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Know Your ADA Obligations - 12/04/2019

If someone asked you about your training on federal requirements for accommodating patients with disabilities, would your answer sound something like this? “Oh golly. I have no idea. I’m sure I had to read or study something sometime. I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been a doctor for quite a while, so I suspect I had to learn it somewhere, but I don’t remember where.” That’s an actual answer from one internal medicine physician in a recent study of doctors’ knowledge of their legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). And if the results of that small study are any indication, many physicians might be lacking in their knowledge on the subject.  


Finally Settled: Hospitals Settle Physician's Anti-Competition Lawsuit - 12/04/2019

A Laredo oncologist confidentially settled a years-long lawsuit involving a pair of hospitals he alleged mischaracterized a past legal misfortune to terminate his privileges and eliminate his clinic from competing with the facilities.


AMA House Punts on Texas Plan to Fix QPP - 11/20/2019

A decision on whether the American Medical Association (AMA) will join the Texas Medical Association’s call for major changes to Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) will have to wait a few more months, the AMA House of Delegates decided at its annual meeting in Chicago last week. The QPP overhaul was just one of 11 resolutions the Texas delegation to the AMA took to the five-day meeting. Most of the other 10 received a very warm welcome.


AMA House Rejects MIPS Plan - 11/20/2019

Led by the Texas delegation, the American Medical Association House of Delegates on Tuesday rejected as inadequate a plan to improve Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) and its highly-flawed Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track.


Texas Students and Residents Nab AMA Posts - 11/18/2019

Ten residents and medical students from Texas won elections over the weekend at the 2019 interim meeting of the American Medical Association in San Diego.


Open Enrollment 2020: Be Prepared for Coverage Changes - 11/13/2019

You’re probably already aware that open enrollment for commercial health insurance plans, including those on the Affordable Care Act Exchanges, opened Nov. 1 and will run through Dec. 15. While some patients won’t make any changes to their coverage, others will make significant changes, including enrolling with a completely different health plan.


Doctors Can Prohibit Handguns in Medical Offices - 10/24/2019

If you're not exactly jazzed about the thought of patients carrying handguns into your medical practice next year, you can do something to prevent it. House Bill 910 by Rep. Larry Phillips (R-Sherman) goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016, and it allows Texans with handgun licenses to openly carry their handguns in a hip or shoulder holster. TMA has received questions regarding whether physicians can post a notice at their practices prohibiting anyone from entering with a handgun – concealed or openly. The answer depends on the type of property the medical office is located on. Generally, a private property owner may post notice prohibiting the carrying of handguns   , but HB 910 contains many requirements. TMA's white paper, titled [insert title and link], has more information for physicians.


Warning: Watch Your Referrals - 10/01/2019

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.  


The Doctor - and Lawyer - Will See You Now: Medical-Legal Partnerships - 09/27/2019

Elderly woman. Low-income. Chronic pain. Needs to see a rheumatologist. Needs physical therapy. Struggling to pay rent. Has no insurance. Has no disability coverage. As a family physician at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Austin, Sharad Kohli, MD, sees a lot of cases like this. In similar health care settings, the patient might face two bad choices: wage bureaucratic war to obtain better health care benefits or simply give up. At People’s Community Clinic, Dr. Kohli referred her to an in-house lawyer who successfully appealed her denial of disability insurance. “[The lawyer] got her a significant income, which allowed her to pay her rent and also helped her get insurance through Medicaid and Medicare,” Dr. Kohli said. “And then she was able to see the rheumatologist and the physical therapist.” This kind of success helps explain why medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) like the one at People’s Community Clinic came about in 1993 and began expanding nationally after 2001. Te...


No Docs of All Trades: Ruling Reinforces Expert Witness Reforms - 09/26/2019

Before Texas’ landmark liability reforms passed in 2003, gray areas in the law often led to serious green for people who sued physicians.


The ACA Marketplace - 09/19/2019

Physicians find themselves in a land of confusion months after the debut of the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace. Pervasive problems with the exchange rollout, including enrollment delays and questionable health plan networks, disrupt physicians' office operations and affect patients' access to care.


Fighting Back: Practice Wins Court Battle Over Defamatory Online Reviews - 09/03/2019

One practice’s recent legal battle epitomizes physicians’ worst nightmares when it comes to online reviews. Here’s an extreme but glaring real world example, straight from the documents in a lawsuit that Austin Eye first filed in October 2017 over


Improve Your Health Systems Science Curriculum - 08/23/2019

Do you have a significant responsibility for implementing a curriculum related to topics such as health care quality, population health, or team-based care at your institution? If so, you might benefit from the American Medical Association’s Health Systems Science Scholars Program.


Court Rejects Hospital Challenge to Defamation Lawsuit - Again - 08/21/2019

Once again, Houston cardiothoracic surgeon Miguel Gomez, MD, has won in court in his battle to collect more than $6 million from Memorial Hermann Health System in a defamation lawsuit.


Medical Futility Law Sustained - 08/02/2019

Court tosses out challenge to ethics committee review of end-of-life care.


Final Verdict? Case Tests Court's Ability to Overturn a Jury Verdict - 08/02/2019

It was an overwhelming, 12-0 verdict – a jury’s unanimous rejection of a negligence case against a Laredo physician. Then, a judge took that decision away and ordered a new trial – not because of jury misconduct, or any procedural stumble that usually negates a court decision. It was taken away, essentially, because the judge said so.


The Meaning of Monthly: Court Ruling Offers Hope on Pain Clinic Registrations - 08/02/2019

Physicians can encounter a web of confusion and unfairness when it comes to navigating the Texas Medical Board (TMB). A Travis County district court has given Texas physicians clarity and hope when it comes to certain medical board investigations. The court’s decision, if it holds up, establishes an important precedent for when physicians are required to register their facility as a pain management clinic.


Retiring the R-Word: The Right Thing to Do - 07/03/2019

The AMA House of Delegates last month adopted policy that would put the first three phrases on the verboten list for physicians. Kudos to the delegates for recognizing that words, especially in the mouths and pens of powerful people like physicians, really do matter.


Houston Physician Is AMA Board Chair-To-Be - 06/17/2019

In 2020, Texas physicians will hold the largest reins of power at the American Medical Association. The AMA Board of Trustees last week chose Russell W.H. Kridel, MD, a facial plastic surgeon from Houston, as its new chair-elect. Dr. Kridel has been a board member since 2014 and served as secretary of the board last year. He will become chair following the AMA’s annual meeting in June 2020.


AMA Taps Texas Physician As Next President - 06/10/2019

Susan Rudd Bailey, MD, an allergist from Fort Worth, was unanimously elected today by the American Medical Association House of Delegates to be the next AMA president. “Challenging times remain for our health care system,” she told the delegates


Texas Doctors Seek to Help Trafficking Victims, Protect New Mothers - 06/07/2019

Texas doctors hope policy proposals put forth now can help stop human trafficking and protect women having a baby by extending their health insurance coverage. The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates policymaking body will take up these and other resolutions this weekend and in the coming week during the national medical association’s annual meeting, in Chicago.


Milestone Shows How Far Women Have Come in Medicine - 06/07/2019

After 151 years of all-male leadership at the nation’s largest physician organization, a family physician from Texas broke through the glass ceiling at the American Medical Association on June 17, 1998. Twenty-one years later, another Texas physician is poised to become the AMA’s sixth woman president – and its third in a row.


Texans Invite AMA to Join Crusade to Fix QPP - 06/04/2019

Don’t be surprised if the members of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates leave their annual meeting next week talking with a Texas drawl. Not only is Fort Worth allergist Sue Bailey, MD, likely to be picked as the next AMA president; not only are Texans represented at almost every level of AMA leadership; not only is there a special reception honoring Louis J. Goodman, PhD, who is retiring as CEO of the Texas Medical Association; there’s also this little matter of 11 policy proposals the Texas delegation has submitted for the AMA house to consider.


Eight Steps to a HIPAA Security Risk Analysis - 05/30/2019

Many practices have not yet conducted and documented this required HIPAA task. Follow these eight steps to complete your risk analysis.


Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Physicians Can Get Subpoenaed in Divorce Cases - 03/11/2019

Physicians subpoenaed to participate in a divorce case, whether to testify or simply to supply medical records to the court, could find themselves at the center of an acrimonious split. There are certain things they should know.