Understanding the Jurisdiction of the Texas Medical Board

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) issues licenses and certifications for various medical professionals, including physicians. Along with its licensing powers, the TMB has the legal authority to monitor and regulate these professionals to ensure they follow all applicable laws, regulations, and rules. As a result, the TMB receives, investigates, and processes all complaints that individuals and entities file against these medical professionals.

An experienced medical license defense attorney can represent your interests in any disciplinary proceedings regarding alleged violations of the Medical Practice Act and other rules and laws that pertain to licensed or certified medical professionals. We can review your case, explore your potential options, and work to achieve a reasonable resolution with the TMB. If you face disciplinary proceedings before the TMB, you need a seasoned medical license defense lawyer to protect your career. Strong legal representation can help you avoid harsh sanctions that adversely affect your reputation and career.

Licensing and Certification Through the TMB

The TMB licenses physicians but also licenses or certifies other medical professionals. As a result, the TMB regulates the conduct of these professionals to ensure that they do not run afoul of the laws and rules that govern their practice. Aside from physicians, the TMB licenses, certifies, and regulates the following professionals:

  • Physician Assistants;
  • Acupuncturists;
  • Medical Radiologic Technologists, including:
    • General Medical Radiologic Technologists
    • Limited Medical Radiologic Technologists and 
    • Non-Certified Radiologic Technologists
  • Acudetox Certification
  • Surgical Assistants
  • Medical Physicists
  • Perfusionists, and 
  • Respiratory Care Practitioners

Part of the TMB’s duty to regulate these medical professionals is to receive, review, and investigate complaints against them. Complaints may come from patients, family members, other professionals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical facilities, or other third parties. 

Determining Jurisdiction Over a TMB Complaint

TMB will complete an initial jurisdictional review within the first 45 days of receiving a disciplinary complaint. The first step in reviewing the complaint is determining whether the agency has legal jurisdiction over the complaint. First, the TMB only has the authority to review complaints concerning one or more of the licensed or certified professionals they regulate. If the complaint concerns alleged conduct or actions by another professional or a third party over whom the TMB has no jurisdiction, the TMB cannot investigate the complaint. In this situation, the TMB will close the complaint and notify the complaining party that it has no jurisdiction over the party who is the subject of the complaint.

The other requirement for the TMB to have jurisdiction to handle a disciplinary complaint is that the allegations must involve a violation of the Medical Practice Act (MPA). If the complaint involves an administrative violation, an attorney-investigator from the TMB reviews the complaint. Conversely, if the complaint involves issues related to medical care, a physician-investigator reviews the complaint. 

If the conduct that is the subject of the complaint does not allege some MPA violation, then the TMB does not have the legal authority to review, investigate, or take any action on the complaint. Again, if the TMB’s initial evaluation reveals no violations of the MPA, then the TMB will close out the complaint and notify the complainant of the agency’s decision.

Investigating Jurisdictional Complaints

Once the TMB determines its jurisdiction over a complaint, it opens a formal investigation by informing the licensee about the complaint and requesting additional information. The TMB may also gather information relevant to the complaint from other sources, such as patient medical records. 

The TMB Expert Panel

If the complaint involves violations of the standard of care or medical treatment, at least two members of the TMB Expert Panel who are board-certified in the same or a similar medical specialty as the licensee must review it. The Expert Panel then issues a report concerning the complaint. Suppose the Expert Panel finds in its report that the licensee acted in a manner that was inconsistent with the public health and welfare, including a failure to meet the standard of care. In that case, the case moves to the Litigation Section for further action. 

The Quality Assurance Panel

The case proceeds differently if the Expert Panel fails to find evidence of conduct inconsistent with public health and welfare. For instance, the Expert Panel may recommend that the case be dismissed or that the TMB offer the licensee a proposed remedial plan, a non-disciplinary corrective action.

However, the case may also proceed for further evaluation by a Quality Assurance (QA) Panel consisting of TMB representatives. The QA Panel also can take several different actions concerning a case, including the following:

  • Requesting that investigators perform additional investigation;
  • Referring the case to the Litigation Section for further action;
  • Recommending that the case be dismissed; or
  • Recommending that the TMB offer the licensee a remedial plan.

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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 an experienced medical license defense attorney throughout any disciplinary proceedings. The stakes during your disciplinary proceedings before the TMB are very high, no matter the severity of the allegations against you. 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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