Texas Board of Medical Examiners
Standards for Physicians Practicing Integrative and Complementary Medicine

Texas Administrative Code, §§ 200.1-200.3

200.1. Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to recognize that physicians should be allowed a reasonable and responsible degree of latitude in the kinds of therapies they offer their patients. The Board also recognizes that patients have a right to seek integrative or complementary therapies.

200.2. Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Integrative and Complementary Medicine - Those health care methods of diagnosis, treatment, or interventions that are not acknowledged to be conventional but that may be offered by some licensed physicians in addition to, or as an alternative to, conventional medicine, and that provide a reasonable potential for therapeutic gain in a patientís medical condition and that are not reasonably outweighed by the risk of such methods.

(2) Conventional Medicine - Those health care methods of diagnosis, treatment, or interventions that are offered by most licensed physicians as generally accepted methods of routine practice, based upon medical training, experience and review of the peer reviewed scientific literature.

200.3. Practice Guidelines for the Provision of Integrative and Complementary Medicine. A licensed physician shall not be found guilty of unprofessional conduct or be found to have committed professional failure to practice medicine in an acceptable manner solely on the basis of employing a health care method of integrative or complementary medicine, unless it can be demonstrated that such method has a safety risk for the patient that is unreasonably greater than the conventional treatment for the patientís medical condition. The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners will use the following guidelines to determine whether a physicianís conduct violates the Medical Practice Act, §§3.08(4), 3.08(4)(E), and 3.08(18) in regard to providing complementary and integrative medical treatment.

(1) Prior to offering advice about complementary health care therapies, the physician shall undertake an assessment of the patient. This assessment should include but not be limited to, conventional methods of diagnosis and may include non-conventional methods of diagnosis and shall be documented in the patientís chart. Such assessment shall include the following listed in subparagraphs (A)-(E) of this paragraph:

(A) adequate medical records as defined in §165.1 of this title (relating to Medical Records);

(B) documentation as to whether conventional medical treatment options have been discussed with the patient and referral input, if necessary;

(C) documentation as to whether conventional medical options have been tried, and if so, to what effect or a statement as to whether conventional options have been refused by the patient;

(D) if a treatment is offered which is not considered to be conventional, documentation of at least a verbal informed consent for each treatment plan must be included (including documentation that the risks and benefits of the use of the treatment were discussed with the patient or guardian);

(E) documentation as to whether the complementary health care therapy could interfere with any other ongoing conventional treatment.

(2) The physician may offer the patient complementary and integrative treatment pursuant to a documented treatment plan tailored for the individual needs of the patient by which treatment progress or success can be evaluated with stated objectives such as pain relief and/or improved physical and/or psychosocial function. Such a documented treatment plan shall consider pertinent medical history, previous medical records and physical examination, as well as the need for further testing, consultations, referrals, or the use of other treatment modalities.

(3) The physician may use the treatment subject to documented periodic review of the patientís care by the physician at reasonable intervals in view of the individual circumstances of the patient in regard to progress toward reaching treatment objectives which takes into consideration the treatment prescribed, ordered or administered, as well as any new information about the etiology of the complaint.

(4) Complete and accurate records of the care provided including the elements addressed in paragraph 1 (A)-(E) of this section should be kept.

(5) If the provisions set out in paragraphs (1)-(4) of this section are met, and if all treatment is properly documented, the board will presume such practices are in conformity with the Medical Practice Act, §§ 3.08(4), 3.08(4)(E), and 3.08(18).

Effective November 22, 1998.
 

Back to Complementary and Integrative Medicine: An Update for Texas Physicians