Related Stories

Keep Your Records Straight and HIPAA-Compliant With TMA CME - 01/17/2020

TMA’s in-depth publication, Managing Your Medical Records, will help physicians and front office staff better understand the rules of consent, release, and disclosure. Get up to speed on everything from practical, efficient methods for record organization to best practices for record storage that’s HIPAA- and HITECH-compliant.


“Patient Privacy Must Be Protected,” TMA Says in Response to Ascension-Google Partnership - 11/14/2019

Protecting sensitive patient health information should remain a top priority as technology and health care continue to intersect, Texas Medical Association President David C. Fleeger, MD, said Thursday in response to a partnership between Google and Ascension health system.


Physicians Concerned Over State’s Inaccurate Death Reporting - 06/25/2019

Some Texas physicians are concerned that the state’s death statistics are not as accurate as they should be. Like in many states, Texas’ death reporting system feeds inconsistent information into the state’s vital statistics database. As a result, distorted death statistics inaccurately portray how people are dying, which could have negative public health implications.


HIPAA Security: What Risks Are Realistic for Your Practice? - 05/30/2019

Here are some of the factors practices should consider when assessing the security of their patients’ electronic protected health information.


HIPAA Security Rule: Move It to Top of Mind - 05/30/2019

Pilot audit reports suggest a good place to start your HIPAA security compliance is with a careful reading of the HIPAA Security Rule, and training.


Secure Patients’ Protected Health Information - Senate Bill 944 - 03/26/2019

Like the authors of this legislation, TMA is an ardent supporter of protecting patient privacy. TMA believes that with the following recommendations, Senate Bill 944 will provide parity and consistency in current statute regarding a physician’s absolute requirements to protect a Texan’s confidential, protected health information (PHI) under state and federal privacy laws, particularly given the potential that under House Bill 2189 more covered entities (although not fully governmental entities) could fall under the purview of Chapter 552.


Secure Patients’ Protected Health Information - 03/20/2019

TMA believes that with the following recommendations, House Bill 2191 will provide parity and consistency in current statute regarding a physician’s absolute requirements to protect a Texan’s confidential, protected health information (PHI) under state and federal privacy laws, particularly given the potential that under House Bill 2189 more covered entities (although not fully governmental entities) could fall under the purview of Chapter 552.


Problems With Texas’ New Vital Statistics Registry Fixed, Official Says - 01/07/2019

The new TxEVER system should be operating smoothly after experiencing technical difficulties in the days after going live, an official with the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said Friday. If you weren’t already aware, the DSHS on Jan. 1 rolled out the system for processing death and birth certificates that it says will be easier and more accurate.


TMA Supports Privacy Protections - 04/20/2018

SB 1610 eliminates legal confusion by setting a single Texas standard for the elements for compliance. In those rare but very unfortunate instances when we have to notify patients that the privacy of their medical records may have been breached, SB 1610 eliminates the daunting task of complying with multiple, constantly changing laws passed in other states. We don’t need to rely on other state legislatures to protect and inform our patients, and to direct the Texas health care system.


A Conversation With Travis County Chief Medical Examiner J. Keith Pinckard, MD - 03/08/2018

Texas Medicine recently caught up with Dr. Pinckard, who has been the chief medical examiner at the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office since 2015.


Retention of Medical Records - 11/16/2017

Retention of Medical Records


Charging a Fee to Complete Forms - 10/19/2017

Can practices charge a fee to complete individual disability income claims forms?


Medical Records Retention for Pregnant Patients - 07/28/2017

Q. How long does an obstetrician or other physician who treats women during pregnancy need to keep patient records? Is it until age 21 of the baby, or seven years after the mother was last treated?


Take Our Medical Records Quiz - 06/14/2017

Questions abound when it comes to managing medical records because they are subject to many rules and regulations. Can you answer these commonly asked questions about medical records?


Return-to-Work or -School Releases and HIPAA - 01/27/2017

Is it necessary to have an authorization signed by the patient or parent for a return-to-work or return-to-school release?


Withholding Copies of Records for Failure to Pay Copy Fee - 12/07/2016

Do we have to provide a patient copies of requested medical records if the patient fails to pay the copying fee?


Requests for Records Must Be in Writing - 12/06/2016

Can we require all requests for copies of medical records be in writing, even though HIPAA says we must honor oral requests?


HIPAA and Medical Power of Attorney - 11/08/2016

Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule change the way in which a person can grant another person medical power of attorney?


Handling Patient Charts Under HIPAA - 11/08/2016

Handling Patient Charts Under HIPAA


Health Plan Requests for PHI - 11/08/2016

Are health plan requests for protected health information (PHI) always permitted under HIPAA?


Can I Share My Patient’s PHI for Treatment of a Family Member? - 06/08/2016

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, may I disclose protected health information (PHI) about my patient to another physician who requests it for the treatment of my patient’s family member?


Guidelines for Documenting E&M Services - 06/02/2016

Guidelines for documenting E&M services


Make Sure Novitas Can Open Your CDs - 05/18/2016

If you need to send medical records to Novitas Solutions, the Medicare payer for Texas, make sure Novitas can access the encrypted information.


Good Form - 05/13/2016

As more physicians adopt electronic health records and increasingly share patient information electronically, complying with state and federal privacy and security laws becomes more important than ever. The Texas Medical Association wants physicians to have the tools they need to comply while alleviating the administrative hassles that often accompany compliance, so it has created a patient authorization form to help physicians adhere to the law. By signing the form, a patient authorizes the physician to disclose all information in the medical record including medication lists, tests, and diagnoses. The form features fields for patient demographic information and medical history.