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  2. Featured Legal News - January 30, 2024
Featured Legal News - January 30, 2024
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Take Steps to Avoid the Consent Order License Pitfall
Often, at the same time the State Department of Health threatens to file charges to discipline a health professional’s license, its lawyers will offer up an “agreed order” or “consent order” to settle the matter. They tout that agreeing to its terms will allow you to “avoid a hearing." You may think it is cheaper just to sign it and move on. TMA’s general counsel formerly prosecuted medical board and other disciplinary cases and offers the following guidance:

Do not sign any agreed order without first consulting a health care lawyer with experience in these matters. The proposed charges may be inaccurate. There may be alternative discipline that is not reportable to the National Practitioner Databank (NPDB) that can be worked out. Reportable disciplinary action must be explained throughout your career for hospital credentialing, other state licenses, med mal insurance coverage, and health plan networks. There is a useful “screening panel” process available to resolve cases short of a hearing. The TMA legal department has a list of lawyers with experience in health disciplinary cases. Contact for the list.

Deaf Patients & Deaf Companions of Patients - Interpreters
TMA’s Law Guide topic, Deaf Patients – Interpreters and Companion Interpreters, is an extensive document covering a medical practice’s requirement to provide equal access to a patient or a patient’s companion with a hearing impairment.  

Law Guide
TMA’s Healthcare Law Guide, accessible only to members, is a repository of research developed by staff addressing a multitude of legal issues impacting the practice of medicine and patient care.  Any questions should be directed to  Member login required.   

Overdose & Wound Reporting
Tennessee law requires health care providers to report certain wounds and injuries to law enforcement and in 2022 the legislature added fatal drug overdose to the list of wounds and injuries that must be reported. Review the Law Guide topic, Wound and Overdose Reporting, to ensure you comply with this law.  

Prescribing for Self & Family: BME Policy
The licensing boards for physicians each have a policy that prohibits an M.D. or D.O. from prescribing or treating himself/herself and treatment of immediate family and treatment by supervisees. Click here to access the policy for medical doctors and click here for the policy for osteopathic physicians.  

Urine Drug Testing LG topic
A licensed healthcare facility or other healthcare employer must report a positive confirmed drug test or a refusal to submit to a drug test of a healthcare practitioner to the appropriate licensing board. For more information about this law, see TMA's Law Guide, Urine Drug Testing.


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