Remedial Plans and the Texas Medical Board What You Need to

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) can recommend and impose various sanctions in disciplinary proceedings against physicians and other medical professionals they regulate. One of the lesser sanctions in a disciplinary proceeding is the remedial plan. If you have been offered a remedial plan by the TMB as a potential resolution in your disciplinary action, the attorneys of Bertolino LLP can help. 

An experienced medical license defense attorney can represent your interests in any disciplinary proceedings regarding alleged violations of the Medical Practice Act and other applicable rules and laws. We can review your case, explain your potential options, and work to achieve a reasonable solution with the TMB to reach a mutually acceptable resolution, which may include the imposition of a remedial plan. If you face disciplinary proceedings before the TMB, you need a seasoned medical license defense lawyer to protect your license. Strong legal representation can help you avoid harsh sanctions that adversely affect your reputation and career.

The Nature of Remedial Plans in TMB Disciplinary Proceedings

Although the TMB issues a remedial plan during disciplinary proceedings, the TMB considers this remedy a corrective action instead of a disciplinary sanction. The TMB does not report the imposition of a remedial plan in its newsletter with other disciplinary sanctions or pass the names of medical professionals subject to remedial plans on to the National Practitioner Data Bank. Nonetheless, remedial plans are publicly available documents that appear on the TMB profile of the medical professional to whom they relate. Therefore, potential employers and patients can view remedial plans, which can negatively affect a physician’s career.

How Remedial Plans Work

When the TMB receives a complaint, an investigator examines the complaint to determine whether the TMB has jurisdiction over the substance of the complaint and whether evidence exists to support the allegations in the complaint. The complaint is referred for further investigation if it passes these initial inquiries. If an investigation reveals evidence of a violation of the Medical Practice Act (Act), the TMB typically notifies the physician who is the subject of the complaint and commences formal disciplinary proceedings. 

The TMB typically offers a medical professional a remedial plan to resolve a disciplinary complaint before or after an Informal Settlement Conference (ISC). At an ISC, the physician and their lawyer meet with a review panel of the TMB for an informal hearing. TMB staff will present evidence that the physician violated the Act, and the physician can present evidence to show that they are compliant. Following the ISC, the review panel determines whether the physician has committed any violation of the Act. 

If the TMB offers you a remedial plan to resolve your disciplinary complaint, it is completely up to you whether to accept or reject the plan. If you accept the plan, you must comply with the terms of the plan, and the complaint against you will ultimately be dismissed. However, the remedial plan will subject you to certain rights and responsibilities you must understand before agreeing to it. You also could face further disciplinary action if you fail to comply with the terms and provisions of the remedial plan. 

On the other hand, if you reject the plan and cannot reach an agreed-upon resolution of the disciplinary complaint, you are likely to face further disciplinary proceedings. At that point, your case will likely proceed to the State Office of Administrative Hearings for a contested hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. 

Limitations on Remedial Plans

A remedial plan is one possible resolution coming out of an ISC or, in some cases, before the TMB even schedules an ISC. However, a remedial plan is appropriate only in selected circumstances involving minor administrative violations of the Act. For instance, violations appropriate for resolution via a remedial plan might include inadvertent errors concerning the maintenance of medical records, attendance of continuing medical education courses, minor breaches of confidentiality, failure to communicate with a patient, failure to supervise a subordinate, and similar issues. 

Texas law also explicitly prohibits remedial plans as a resolution in some circumstances. Under Tex. Admin. Code §187.9(f)(2), the TMB may not use a remedial plan to resolve a complaint that involves a patient’s death, the commission of a felony, or any incident in which the physician engaged in “inappropriate sexual behavior or contact with a patient or became financially involved with a patient in an inappropriate manner.” A remedial plan also cannot be a remedy where the appropriate resolution of a complaint might include a restriction on how a license holder practices medicine. 

Furthermore, a remedial plan may not contain certain provisions. A remedial plan cannot impose an administrative penalty against the license holder. A remedial plan also may not revoke, suspend, limit, or restrict a person’s license or other authorization to practice medicine. 

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Count on Bertolino LLP, to Defend Your Medical License Before the TMB

If you have received a complaint from the TMB, you need a seasoned medical license defense attorney on your side. Even if the recommended sanction in your disciplinary proceedings is a remedial plan, the stakes during your disciplinary proceedings before the TMB are still very high. We will tirelessly defend you against these attacks on the credentials you have worked so hard to earn. Contact Bertolino LLP today at (512) 980-3751 or visit us online.

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