Scope of Practice

Respecting the Roles: TMA Battles Another Round of Scope of Practice Bills - 08/02/2019

When nonmedical professionals ask the Texas Legislature for the authority to practice medicine, TMA mounts a full-court press, letting lawmakers know why there are some roles only physicians can fill.


Scope of Practice: Shot Down - 08/02/2019

When it comes to shooting down dangerous attempts to expand non-medical practitioners’ scope of practice, TMA’s advocacy army once again proved to be expert marksmen in 2019. Medicine trained its scope on bills that would have allowed nurse practitioners, chiropractors, and optometrists, among others, to wade into the practice of medicine.


Court Sides With TMA in Final Ruling on Chiropractic Scope of Practice Lawsuit - 06/26/2019

We won! In a final judgment by Travis County District Court Judge Rhonda Hurley, TMA prevailed in its long-held declaration that the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners' (TBCE's) rules permitting chiropractors to make medical diagnoses and perform other medical procedures exceed the chiropractic scope of practice.  


TMA Opposes Dental Board's Sleep Apnea Treatment Rules - 06/26/2019

TMA is fighting the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners' (TSBDE's) proposed rule changes for dental treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. The association told TSBDE in a letter TMA "strongly opposes any attempt to expand the dentists' scope of practice through the promulgation of rules that TMA contends not only lack support in, but also conflict with, the applicable law passed by the Texas Legislature. Unfortunately, this opposition extends to the rules adopted to be effective on June 11, 2014, and the new March 18, 2016, rule proposal."


Victory! Marriage and Family Therapists Can't Diagnose - 06/26/2019

In a scope-of-practice victory for medicine, the Supreme Court of Texas upheld the Third Court of Appeals' decision that the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists' (MFT's) diagnostic assessment rule exceeds the scope of marriage and family therapy.


Houston Judge Changes Course, Says DOs Can File Commitment Papers - 06/26/2019

Physicians across Texas are breathing a sigh of relief — at least for now — thanks to Harris County Probate Judge Rory Olsen's decision to allow doctors of osteopathy (DOs) to file Certificates of Medical Examinations needed for mental health commitments. TMA and a host of other physician organizations have been fighting the judge's initial ruling, which prohibited DOs from signing the commitment papers.


Legislative Top 10: Lawmakers Say No to Expanding Scope of Practice - 06/10/2019

Every legislative session, allied health professionals ask lawmakers to broaden their scope of practice to some form of health care only physicians are trained and authorized to provide. Today's TMA Legislative News Hotline video reports that lawmakers passed no such Texas Medical Association-opposed bills this term.


Prohibit Chiropractors From Practicing Neurology - 04/29/2019

The current statutory definition of chiropractic references its focus on the musculoskeletal system. SB 1867 would add “neuro” to its definition. We find this an unwarranted expansion, contrary to patient health care, and unsupported by chiropractors’ education and training.


Chiropractors Are NOT Neurologists – Don’t Expand Their Scope - 04/03/2019

Simply alleging that the basis of this proposal is the impossibility of treating conditions related to the “musculoskeletal” system without a neurological connection is misleading, oversimplified, and potentially dangerous. Adding the term “neuro” is not merely the addition of the nerves that may connect muscle tissue or bones. It is the addition of the entire neurological system that includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the regulation of many bodily functions – all well beyond chiropractors’ education and training.


Stop APRN Scope Expansion - 04/03/2019

Medical school was a very humbling experience as I learned the depth of what I did not know as a nurse practitioner. Many times I realized I had inadvertently provided improper treatment for a patient simply out of ignorance. I came to realize, for example, the reason I struggled to understand how to interpret lab data as a nurse practitioner was that I hadn’t gained the in-depth knowledge of normal physiology and abnormal pathophysiology required to understand the “why” behind the lab tests.


Pharmacy Board Nixes Proposal That Could’ve Broadened Pharmacists’ Scope - 03/14/2019

Medicine’s objections were strong, and the state’s draft rules allowing pharmacists to perform medication therapy management services aren’t going to make it after all.


Healthy Vision 2025 Calls for Teamwork, not Scope Expansion - 02/07/2019

The sentence has appeared in every edition of the Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision series since the first Healthy Vision 2010 was published 14 years ago: “TMA opposes any efforts to expand any health professionals’ scope of practice beyond what is safely permitted by their education, training, and skills.” That focus on safety remains an integral part of  Healthy Vision 2025 , published last week. And that sentence remains, verbatim.    


Help TMA Fight Independent Practice For APRNs - 02/07/2019

Please contact your state lawmakers today through the new TMA Grassroots Action Center. Let them know you support physician-led, team-based care. Tell them how much you learned in your years of medical school, residency, and beyond. Tell them why APRNs are NOT the answer to Texas’ physician shortage. Ask them to say “No” to the APRNs and to help the Texas Medical Association stop them.


Opioid Overreach? State, Retail Pharmacy Policies Prompt Scope-of-Practice Concerns - 12/07/2018

Worries over what’s been termed a national opioid epidemic is leading to new state and corporate pharmacy policies that could blur the line between the practice of pharmacy and the practice of medicine.


Physicians Warn of Overreach in New Pharmacy Prescription Rules - 12/05/2018

Physicians are questioning whether some Texas pharmacists are overstepping bounds by using a new rule to second-guess whether a doctor’s prescription is appropriate.


Specialties List Scope, Balance Billing Among Top Targets for 2019 - 12/04/2018

Representatives of more than 20 specialty societies ran through each organization’s top priorities for the 2019 Texas Legislature during the Texas Medical Association’s annual Advocacy Retreat on Saturday morning at the Renaissance Austin.


Should Texas Change the Rules for APRNs? - 11/13/2018

Texas is facing a chronic physician shortage, especially in rural areas and urban cities. Some argue that giving advanced practice registered nurses more leeway to prescribe and treat patients will help address that shortage. But is that a workable solution? A panel discussion at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank in Austin, set out last week to address this contentious issue.


Advanced Education? TMA Pushes State for Standards in APRN Clinical Training - 10/18/2018

TMA pushes state for standards in APRN clinical training.


Financial Squeeze: Low Medicaid pay has Dallas clinics turning to midlevels to cut costs - 09/14/2018

Low Medicaid pay forces some Children's Health Pediatric Group clinics in Dallas to close, others turn to midlevels to cut costs, raising quality concerns.


Proposal Would Maintain Unauthorized Scope for Chiropractors - 08/21/2018

The Texas Medical Association strongly opposes proposed new state rules that would continue to allow chiropractors to practice acupuncture and to perform other procedures and services outside the scope of practice for chiropractic.


Physician Assistants to Explore Changing Title - 06/04/2018

Physician assistants one day might go by a different name under a resolution the American Academy of PAs passed during its annual conference in May.


Medical Associations Challenge Nursing Council - 05/17/2018

The TMA, AMA, and other state medical societies are asking the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to remove or revise parts of an interstate compact that would alter state scope-of-practice laws for advanced practice registered nurses.


TMB Should License Neurodiagnostic Technicians - 04/27/2018

Without question, the field of neurodiagnostic testing is growing, and neurodiagnostic technicians (NDTs) are becoming more important members of the medical care team in our continual efforts to improve patient care. We believe NDT licensure is important for the Texas Legislature to consider for the following reasons. First, the information NDTs provide helps guide diagnosis and the course of treatment physicians like me prescribe to our patients. Second, the neurodiagnostic testing that NDTs perform involves the insertion of highly specialized medical instruments into the human body.  We believe the state of Texas has a public safety interest in understanding who these individuals are, and ensuring the training they receive is of the highest order and their technical skills comply with the highest safety standards.


Standing Up for Patients - 04/25/2018

The Affordable Care Act promotes collaboration and team treatment of patients. The Texas Medical Association agrees collaborative care is crucial, but the association wants to ensure physicians remain the head of the team. With the Texas Legislature in full swing, physicians face several bills that would challenge that leadership and expand the scope of practice for nurses, chiropractors, and other health professionals without a license to practice medicine.


Keep Team-Care Model; Do Not Grant APRNs Autonomy - 03/21/2018

This opinion column (op-ed) by Don R. Read, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association (TMA), expresses concerns over efforts by some nursing groups to attain independent practice authority rather than working collaboratively with Texas physicians. The concept is proposed in House Bill 1415 by Rep. Stephanie Klick and Senate Bill 681 by Sen. Kelly Hancock, both of Fort Worth.