On June 9, 2016, the Texas Medical Board proposed for comment new rules regarding physician call coverage. The proposed new rule originated from the Board’s Telemedicine Committee and changes the current telemedicine call coverage rule. The rule would apply to all physician call coverage relationships, not just telemedicine.

During the meetings last week, the Board’s Executive Director stated that the proposed rule was created at the request of the Texas Medical Association and leadership from Children’s Medical Center of Dallas with input from the Texas e-Health Alliance. An earlier draft was withdrawn during the Board’s March 2016 meeting. The current draft was reviewed and discussed during a recent meeting of the Board’s telemedicine stakeholder group.
Continue Reading Texas Medical Board Proposes New Call Coverage Rules for Telemedicine and Traditional Patient Care

TelehealthBlogPicThe Texas Medical Board (TMB) Telemedicine Committee met on Thursday, August 27, 2015. During the meeting they discussed potential changes to the on-call services telemedicine rule (174.11). At the end of the meeting, they instructed board staff to draft proposed revisions to the rule to allow for changes to the rule.

Although the direction to staff was verbal, they focused on several items: expanding the scope of on-call physician specialties a physician can choose from for their on-call services; a diminishing of the current requirement that the on-call physician provide reciprocal services to the original physician; and there also appeared to be consensus that the rule should include a provision which requires the original physician to have responsibility for the on-call care.


Continue Reading TMB considers changes to on-call telemedicine requirements

Laptop with medical diagnostic software and stethoscope

New Texas Medical Board (TMB) rules effective June 3, 2015, limit the ability to prescribe drugs based only on telephonic consults. The rules also raise questions about the viability of some call-coverage arrangements. Specifically, for a physician prescribing medication, Tex. Admin. Code tit. 22 §190.8 now requires, among other things, a “defined physician-patient relationship” that must include a physical examination performed by the provider face-to-face or in accordance with Tex. Admin. Code tit. 22 ch. 170 rules for telemedicine. Significantly, the limitations do not apply to mental health services, except in cases of behavioral emergencies.


Continue Reading Texas hangs up on telephone prescribers

physicians155824955Changes to Texas Medical Board regulations regarding the supervision of physician assistants went into effect March 12, 2015, and will reduce both: (i) physician oversight obligations; and (ii) conflict with prescriptive delegation regulations. Specifically, requirements of Tex. Admin. Code tit. 22 §185.16 were reduced to only prohibiting a physician assistant from independently billing patients “except where provided by law.”
Continue Reading Physician assistance for physician assistants

After a protracted legal battle resolved in the favor of Teladoc, Inc. (Teladoc) on Dec. 31, 2014, (see Teladoc, Inc. v. Texas Medical Board, No. 03-13-00211-CV, Tex. App. 3rd, Austin) and clarifying that Teladoc physicians could prescribe dangerous drugs based on a telephonic evaluation, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) wasted no time in issuing an emergency rule Jan. 16, 2015, that significantly limits the use of telephones in the practice of medicine.
Continue Reading Big Redial – Texas telephone medicine terminated?