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Medical Practice Texas Standards: Can a Non-Physician Own/Operate?

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In today’s economy and social climate, it’s no wonder the wellness industry has taken off in such a big way. This progression has left many wondering if now is the time to throw their hat in the ring. The bad news is, there are very strict regulations as to who can and cannot own and operate a medical practice in the state of Texas. The good news is - there are some exceptions.

Keep reading and we’ll uncover the ins and outs of owning a medical practice in Texas.


The Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine: An Overview

Texas, among several other states, follows the protocol of the Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine (CPOM). This means that there are strict rules and regulations as to who exactly is allowed to own and facilitate a medical practice. 

In the most simple terms, if you do not have the proper licensing and credentials to practice medicine, you cannot operate a medical facility or employ physicians in the state of Texas. This doctrine applies to corporations, entities, and any generally classified non-physician.



Though the CPOM Doctrine is the ultimate standard of rules that medical practices are required to abide by, there are a few very specific exceptions.

Scenarios in which non-physicians may employ physicians are few and far between, but they do exist. In the event that a practice is potentially eligible to qualify as an exception to CPOM, that practice must meet all outlined requirements. Cases where this is allowed include:

  • Non-Profit Clinics or Practices
  • Federally Qualified Practices
  • Migrant Health Centers
  • Non-Profit Medical Schools
  • School Districts
  • State-Mandated Institutions or Hospitals
  • U.S. Government or Military Facilities
  • Various Hospital Districts
  • Various Rural Health Clinics
  • Counties Where the Population is <50,000


Why Does This Exist?

To sum it up, the CPOM exists to protect the public. This protocol prevents non-physicians from having control over medical care distributed to patients, ensuring that care is provided from a licensed, qualified medical professional.

Ensuring that business and profit are not the basis of healthcare is the most efficient way to guarantee that care is given with the patients’ best interests in mind and as the number one priority.

For more information on the exact legal specifications of the CPOM Doctrine, here is a download for the Texas Medical Association’s White Paper on the subject.

(Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in October 2019 and was updated in February 2023 to reflect current information.)

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