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Update: TMB Clears Up Questions About PMP Checks for Inpatient Care - 02/21/2020

Will you be required to check the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) when a patient is admitted to a hospital or emergency department? Will you be required to check PMP Aware upon admission? What if you need to prescribe those medications while the patient is in that facility? The Texas Medical Board issued guidance on those very questions this week.


Preserving Do No Harm: Supreme Court Tosses Challenge to Medical Ethics Committee Law. - 02/18/2020

Twenty years after it took effect, Texas’ medical ethics committee review law has withstood challenge after challenge. The Texas Supreme Court is on the verge of ending the latest high-profile attack on the law that ensures physicians can uphold their professional obligation to “do no harm.” In October 2019, the state’s high court declined to take up Kelly v. Houston Methodist Hospital, in which the mother of a deceased patient attempted to overturn a provision of the Texas Advance Directives Act. Justices’ action leaves intact an appeals court decision that preserves physicians’ ability to use their medical judgment in end-of-life cases.


Finally Settled: Hospitals Settle Physician's Anti-Competition Lawsuit - 01/08/2020

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.


Why I am Hopeful for Health Care (And You Should Be, Too) - 01/03/2020

The positivity, professionalism, and commitment demonstrated by my masters of health administration students leaves me with a confident outlook for American medicine.


Hospitals Can Improve Care for Patients With Hearing-Loss, TMA Says - 01/03/2020

Hospitals and emergency departments should provide specific forms of identification for patients with hearing loss, the Texas Medical Association emphasized to the Texas Hospital Association last year.


An Injury to Justice: Workers' Comp Disputes Could Tilt in Insurers' Favor - 01/02/2020

Medicine is working to upend a recent appeals court decision that threatens to give health plans an overwhelming advantage in fee disputes in workers compensation cases.


Easing the Pain? Opioid Settlement Brings Valuable Funding to Fight Crisis - 11/01/2019

September 2019 brought what could become a major victory for the state’s handling of opioid addiction. Drug-maker Purdue Pharma – which faced thousands of lawsuits from cities and states, including Texas, for its role in the national opioid crisis – announced it had agreed to a settlement with 24 state attorneys general and other plaintiffs. The maker of OxyContin and other pain drugs says the agreement will provide more than $10 billion to address the epidemic.


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.


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


Physician, Hospital Groups Distribute Urgent Measles Advisory - 08/06/2019

Texas doctors and hospitals have a new tool to fight the ever-increasing measles threat, as the number of people sickened by the infectious yet preventable disease climbs. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and Texas Hospital Association (THA) have created a new resource to help physicians, hospitals, and other health care professionals combat the highly contagious, yet entirely preventable, respiratory illness.


All Together Now: Health Care Mergers Reshape the Way Texas Physicians Practice - 08/02/2019

Consolidation has touched just about every part of today’s health care industry. Hospitals, medical practices, pharmacies, insurance companies are all merging in various ways — a trend epitomized by the 2018 announcement that hospital systems Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas and Memorial Hermann in Houston plan to become one big nonprofit.


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.


Setting the Record Straight: Supreme Court Curtails TMB for Over-Sanctioning Physician - 08/02/2019

Eight years ago, when he experienced a rare patient death, McAllen family physician Ruben Aleman, MD, signed the death certificate the way Texas physicians had been doing it for years, and the only way he knew how: using pen and paper. That resulted in the Texas Medical Board (TMB) not only coming after him, but accusing him of “unprofessional or dishonorable conduct that is likely to deceive or defraud the public” – words found in the state Medical Practice Act. The Texas Supreme Court recently decided that was an overreach for a physician who simply hadn’t signed up on the state’s electronic death registration system, which at the time was relatively new.


The Deal's Off: Baylor, Memorial Hermann Opt to Skip Merger - 03/12/2019

Many health care companies have merged in recent years, but nothing symbolized the high-dollar, high-stakes nature of the trend like the proposed $14 billion merger of Texas health care giants Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas and Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston. But then officials from both health care systems abruptly called off the deal today.


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.


The Right to Fight: Attorney-Client Protections for Physicians and Other Professionals Under Threat - 03/05/2019

The Texas Medical Association is asking the Texas Supreme Court to make sure physicians can maintain the right to keep attorney-client communications private when doctors testify as experts in their own cases.


Each Physician Generates $2.4 Million For Hospitals, Survey Shows - 02/28/2019

According to a survey released this week, a physician generates an average of almost $2.4 million per year in net revenue on behalf of his or her affiliated hospitals. That’s an increase of almost 52 percent from 2016 figures, according to the  2019 Physician Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue Survey .


Physician Employment Continues to Grow, Survey Shows - 02/21/2019

According to a survey released this week, hospitals and health systems acquired 8,000 medical practices nationwide between July 2016 and January 2018. Also during those 18 months, 14,000 physicians left private practice for employment arrangements with hospitals, the numbers show.


The Risk of Speaking Up - 02/04/2019

Whistleblowing may be ethical, but physician protections for it could stand to improve.


“A Threat to All Texas Physicians:” TMA Backs Surgeon in Defamation Suit - 01/02/2019

Miguel Gomez, MD’s well-publicized legal fight isn’t over yet. In its latest turn, the Texas Medical Association is still standing behind the surgeon as he fights to uphold a verdict against one of the state’s largest nonprofit hospital systems for defaming him.


Court Sides With Medical Examiner in Suit Over Autopsy - 12/21/2018

With the Texas Medical Association’s help, a Harris County medical examiner has won the latest battle in a lawsuit over an autopsy he performed following a woman’s 2007 shooting death.


Legal Examination: Case Tests Lawsuit Immunity For Medical Examiners - 12/21/2018

Case tests lawsuit immunity for medical examiners.


Crisis in the Country - 09/26/2018

Since 2010, Texas has seen more rural hospitals close than has any other state, leaving huge gaps in health care; however, the state's rural areas have options for maintaining health care facilities.