Advertising can be an important factor to the success of any Texas medical practice. The Texas Medical Board (TMB) places a number of rules and restrictions on physician advertising.
The regulation of physician advertising is designed to foster compliance with appropriate standards so that the public interest may be served without impeding the flow of useful and relevant information to the public. TMB rules state: “It is the responsibility of each physician to carefully scrutinize his advertisements and adhere to the highest ethical standards of truth in advertising.” 22 TAC §164.1.
Failure to comply with TMB advertising rules may lead to disciplinary action against the licensee.
Overview of The Advertising Rules for Texas Physicians
Advertisements are more than newspaper ads or billboards. TMB rules define advertising as "information communication to the public in any manner designed to attract public attention to the practice of a physician," including oral, written, broadcast communications, signs, professional cards, announcements, letterheads, listings in directories, brochures, radio, television, and information disseminated on the internet. 22 TAC §164.2.
The following is an overview of the advertising rules for Texas physicians; however, this list is by no means exhaustive. If you have questions about rules not covered here or need to speak with an attorney about medical license defense, please call (512) 717-5432 or click here to contact us.
No Misleading or Deceptive Advertising
There is an absolute bar on advertisements that are in any way false, deceptive, or misleading. TMB rules list 18 ways by which an advertisement "shall be deemed by the board to be false deceptive, or misleading," which you can access here.
Physician advertising must not contain materially false claims or misrepresentations of material facts which cannot be substantiated or omit material facts. Advertising that assures a permanent cure for an incurable disease or creates an unjustified expectation about the results of a health care procedure are considered deceptive or misleading. 22 TAC §164.3.
The Use of "Board Certified"
Physicians may only use the term "board certified" in advertising if the specialty board that conferred the certification and the certifying organization is a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS), or the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 22 TAC §164.4(a).
Nevertheless, TMB may authorize the use of the term "board certified" if the certifying organization does not meet the above qualifications but has certification requirements that are substantially equivalent to the requirements of the ABMS or the BOS. 22 TAC §164.4(b).
Requirement to Retain Records
A recording or copy of every advertisement of any form must be kept for two years from the date of the last broadcast or publication. These records must be made available for review by TMB upon request. 22 TAC §164.5(d).
The foregoing is a brief overview of the advertising rules for Texas doctors and is by no means exhaustive.
Medical License at Risk
Failure to follow TMB's advertising rules could put your Texas Medical license at risk of suspension or revocation. A careless mistake or an honest oversight could cost you your medical career.
If you are under investigation by TMB, we urge you to seek the advice of an experienced medical license defense attorney.
Talk to an experienced attorney who understands all aspects of a TMB complaint case. The lawyers at BERTOLINO LLP know how to carefully research every potential complaint. We know where to look for evidence and how to use that information to build a successful legal strategy.
If you are facing disciplinary action from the Texas Medical Board contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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