Healthcare providers in the state of Texas must secure and maintain their license to practice in order to hold a job serving their patients. The Texas Medical Board oversees the licensing process and addresses complaints that may arise. The Board’s website maintains a searchable database the public can use to verify a physician’s licensure status.
Patients and others can also request an investigation when they register a complaint against a practitioner. The Board is comprised of 7 public members and 12 physician members, appointed by the Governor for six-year terms. These individuals run the Board and rule on suspensions and reinstatements based on the Texas Occupations Code and the Board’s rules.
Functions of the Texas Medical Board
The Board is predominantly tasked with licensing oversight and issuance, rule violation or complaint investigations, and medical practice regulations in Texas. It oversees who receives a license to practice medicine here, whether the provider has recently graduated or has moved into the state to pursue a career.
Licensing Oversight and Issuance
The Board issues licenses for physicians, physician’s assistants, acupuncturists, radiologic technologists, perfusionists, and respiratory care practitioners. In addition to a standard license to practice medicine, a provider may apply for a license as a temporary visitor to the state, as a professor, or to practice telemedicine.
Texas requires a screening process before a license is granted, during which applicants submit documentation verifying their credentials and eligibility to practice. Once all the information is received, it is passed to a licensing analyst for review. The process usually takes at least one month and can last longer if your application is incomplete or there are issues with your answers.
Rule Violations or Practitioner Complaints
The Board manages the review process for rule violations and complaints. Failure to follow medical laws, regulations, and guidelines set forth by state and federal legislatures and the Texas Medical Board can result in severe penalties. Practitioners are expected to hold to their oaths and lead upstanding lives to keep their licenses.
Complaints can arise from the public or fellow healthcare providers. Each is taken seriously and may involve actions such as:
- Prescribing drugs to someone with a known addiction or abuse problem
- Prescribing drugs for non-therapeutic applications
- Failing to meet the duty of care
- Failure to practice at the standard of care
- Failure to adhere to probation requirements
- Medical record-keeping violations
- Behavioral transgressions
- Use of alcohol or drugs that affects the ability to practice medicine
- Physical or mental condition that impairs the ability to practice medicine
- Arrests or convictions for criminal conduct
- Disciplinary measures by colleagues or another state licensing board
The public can verify a provider’s license to practice and determine if there are any past or present complaints.
Facing a Complaint at the Texas Medical Board
The Board regulates the practice of medicine in the state and is tasked with ensuring the public is protected from unscrupulous individuals. This can sometimes mean that you face a complaint that is without merit, yet you must complete the process and defend your license.
Hiring a qualified and experienced Texas license defense lawyer can make this stressful time easier. Without guidance, you could face suspension or even revocation of your license.
When a complaint is lodged against you, the Board will notify you by mail. If it is serious enough to warrant a letter of notice, it is serious enough that you must defend yourself. Complaints are decided by a complex set of rules combined with Texas law.
The Board is focused on objectively examining the facts of your case, and a skilled attorney can interpret the nuances of the rules and laws in an effort to influence the decision. Your rights and your livelihood could be at stake, and having a lawyer can make all the difference.
Dismissals Aren’t Easy to Get
Simply telling the Board what happened is not enough to dismiss the complaint. It is too easy to admit guilt to violations in the act of trying to explain and apologize. Facing a complaint review is similar to going to court, and you must have an attorney by your side who can help frame the discussion with the review panel.
Even how you choose to respond to the letter of notice is critical to ensuring you have the time you need to gather your evidence and achieve a successful outcome.
Don’t Face the Texas Medical Board Alone
The Texas Medical Board determines whether or not you can practice and keep providing healthcare to your patients. Facing them alone without a qualified Texas medical license defense attorney puts you at risk of suffering discipline for a situation that was unfairly presented. Bertolino LLP stands ready to assist you through the review process to build a strong argument in your favor.
We specialize in negotiating with the Board to protect your rights and prevent reviewers from confusing you with questions to damage your case.