Updated TMA White Paper Delves Into Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine

"The Corporate Practice of Medicine," TMA's latest white paper, focuses on the development of the corporate practice of medicine prohibition, current applications and prohibitions, potential exceptions to the law, key considerations in relevant corporate practice of medicine court cases, and penalties for violations of the corporate practice of medicine doctrine. 

Texas has enacted laws to keep nonphysician practitioners and corporate entities out of the practice of medicine. The corporate practice of medicine doctrine ensures physicians are able to exercise professional medical judgment relating to a patient's health care needs without financial or other outside pressures. TMA staff has revised and updated this popular white paper based on recent changes in the law.

During the 2011 legislative session, working with the Texas Hospital Association, the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals, then-Senate State Affairs Committee Chair Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock), and other legislative leaders, TMA crafted a compromise on several physician employment bills. They give some hospitals greater latitude to employ doctors but impose some of the strongest protections in the nation for physicians' clinical autonomy and independent medical decision making.

The 2011 law allows employment of physicians by small hospitals, generally in counties of 50,000 or fewer, with strong protections for independent medical judgment and medical staff responsibility for all clinical policies from privileges to credentialing to utilization review. Texas law also requires the hospital's chief medical officer to report to the Texas Medical Board any instance of administrative interference in clinical or patient care decisionmaking.  

Action, Nov. 1, 2016

Last Updated On

October 31, 2016