TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Lynn Pointer on Sep 19, 2012

By Angela Youngberg

Angela Youngberg

Effective January 1, 2012, Tennessee law requires each person that is licensed in the practice of healing arts to keep an original or copy of such person’s license or certificate of registration displayed in a conspicuous place in such person’s practice location.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-1-109.  Additionally, each person licensed in the practice of healing arts must put in a conspicuous place at the entrance of his or her office a sign in intelligible lettering and not less than one (1) inch in height that contains the name of such person followed by the recognized abbreviation indicating the professional degree held and the full name of such person’s profession below their name.  For example, a medical doctor’s sign should read “_____________, M.D.” and immediately below the name in equal-sized lettering, the sign should contain the words “physician,” “medical doctor,” or “surgeon” (although specialists may substitute their specialty for the general designation).  If a healthcare practitioner maintains a website containing information regarding his or her services, the practitioner must prominently display on the website his or her full name and type of license.

Additionally, Tennessee Code Annotation Section 63-1-109 requires healthcare practitioners affirmatively to communicate the practitioner’s specific licensure by either:

1.  Wearing a photo identification name tag during all patient encounters that contains the practitioner’s name, photo, and type of license; or

2.  Communicating the healthcare practitioner’s full name and type of license in writing at the time of the patient’s initial office visit. This requirement may be satisfied by presenting the patient with a business card containing the required information.

Any healthcare practitioner who violates this statute is guilty of unprofessional conduct and shall be subject to disciplinary action.

These requirements do not apply to healthcare practitioners working in licensed healthcare facilities, nor do they apply to healthcare practitioners who work in no-patient care settings and have no direct patient care interactions.