Ethics Resources

Physician organizations, state regulatory agencies, and other resources.

Find resources within the AMA and TMA, as well as the Harris Health System, Medicare, Health and Human Services, State Health Services, Medicaid, and more. 

American Medical Association (AMA)

The AMA Principles of Medical Ethics are not laws, but standards of conduct which define the essentials of honorable behavior for the physician. HCMS members agree to abide by and be subject to these principles.

The AMA Code of Medical Ethics is maintained and updated by the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA).

The AMA PolicyFinder lists all policy that has been adopted by the AMA House of Delegates.

The AMA Medical Ethics web page provides guidance and answers to frequently asked questions.

The AMA Journal of Ethics includes articles, case studies and podcasts on a variety of topics.

Texas Medical Association (TMA)

The TMA Constitution and Bylaws, as adopted by the TMA House of Delegates, governs how the association operates.

The TMA Board of Councilors is the ethical policy making body of TMA. This Board supplements the current opinions of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. See the Board of Councilors current opinions.

The TMA Policy Index is the compendium of current policy adopted by the TMA House of Delegates.

The TMA Office of the General Counsel provides legal representation for TMA and can assist physician members with general medical law questions. However, when dealing with a personal legal matter, physicians should seek advice from their retained legal counsel. For a risk management issue, physicians may wish to talk first with their professional medical liability insurance carrier, as the carrier's advisers are well-equipped to assist with a number of situations.

For e-tips on legal topics and articles and papers on legal issues.

The TMA Knowledge Center can assist physicians and their staff with specific issues they may encounter.

Regulatory Agencies and Other Resources

Harris Health System 
For issues involving a Harris Health System facility or provider, contact the Harris Health System Patient Customer Relations Department at 713-873-3939 or review Harris Health's Patient Rights and Responsibilities information.

Medicaid and CHIP
Texas Health and Human Services explains the benefits and resources for these programs.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides information about reporting suspected healthcare fraud.

Medicare Quality of Care Concern (KEPRO)

A Medicare beneficiary with a concern about the quality of care received can download a form or call the KEPRO Helpline.

Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (TCMHCC) and CPAN

Improving mental health care and systems of care for the children and adolescents of Texas. Includes CPAN, the Child Psychiatry Access Network.

Texas Medical Board (TMB)

TMB is the state agency charged with keeping Texas patients safe through the licensure and regulation of Texas physicians.

Texas Physician Health Program (TXPHP)

TXPHP serves physicians affected by substance use disorders, physical illnesses and impairment, and psychiatric conditions.

Laboratories-Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)
Laboratories are not state licensed. Rather, the Texas Health and Human Services Health Facility Compliance Group staff is responsible for surveying labs for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine if they meet federal standards.

Texas Health and Human Services (HHS)
HHS oversees nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, and hospices.

Texas Health and Human Services (HHS)
HHS also regulates hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and other healthcare facilities. To file a complaint about an HHS provider.

Texas Health Professions Council (HPC)
HPC provides links to some licensing agencies such as the Texas Board of Nursing, Texas Optometry Board, Texas State Board of Pharmacy, and others.

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)

DSHS indicates which one of the state agencies oversees some facilities and licensees.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)
TDLR regulates dieticians, midwives, podiatrists, speech-language pathologists and audiologists, and more.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
DFPS protects children and vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Texas Department of Insurance (TDI)
How to get help with a surprise medical bill.

Texas Healthcare Costs
TDI has a comparison tool to compare both in-network and out-of-network claims data and to see the average costs for different regions of the state.

FAIR Health
A national independent, nonprofit organization for transparency and information about healthcare costs and insurance.

Veterans Health Administration (VA)
The federal VA Patient Advocacy Program is for veterans and their families who receive care at VHA facilities and clinics.