After you have spent years attending classes, passing exams, and completing your residency, obtaining your medical license is a long-awaited milestone. However, even after reaching this major achievement, you still must take care to follow the rules and laws that govern your profession. Violations of those rules or laws can lead to investigations by the Texas Medical Board (TMB), and, ultimately, disciplinary action against your medical license. 

Any disciplinary complaint alleging a violation of a rule or law can have substantial negative consequences for your professional life. If you are facing allegations such as these, you should consult an experienced medical license defense attorney. Your attorney can represent your interests from the outset of any investigation and during disciplinary proceedings by the TMB. You can benefit from legal representation throughout this process, including during negotiations that could lead to a remedial plan.

Defining the Remedial Plan

22 Tex. Admin. Code §189.2 defines a remedial plan as a “non-disciplinary settlement agreement” under the Texas Medical Practice Act. Under Tex. Occ. Code §164.0015, the TMB may issue a remedial plan to resolve the investigation of a complaint against a medical professional. However, a remedial plan is not an option in all situations. This section specifically states that a remedial plan cannot resolve a complaint where it involves:

  • A patient death;
  • The commission of a felony; or
  • A matter in which a physician engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior or contact with a patient or became financially or personally involved with a patient in an inappropriate manner; or 
  • Any situation in which the appropriate resolution may involve a restriction on the way a license holder practices medicine. 

The TMB also may not issue a remedial plan if the license holder has entered a remedial plan with the license holder in the past five years. 

Remedial plans may not contain provisions that revoke, suspend, limit, or restrict a person’s license or other authorization to practice medicine. The plan also may not contain a provision that assesses an administrative penalty against a person. 

Remedial Plan Provisions

Remedial plans may require license holders to complete continuing medical education (CME) or other types of education. The TMB also may require license holders to complete certain services through selected third-party agencies as part of their remedial plans. 

22 Tex. Admin. Code §189.5 permits TMB representatives to make random and unannounced visits with license holders at their practice locations, residences, or other locations to investigate their compliance with remedial plans. These representatives also may communicate with third party agencies as needed to ensure a license holder’s compliance with a rehabilitation order, although they also must focus on maintaining confidentiality. 

Under 22 Tex. Admin. Code §189.6, a remedial plan shall require license holders to periodically appear before the TMB. However, the TMB may waive required appearances if the license holder is following the terms and conditions of the remedial order.

Responsibilities of License Holders Under Remedial Plans

License holders have a responsibility to follow the terms and conditions of their remedial plans. For instance, if their remedial plan requires them to complete CME or other education, they must provide acceptable documentation of their compliance with CME or educational requirements to the TMB under 22 Tex. Admin. Code §189.3. Likewise, if the license holder must complete other services through third party agencies, they must make a good faith effort to ensure the prompt submission of reports by third party agencies that are accurate, honest, and address all subjects required by the license holder’s remedial plan. 

Non-Compliance with Remedial Plans

22 Tex. Admin. Code §189.3 requires license holders to follow all provisions of their remedial plans. Failure to follow their remedial plans can lead to agency review and actions for non-compliance. 

TMB representatives or the executive director can make a finding of noncompliance of a license holder with a remedial plan after the license holder appears for a probation appearance under 22 Tex. Admin. Code §189.8. A finding of non-compliance shall constitute “unprofessional or dishonorable conduct likely to deceive, defraud, or injure the public” under the Texas Medical Practice Act. Non-compliance may consist of any of the following:

  • Failure to comply with a term or condition in an order or remedial plan;
  • Failure to cooperate with agency representatives;
  • Failure to promptly respond to communications by agency representatives;
  • Failure to comply with deadlines set forth in an order or remedial plan or as established by agency representatives for the purpose of enforcement of an order or remedial plan;
  • Failure to timely submit documents required as a term or condition of an order or remedial plan;
  • Failure to release documents as requested by agency representatives;
  • Failure and/or refusal to meet with and discuss compliance matters with agency representatives during any compliance visit;
  • Interference by probationer or agents of probationer that compromises and/or prevents agency representatives from fulfilling duties and responsibilities as set by an order, remedial plan, rule, or statute during a compliance visit; and
  • Any expression by word or deed, either directly or indirectly, to agency representatives that a reasonable person would find harassing, insulting, disrespectful, or rude.

If the TMB finds that a license holder is not in compliance with a remedial plan, the TMB will schedule a show compliance proceeding for the license holder. Alternatively, the license holder may waive the right to a hearing and accept a settlement agreement proposed by the compliance manager and approved by the TMB executive director. 

We Are Here to Defend You Throughout Your Disciplinary Proceedings

Facing an investigation and potential disciplinary proceedings before the TMB can be a difficult and stressful experience. Losing your medical license can leave you without the means to support yourself or use the degree that you have worked so hard to earn. We may be able to help you resolve your disciplinary investigation in the most positive manner possible. Get legal assistance from an experienced medical license defense lawyer today. Contact Bertolino LLP at (512) 515-9518 or visit us online.

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