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RULE §130.51Advertising

(a) A practitioner may advertise. A practitioner shall not use or participate in the use of any publication, including advertisements, news stories, press releases, and periodical articles, that contains a false, misleading, or deceptive statement.

(b) A practitioner may not include any of the following types of statements in any advertisements or press releases:

  (1) a misrepresentation of fact, or claims as fact something that has not been generally accepted among the podiatric community or by the department as having been proven or established as fact;

  (2) a statement that is likely to mislead or deceive or entice or persuade a reasonable person because it fails to make full disclosure of relevant facts whether regarding fees, modes of treatment, conditions or techniques of surgery, post-operative conditions such as degree of pain, length of time of recovery, mobility and strength during recovery, and the like;

  (3) a statement that is intended or likely to create in an ordinary reasonable person false or unjustified expectations of favorable results;

  (4) a laudatory statement, or other statement or implication that the practitioner's services are of exceptional quality;

  (5) a statistical data or information that reflects or is intended to reflect quality or degree of success of past performance, or prediction of future success;

  (6) a representation that podiatric services can or will be completely performed for a stated fee amount when this is not the case, or makes representations with respect to fees that do not disclose all variables affecting the fees, or makes representations that might reasonable cause an ordinary prudent person to misunderstand or be deceived about the fee amount;

  (7) a representation that health care insurance deductibles or co-payments may be waived or are not applicable to health care services to be provided if the deductibles or co-payments are required; or

  (8) a representation that the benefits of a health benefit plan will be accepted as full payment when deductibles or co-payments are required.

(c) Information contained in a public communication by a practitioner may include, but is not limited to the following:

  (1) name, address, telephone numbers, office hours, and telephone-answering hours;

  (2) biographical and educational background;

  (3) professional memberships and attainments and certifications, subject, however, to the provisions of subsection (e);

  (4) description of services offered, subject, however to the provisions of subsection (f);

  (5) foreign language ability;

  (6) acceptable credit arrangements, subject, however, to the provisions of subsection (b)(2) and (b)(6);

  (7) the limitation of practice to certain areas of podiatric medicine;

  (8) the opening or change in location of any office and change in personnel;

  (9) fees charged for the initial consultation, provided that if the time for the consultation is to be limited, any such limitation on the time shall be stated;

  (10) fixed fees for specific podiatric treatments and services, subject, however, to the provisions of subsection (b)(2) and (b)(6); and

  (11) a statement that a schedule of fees or an estimate of fees to be charged for specific treatments or services will be available on request.

(d) All practitioners shall retain recordings, transcripts, or copies of all public communications by date of publication for a period of at least two years after such communication was made.

(e) A practitioner may advertise or publish the name of any board of certification under which the practitioner has fully and validly become certified provided that the full name of the certifying board is included in the publication: except as provided by this subsection, practitioners may not list in any type of advertisement or public communication any certifying board that is not approved or recognized by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education of the American Podiatric Medical Association.

(f) Each certifying board that is not recognized by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education of the American Podiatric Medical Association must meet each of the following requirements:

  (1) the certifying board requires all practitioners who are seeking certification to successfully pass a written or an oral examination or both, which tests the applicant's knowledge and skills in the specialty or subspecialty area of podiatric medicine. All or part of the examination may be delegated to a testing organization. All examinations require a psychometric evaluation for validation;

  (2) the certifying board has written proof of a determination by the Internal Revenue Service that the certifying board is tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code pursuant to §501(c);

  (3) the certifying board has a permanent headquarters and staff;

  (4) the certifying board has at least 100 duly licensed certificants from at least one-third of the states; and

  (5) the certifying board requires all practitioners who are seeking certification to have satisfactorily completed identifiable and substantial training in the specialty or subspecialty area of podiatric medicine in which the practitioner is seeking certification, and the certifying organization utilizes appropriate peer review. This identifiable training shall be deemed acceptable unless determined by the department, with the advice of the advisory board, to be inadequate in scope, content, and duration in that specialty or subspecialty area of podiatric medicine in order to protect the public health and safety.

(g) The terms "board eligible", "board qualified", or any similar words or phrase calculated to convey the same meaning may not be used in advertising.

(h) If a publication by or for a practitioner includes mention of a particular surgical technique or device, the publication must also include a specific and true statement that reveals to an ordinary reasonable person the limits and scope and specific purpose of the technique so as not to mislead an ordinary reasonable person regarding the difficulty, pain or discomfort, length of time for surgery or recuperation, or possibility of complications.

Source Note: The provisions of this §130.51 adopted to be effective November 1, 2018, 43 TexReg 6953; amended to be effective September 1, 2019, 44 TexReg 4725

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