The Texas Medical Board (TMB) disciplined 80 physicians at its June 2019 Board Meeting. This represents a significant increase in disciplinary action from the Board’s March 2019 Board Meeting when 36 physicians were disciplined.
In its press release, the TMB stated that the March disciplinary actions include:
- 17 Orders related to quality of care violations,
- 11 Orders related to unprofessional conduct,
- 3 license revocation,
- 14 voluntary surrenders/revocations,
- 1 license suspension,
- 4 Order related to nontherapeutic prescribing,
- 1 Order relating to improper prescribing,
- 4 Order relating to peer review action
- 5 Orders relating to improper supervision or delegation
- 5 Order related to violation of prior Board Order,
- 4 Orders related to other states’ actions,
- 1 Orders related to violation of Board rules,
- 3 Orders related to inadequate medical records, and
- 6 Order related to impairment.
The Board also ratified 6 agreed cease and desist orders. TMB complaints resulting in disciplinary action are most often resolved by an Agreed Order. Such an Order represents an agreement between the Board and the licensee being disciplined, which sets out the sanctions and disciplinary action against the licensee.
Disciplinary Action: Quality of Care Violations
The Board hands down disciplinary actions at every quarterly board meeting. Time and time again the leading reason the TMB takes disciplinary action against a physician is for quality of care violations. Here are just a few reasons for which the Board handed down disciplinary actions related to quality of care violations in June:
- The Board found Dr. J.L.C. violated the standard of care with regard to nine pediatric patients and one special needs adult. He rendered diagnoses and provided treatments that were not medically indicated and were often not complementary, failed to follow adequate protocols for many well-child visits for multiple patients, and failed to maintain adequate medical and billing records. He entered into an Agreed Order requiring him to be monitored by an onsite Board-approved physician proctor, have his patient charts reviewed for 12 consecutive monitoring cycles, completes a medical recordkeeping course, passes the Medical Jurisprudence Exam, complete 24 hours of in-person Continuing Medical Education, and pay a $3,000 administrative penalty.
- The Board found Dr. T.C. violated the standard of care with regard to several patients to whom he recurrently prescribed large amounts of controlled substances and improperly billed multiple patients for services that were not supported by patient medical records or other documentation.
- The Board found Dr. J.K.L. violated the standard of care when he failed to do appropriate post-operative surgical care for a patient, failed to appropriately delegate to an office administrator to medically evaluate the patient on two occasions, and did not properly bill one drainage procedure.
Complaints regarding quality of care violations are especially serious and heavily investigated by the TMB. Board Orders related to quality of care violations may include a mandate to have one’s medical practice monitored by another physician for a certain time period, additional training and CME, exam requirements, administrative penalties, and/or other remedial measures.
Disciplinary Action: Unprofessional Conduct
It is not uncommon for the TMB to take disciplinary action against a licensee for unprofessional conduct. Unprofessional conduct that deceives or defrauds the public is considered particularly egregious. Eleven doctors were disciplined for unprofessional conduct at the June Board Meeting. For example, to settle health care fraud allegations, Dr. Abraham Armani entered into an Agreed Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction agreeing to exclusion from the Medicaid program and to pay over $22 million dollars as a settlement in connection with Medicaid fraud charges.
Hire an Experienced Medical License Defense Attorney
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Medical Board, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced medical license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the TMB’s complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license, including:
- Temporary Suspension Hearings
- Informal Settlement Conferences (ISC)
- Show Compliance Proceedings
- State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) Proceedings
Our firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced medical license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation.
Contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.