Even though the Texas Medical Board (TMB) has suspended disciplinary action for not completing death certificates electronically, physicians should continue registering to use – and using – the Texas Electronic Registrar (TER) Death Registration system. The suspension won't last forever, and you eventually will face a $500 fine if you don't use the system.
Last November, TMB said it would refund money to physicians already fined and suspend pending cases because of physicians' complaints about the registration system. TMB said the delay in disciplining physicians would last until the 2011 session of the Texas Legislature ends in May. That, according to;TMA staff, resulted in fewer physicians using the system and an increase in paper death certificates.
If you haven't registered and aren't using the system, now is a good time to do so. Here's what TMB says about it in the January TMB Bulletin: "It's important to note that electronic death certification is here to stay. The health department adopted this system because it is faster for all parties involved, and it's less susceptible to fraud than paper. Therefore, doctors can take advantage of this new grace period to sign up and work through any glitches with DSHS."
Action, Feb. 15, 2011