which Congress passed in 2016, broaden patients' access to their electronic medical records and have proven mostly useful since taking effect in April 2021.


Maternity Deserts: Fewer Rural Hospitals Delivering Babies - 06/29/2022

A rural health care shortage is nothing new to Texas physicians and patients, but the problem has become especially difficult for women seeking maternity care in lightly populated regions like West Texas.


“Black Robes, Not White Coats”: Can Courts Compel Unproven Treatments? - 06/29/2022

COVID-19 patients and their families have involved judges and attorneys in an effort to compel physicians to treat the disease in unproven ways, against their medical judgment. And in some cases around the country, patients’ families have been successful in getting a court order to do so. The Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Patient-Physician Advocacy, while not directly involved in such cases, has a keen interest in making sure physicians can exercise their medical judgment.


What's Next for Prior Authorization: Texas' 'Gold Card' Law Winds Through Rulemaking - 06/29/2022

Physician advocates, alongside the Texas Medical Association, are looking to this fall’s legislative races as they monitor the rulemaking underway to implement the "Gold Card" law and prepare to push for additional reforms during the 2023 legislative session that kicks off in January.


“Fight the Good Fight:” Fleeger Awarded TMA’s Highest Honor - 06/29/2022

The Texas Medical Association bestowed its highest honor upon Austin colon and rectal surgeon David C. Fleeger, MD, for his confident leadership during difficult times and his longtime advocacy for medicine at the state and national levels.


Contract Do’s and Don’ts: How to Negotiate From a Place of Strength - 06/29/2022

By leaning on Texas Medical Association resources and their own health care attorney, physicians can gain confidence and better negotiate favorable terms to secure their economic success.


How to Start a Medical-Legal Partnership - 06/29/2022

Medical entities can join forces with legal entities to form medical-legal partnerships (MLPs), and these partnerships are helpful for patients whose conditions are worsened by social determinants of health.


Picking the Right Battles: TMA Stands Up for Medicine in the Courts - 06/29/2022

When a big point of legal contention arises – “big” meaning impactful for Texas physicians and their patients – the Texas Medical Association responds big. That’s been the case for decades, including in the courts.