In the months before TxEVER went live Jan. 1, state health officials said the new system would make processing death and birth certificates easier.
However, as is the case with many new health care initiatives (remember the rollout of Healthcare.gov?), technical difficulties and user error have caused quite a few headaches over the past few weeks.
Texas physicians have reported multiple problems using TxEVER, including long telephone wait times and difficulties getting new PINs.
Although an official with the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) last week said the system should be operating smoothly, the agency on Friday acknowledged some of the difficulties physicians are experiencing.
“TxEVER is a complex system, and DSHS is working to resolve some confusion that has arisen,” the agency told the Texas Medical Association. “TxEVER is working. Questions that have come up are primarily related to user account corrections, printer set ups, and other training issues. Nonetheless, DSHS is paying close attention to what our stakeholders are reporting should any system-related issues arise.”
Some of the issues DSHS acknowledged include:
- Call hold times averaging 30 to 35 minutes as DSHS walks new users through the system;
- Busy signals; and
- A 1.5-day turnaround response on emails.
Because the Texas Medical Board (TMB) can penalize a physician for not completing a death record within the required time period, DSHS officials said they have notified TMB that the changes could affect physician timeliness.
DSHS officials also said the process for burial-transit permits has not changed: “As per Texas Administrative Code 181.2(b), a completed death certificate has not been, nor is, required for a burial, transport, or cremation of a body.”
The DSHS website lists some of the problems physicians still could face, with instructions on how to address them.
To prepare potential users to use the new system, DSHS has been holding daily conference calls and online webinars throughout January. Check the DSHS website for a schedule of conference calls and webinars.
The agency also has extended call hours through Jan. 21: 7 am-7 pm Monday through Friday, and 8 am-4 pm Saturdays.
TxEVER replaced the Texas Electronic Register, which required physicians to fill out an electronic death certificate within five days of receiving it or face TMB penalties.
TxEVER is designed to support all vital events operations, including reporting, registration, and amendments of births and deaths, health officials said.
If you want more information on TxEVER webinars, and how to register, contact DSHS at TxEVER[at]dshs[dot]texas[dot]gov, call (512) 776-3010, or visit the DSHS website.
The TMA Knowledge Center is available to help members who have been unsuccessful in resolving issues through the DSHS TxEVER helpdesk and website resources. Please contact us at (800) 880-7955 for assistance.